Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

July 12, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT recommends Zipper Merge at Hwy 53 work zone

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is recommending that drivers use the Zipper Merge when they encounter heavy traffic at the lane closures on Highway 53 in Virginia.

Long backups before the work zone concern project officials. “We encourage motorists to use both lanes right up to the merge point, and then take turns merging,” said Pat Huston, Highway 53 project director. “This strategy has worked well on many other projects. And, it makes the roadway safer."

The Highway 53 relocation project closed the southbound lanes of Highway 53 between Vermillion Drive and the eastbound ramp to Highway 135 on Monday. There is one lane of traffic in each direction while crews rebuild the southbound roadway. The work will take about two months. Next year, crews will rebuild the northbound side of Highway 53 in that area.

MnDOT has placed a video regarding Zipper Merge on the project’s website. To see an updated project profile, updated photos and for more information, visit the website at www.mndot.gov/hwy53relocation. For questions or concerns about the project, call the project hotline at 218-820-8532.

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