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State tries new approach to construction merges

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:20 PM

"Do Not Pass When Flashing" signs require motorists on eastbound I-96 in Crockery Township to merge into a single lane well before a lane is closed for the state Route 231 construction zone. When activated, the signs create a no-passing zone ahead of the section of road where there's one lane open in each direction.

The state agency said the so-called dynamic merge lanes are being used to head off the possibility of aggressive driving and late merges.

"It's all about safety," said John Richard, a spokesman for MDOT in Grand Rapids.

According to state police, drivers who don't merge ahead of the "Do Not Pass" signs when they are flashing could face a ticket.

MDOT began using dynamic merge lanes in some work zones a few years ago and research is evaluating the effectiveness of such lanes. The I-96 project runs until November, and the state agency will be able to further evaluate the merge lanes.

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