‘Remember to zipper!’ UDOT sends warning for busy spring break travel

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Despite the recent chill and snowy weather, spring is in the air. Officially, the first day of spring was last week but for many students across the Wasatch Front, spring break is just starting.
The Utah Department of Transportation is sending out a word of warning for commuters: As students go on break, Utah’s roads will get busier.
According to TomTom, an index providing city insights into traffic congestion and impacts, April 4 was the worst day to travel through Salt Lake City in 2023. At the peak on April 4, it took commuters an average of 12 minutes to drive six miles, compared to the typical average of 10 minutes.
“Expect delays,” UDOT said on Twitter/X. “For northbound I-15, we expect peak travel days on March 31 and April 7, especially from noon to 6 p.m. For southbound I-15 it could be congested from Wednesday to Friday over the next two weeks.”
In anticipation of the traveling spring breakers, UDOT paused work on the I-15 bridges near Nephi, saying all lanes would be open. But drivers should still do what they can to help alleviate traffic congestion.
For a start, UDOT suggests adjusting travel times as best as possible to avoid traffic.
“Consider leaving early or staying late to avoid the rush,” said UDOT.
Another suggestion comes in the form of a friendly reminder to zipper merge when coming onto a highway or interstate or while in a construction zone. Written into the State Code, Utah drivers should be using the “zipper method.”
According to the state’s traffic code, the zipper merge sees cars using both lanes of traffic up until the merge point. Once cars reach the merge point where the two lanes converge into one, drivers alternate yielding the right-of-way into the single lane, much like a zipper interlocking.
“This makes lane merging faster for literally everyone,” exclaimed UDOT.
A violation of the zipper merge could reportedly result in an infraction.

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