Zipper merge crash in Coon Rapids before construction zone

A crash involving a car and truck occurred during the zipper merge portion heading into a construction zone between Round Lake Boulevard and 7th Avenue in Coon Rapids on July 10.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, "When a lane is closed in a construction zone, a zipper merge occurs when motorists use both lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area, and then alternate in 'zipper' fashion into the open lane."

When most drivers see their first "lane closed ahead" sign in a work zone, they slow too quickly and move to the lane that will continue through the construction area. This driving behavior can lead to unexpected and dangerous lane switching, serious crashes, and road rage, MnDOT says.

When a driver sees a "lane closed ahead" sign with traffic backing up, they should stay in their current lane up to the point of merge, then take turns with other drivers to safely and smoothly ease into the remaining lane, MnDOT explains. 

The video above illustrates what can happen when drivers do not merge accordingly in a zipper fashion.

The crash remains under investigation, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.