Merging Safely

The Kansas Department of Transportation Bureau of Traffic Safety and Technology and partners evaluate all temporary traffic operations needs for each project and select what is appropriate. There is not one method for merging in all situations. We urge all motorists to obey signs, be kind to your fellow drivers, and allow everyone to merge and proceed through work zones safely.

Early Merge

1. There is a merge ahead

When you see a sign that says left or right lane closed ahead, you may begin to safely maneuver into the open lane.

Lane closed ahead

2. Speed reduction

Depending on the work zone, you may see a speed reduction sign. Please observe the new posted speed limit for that work zone.

Reduced speed sign

2. Do not pass

If you are in the closed lane and see the Do Not Pass sign, you can continue to drive in that lane, but you cannot pass vehicles in the open lane. You should be traveling at the same speed as the vehicles in the open lane and actively looking for a gap to safely make your merge maneuver into the open lane.

*The speed reduction and do not pass signs are enforceable.

Do Not Pass Sign

Late Merge

1. Use both lanes

In a late merge system, you will see a sign that says “Use Both Lanes.” In this scenario, motorists should stay in their lane until the merge point.

Use Both Lanes Sign Both Lanes Changeable Sign

2. Merge at the merge point

The merge point is identified with a sign that says “Merge Here” or “Merge” + arrow symbol.

Merge here sign Merge here sign