EDITORIAL: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome the zipper merge back to Kamloops

Remember the zipper merge from the summer of 2015?

It’s back — and will likely be a hot topic of discussion for the next two years.

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It seems nothing sets commuters’ hair on fire like a major obstacle in their daily drives to and from work, even if those commuters had received ample warning about a project and plenty of advice on how to make the treks across the city as pain-free as possible.

Those who commute between the downtown core and the North Shore will by now have encountered the congestion created by the West Victoria Street reconstruction project.

The $13-million project will see crews replace century-old infrastructure below the road and improve landscaping at street level.

The work is expected to last anywhere from 18 months to two years, which is much longer than the 2015 Overlanders Bridge resurfacing project that created much consternation in the city.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, and though it can appear to others as though drivers are cutting in, the zipper merge is indeed the most efficient way to move traffic through such projects.

As city capital projects manager Darren Crundwell said: “By maximizing the full use of two lanes until the point of merge, congestion can be reduced and help keep traffic flowing.”

If you would rather not fuss with the zipper, there are other options.

The Halston and Red bridges will be busier than usual due to people seeking alternate routes to downtown, but the wait should not be nearly as long as the line of vehicles backed up on West Victoria each day.

In addition, transit is available for those who don’t mind leaving for work earlier than normal. The bonus with being on the bus is you can finish many books and let the transit driver deal with commuting stress.

© Kamloops This Week


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