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WATCH: WSDOT Promotes ‘Zip Fusion’ Technique to Avoid Traffic Delays During Month-Long Construction Near Yakima | Yakima News

YAKIMA, Wash. – State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crews are repaving, repairing, and resurfacing SR-823 or Selah Road, requiring both lanes to be closed through September 30.

The half-mile closure is between the bridges crossing the Yakima and Naches rivers on I-82 west, known as the “Twin Bridges.” Traffic is reduced to one lane toward Ellensburg.

“It’ll be pretty simple, all you have to do is slow down and follow the signs,” said Summer Derrey, WSDOT’s South Central Region communications consultant.

Drivers practice the “zip merge” technique heading east on I-82 toward Yakima.

About 26,000 drivers will be affected daily, Derrey said. She said drivers who merge lanes immediately after signs aren’t as efficient as waiting until the end, which is called ‘fusion zipper.’

“A lot of people don’t like it because they think you’re cutting the line and it’s not fair, but believe it or not, it’s the most effective thing you can do,” said Derrey said.

Closing the bridge nearly halves the duration of the construction project and keeps workers safe, Derrey said. She said the 30-day build is a short-term project with long-term benefits

“It’s work that we really need, it’s for future preservation so that this bridge can last us a long time,” Derrey said.

WSDOT traffic engineers are committed to keeping traffic moving, Derrey said. She said construction should not delay journey times by more than five minutes.

American Medical Response (AMR), an ambulance service in Yakima, said in an email that it experienced no delays in response times following the SR-823 shutdown.