ConnDOT: ConnDOT Research - Experimental Alternative Highway Merge Sign

ConnDOT Research - Experimental Alternative Highway Merge Sign

  {Lane Ends Sign changing to Experimental Merge Sign}   Alternative Merge Sign at Signalized Intersections    {Traffic Signal Light}

What does it mean to MERGE?


Project Overview:

A research study was initiated on September 1, 2001 to develop, field test and evaluate a prototype merge warning sign that should allow for improvement in the traffic flow and merging pattern at some signalized intersections.

At the present time, the “Lane Ends” sign (MUTCD Code:  W4-2) is commonly used in the United States to alert drivers that a merge ahead required.  To help imporve the traffic flow and merging pattern after signalized intersections, a trial merge sign was developed and field tested.  The experimenal sign was installed at two intersections in Connecticut on March 31, 2002.  Merging patterns have been monitored via video cameras before and after the new signs were installed.  An evaluation is underway to determine the effectiveness of this experimental sign.



Southington Study Site

{Intersection at Route 229 southbound and West St. #1 prior to installation of experimental sign}

Click for Large Image

{Camera Mounted on Mast Arm on Route 229, Southington, Connecticut}

Click for Large Image

{Experimental sign in Southington, Connecticut on Route 229 southbound at intersection with West Street #1}

Click for Large Image

Click here to see  Plan View Drawing

Farmington Study Site

{Intersection at Route 4 eastbound and Town Farm Road prior to installation of experimental sign}

Click for Large Image

{Camera Mounted on Span Pole on Route 4, Farmington, Connecticut}

Click for Large Image

{Experimental sign in Farmington, Connecticut on Route 4 eastbound at intersection with Town Farm Road}

Click for Large Image

Click here to see Plan View Drawing


On March 20, 2001, the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) - Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Satellite Video Conference was held.  During the conference, the office of Transportation Operations for FHWA, encouraged that a new sign should be proposed and researched to replace the "Lane Ends" symbol sign (MUTCD Code: W4-2).  Linda Brown from the office of Transportation Operations stated that this sign was found to be often misunderstood in earlier studies.


{W4-2 }

MUTCD Code:  W4-2

Back to Project Overview

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), Division of Research solicited advice from a variety of drivers through a survey to determine a prototype-warning sign that will be tested and evaluated in the field.

Upon reviewing the results, three out of the six symbol signs were chosen to go through further extensive evaluation.  Division of Research personnel went to a local Department of Motor Vehicles and solicited the opinion of 120 random drivers on what one sign meant to them.  Each of the three symbol signs were shown to 40 different drivers.

In completion of the oral survey, an alternative merge symbol sign was chosen to be developed, field tested and evaluated to improve the merging pattern after signalized intersection.


{Alternative Merge Sign Research Survey}

Click Above to View Survey

Alternative Merge Symbol Sign:

The sign warns that a merge is approaching after signalized intersections.  It illustrates that the lanes are reducing from two to one lane, without indication of which lane yields the right-of-way.  The details of this sign does not specify what the geometric conditions are on the roadway, therefore this sign is proposed to be used at both right and left lane endings.  The intention of the sign is to advise the motorist to alternate merge when necessary or to merge smoothly.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved Connecticut's request to experiment with an Alternative Merge Symbol Sign  at Signalized Intersection.  Click here for FHWA Approval Letter.


{Experimental Merge Symbol Sign}

Experimental Merge Symbol Sign

Free downloadable sign details below.

Back to Survey

The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines "merge" as:

"to blend or come together without abrupt change."

Back to top of page


Downloadable Detail Plans for Experimental Alternative Merge Symbol Sign

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) Microstation Design File Format (DGN)
{Alternative Merge Symbol Sign Detail (36}

Sign Detail (36"x36")

Sign Detail (36"x36)

{Alternative Merge Symbol Sign Detail (48}

Sign Detail (48"x48")

Sign Detail (48"x48")

The Department Contact for the research project, "Alternative Merge Sign at Signalized Intersections" is Mr. Eric G. Feldblum [, Telephone: (860) 258-0392; Facsimile: (860) 258-0399].  This research is being conducted in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration.

Additional Information: RiP Webpage


Content Last Modified on 9/21/2004 3:24:07 PM