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The Road Zipper Is the Most Exciting Piece of Highway Machinery

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2017

Gather 'round, drivers of the world, because today I am going to tell you about the Road Zipper. I have no idea if this is its actual name, but I saw one of these in Boston the other day and it said "Road Zipper" on it, so I'm going to guess that's what it's called.

To start, I just want to say that the Road Zipper is my favorite piece of highway machinery. Unfortunately, yes, this means the steamroller does not occupy the number one spot anymore. I am sorry, my flattening friend, but the Road Zipper is simply better than you. That's because it can change the entire existence of traffic in about four minutes.

Here's what makes the Road Zipper so great. Say you live in a tremendously congested city, such as Boston, or Los Angeles, or Arkadelphia, Arkansas, during the annual boll weevil festival, when people come from as far away as two counties over just to enter their pie into the local pie-makin' competition. Well, this is what the Road Zipper is built for.

Say you have a highway with nine lanes in total; some go in one direction and some go in the other. Well, when traffic is coming into your city, you want most of those lanes to be going in. When traffic is coming out, you want the opposite. But how do you change traffic flow? A reversible lane is dangerous, and it doesn't really work with highway traffic anyway. And that's where the Road Zipper comes in.

What the Road Zipper does is it drives along the highway in question and it physically (and automatically) moves the barriers on the sides of the lanes in order to change the direction of the lanes. It approaches the barrier on the side of the left lane, for instance, it swallows the barrier, and then it spits the barrier out on the opposite side of the lane, thus moving the left lane into opposing traffic. Now it's ready for rush hour coming the other direction. The road zipper can literally change the number of lanes on your road.

If you don't believe me that such a machine exists, well, then, just watch the video above, which demonstrates the very limits of everything modern technology has given us.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Road Zipper Is the Most Exciting Piece of Highway Machinery - Autotrader