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Kansas 511 and 511.ksdot.org provide easy access to road condition information

Aug. 26, 2005 (05-182)


News Contacts: Barb Blue, (785) 291-3818 or Steve Swartz, (785) 296-3585

Kansas 511 and 511.ksdot.org provide easy access
to road condition information

Fans traveling to football games this fall can help themselves arrive at stadiums safely and on time for kickoff by using the Kansas 511 travel information phone system and 511.ksdot.org.

By calling 511 from anywhere inside Kansas or 1-866-511-KDOT anywhere in the U.S., travelers can get automated, near real-time, route-specific road conditions, construction detours, and travel weather (both current and forecasted) information for Interstate, U.S., or state highways in Kansas and the Kansas Turnpike.

With updates every 15 minutes, Kansas 511 can be a resource to help keep travelers informed. Information is provided all day, every day, and is free from a landline phone. For cellular users, the call will most likely count against their minutes, but no roaming fee should be charged.

With many road construction projects still in progress before winter, detours and road closures could be encountered by fall travelers. By calling 511 before traveling, callers can find out if planned routes are impacted by road work and can make alternative plans as needed.

“ Informed travelers can make decisions that increase their travel safety and help them avoid the frustration of unplanned delays,” said Barb Blue, KDOT 511 Project Manager.
Road condition information is entered by KDOT crews across the state. Kansas 511 also provides similar information for Nebraska, which is the only surrounding state with an active 511 system. Currently, phone numbers are provided for callers to access information in the surrounding states of Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Another way to obtain roadway construction/detour and weather-related road condition information is through KDOT’s internet site. Travelers can access a map detailing existing road conditions across the state. The map is located at 511.ksdot.org and it can also be accessed through KDOT’s main web site www.ksdot.org under “Road Conditions.”

Travelers may now also get helpful information about Kansas 511 by selecting the new “511 System Info” link at the top of the map. This link provides users with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), tips/information for using 511, contact information for 511 help, general 511 information and links to weather information.

“Since 511 is a national travel information system, we want travelers to know about Kansas 511 and to find it helpful and easy to use,” said Blue. “Travelers with a positive experience in their home state are more likely to use it as they travel around.”

Nationally, 511 is available in 23 states with 26 active systems and more states are set up to deploy in the coming months. Some states have several regional 511 systems. As of June 2005, the 511 number has logged 36,397,785 calls since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 511 as the national travel information number in July 2000. 511 is currently available to 81 million Americans. For information and locations of 511 go to www.deploy511.org to see maps, updates and reports on the progress of 511 in the United States.

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