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State’s 511 traveler information updated, improved

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s 511 traveler information system that gives up-to-date information on weather-related road conditions and maintenance and construction projects now has an improved high-bandwidth site, giving users more continuity and usability with the service, according to the state Department of Transportation.

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The 511 system, available online at 511mn.org or by phone at 511, now offers both voice response and touch-tone options to request road-specific information.

“The enhanced 511 site will make it easier for motorists to find out information about events that may affect their travel— whether it’s road construction, weather or traffic incidents. Motorists can also sign up for text alerts and emails for their customized routes,” said Brian Kary, MnDOT freeway operations engineer.

The new 511 features include viewing traffic camera images in an album, allowing users to scroll from one camera to the next along their route. Also, when users click on an incident, it will be brought up in an album view with a description and map. The background images fade out. In addition, pages are now auto-refreshed when new information arrives that affect the current map view.

“The new site was rolled out in Minnesota and two other states last week and all went very well,” said Kelly Braunig, MnDOT 511 coordinator.

Minnesota was one of the first states in the country to introduce 511 in 2002. The high bandwidth was added in 2009. The free mobile app was launched in July 2013; since then, there have been more than 98,000 downloads of the app.

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