The Iowa Department of Transportation is adding some new travel reports to its current 5-1-1 system to help drivers make their way through what is one of the largest summer road construction programs in history. The D.O.T.’s Sinclair Stolle says the new feature is an upgrade to the “My Reports” information that has been in use in the last year.
“Now with this new feature, we’ve added alerts so you can get e-mails and or text alerts for any of your saved routes. So if you sign up and get an account, which is free, on our 5-1-1 page, you can save up to 20 different routes,” Stolle explains.
The 20 saved routes can be set up based on how you travel. You can set up the days you want alerts, the time of day and it will send you at the times you selected. “So it will tell you during those times if there are incidents happening along your save route,” Stolle says.
The alerts are designed to save you time. “That’s the great thing about this, is it’s personalized and it’s pushed information, so you don’t have to go to the website or call 5-1-1 to get the information that you need,” Stolle says. The alerts come from the D.O.T.’s traffic management center in Ames.
Stolle says the center gets all the information on construction, delays and crashes from various sources and the traffic management center then sends the alerts out to the 5-1-1 sources. She says there are almost 1,400 people signed up for the “My Reports” updates, and that includes 98 who have signed on just since the new feature was announced.
Facebook was also recently added as a part of the ongoing update of how the traffic information is sent out. To sign up for the alerts, go to: www.511ia.org. You can still get the information on the website, or by calling 5-1-1 in Iowa or 800-288-1047 nationwide.