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Moving the American Economy - U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Contact: Brian C. Keeter
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 13-05

Federal Highway Administration Grant Helps Launch Florida 511 Service

Orlando, Fla. - Florida drivers can now call 511 for up-to-the minute updates on traffic jams, road construction, lane closures, severe weather and travel times on Interstates and major highways.

The Florida 511 service helps drivers better plan their trips and avoid unnecessary delays. The same traffic information, plus alternate travel routes, is available on the Internet at www.FL511.com. The new service was launched with the help of a $10 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

"By helping drivers steer clear of trouble, we're cutting the gridlock that frustrates our lives, wastes time and fuel, and stifles economic opportunity," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka.

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Denver Stutler today unveiled the 511 service as part of a new information technology system designed to cut congestion and improve safety on Florida highways. In addition to the 511 service for drivers, the new system helps Florida transportation officials better respond to changes in traffic conditions, accidents and other highway trouble spots.

The 511 system also will serve as an invaluable tool during hurricane season when the most current highway information is especially crucial, according to Capka.

Capka noted that surface transportation legislation signed by President Bush in August will help Florida and other states improve their highway systems and reduce traffic problems. The legislation invests a record amount in new highway, transit and safety programs and promotes innovative technologies, such as 511 service and enhanced traffic signal timing, that improve travel times for drivers.

A new FHWA report also helps states adapt traffic-fighting solutions to local road conditions. The report shows that accidents, construction zones, bad weather, special events and poor signal timing cause about 60 percent of highway delays. It is available on the Internet at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/congestion_report/index.htm.

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