Canada
New 511 service updates Alberta's road conditions

Credits: Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI

DAVE DORMER | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY – Alberta's newly launched 511 service is aiming to put drivers on the road to safer travel.

Unveiled by Transportation Minister Ric McIver on Monday, the program offers real-time road reports, 24-hours-a-day online and by phone.

"You'll be able to see what shape the highways are in before you travel and you'll be able to pick an alternate route in case of construction or a collision," McIver said.

The website, www.511.alberta.ca, allows motorists to click on more than 100 traffic cameras -- with most showing multiple angles -- set up around the province, which are updated every 20 minutes.

An interactive map also gives updates on road conditions and the locations of construction projects or crashes that are causing delays.

Twitter updates will also be sent out from @511Alberta.

"We do everything we can to keep the roads clear and safe but we need to remind everybody that we live in Alberta," said McIver.

"That means the bare and dry road that you left with this morning can be something other than bare and dry shortly after you're on the way.

"We get wind, snow, storms and every once in a while a tornado, it's Alberta and that's why having updates and current information for people travelling is a benefit we think they'll appreciate."

Cost of the project was $314,000 -- split between the provincial and federal governments, while the estimated $410,000 annual operating cost will be paid by the province.

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