Nebraska's Department of Roads (NDOR) and the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have teamed up to deploy a statewide 511 Traveler Information system to replace the toll-free weather and road condition system formerly operated by the Nebraska State Patrol. The new system operates 24 hours-a-day and is made available by dialing 511 from any cellular telephone or land-line in the state. The same 511 information is also available via the Internet from the NDOR or NSP websites. The system asks for the caller’s location, highway number, and direction of travel, and then provides the caller with an updated weather and road condition report for the next 60 miles ahead.
The system was funded at approximately $120,000 for first year cost with an estimated annual operations and maintenance (O&M) cost at $110,000. Funding for the new system will come from the Nebraska State Patrol funds allocated for the weather line and ITS grant funds from the U.S. DOT.
The backbone of the system utilizes an advanced traveler weather information system (ATWIS) that collects weather conditions on a network of 10 kilometer square grids throughout the state. Data sources include Doppler weather radar, the national lightning detection network, road sensor networks, agricultural weather networks, and reports from the state highway patrol (see figure below). ATWIS is the same system used in North and South Dakota and Minnesota. Future plans for the Nebraska system include data on road construction and detours, metropolitan traffic reports and warnings of crash and traffic congestion.
Click here for a diagram showing the data sources for the Nebraska 511 system. (HTML, 33 KB).
Nebraska Department of Roads and the Nebraska State Patrol presentation “Year Round Traveler Information Call 511, accessible from http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/nediv/511pr.htm
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