511 System In Illinois' Future?

Wondering whether there's a traffic jam ahead? Next year, you might be able to dial 511.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking a company to create a traveler information service accessible by phone. Twenty-four other states already have one.

The system would combine several toll-free numbers in operation now that give updates on traffic and foul weather on interstate highways, roads near Chicago and Saint Louis, and toll roads.

Officials hope to later add features that pinpoint problems for example, whether a concert or ball game is creating a traffic jam.

And the system could be tied to mass transit systems so travelers opt for a train or bus instead.

The system could cost one (m) million dollars annually to operate.