511 Wisconsin system upgraded, new app available

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MADISON, Wis,. (WMTV) -- An upgraded 511 Wisconsin Traveler Information System is ready to serve motorists throughout the state.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation unveiled a new 511 Wisconsin mobile app as well as upgrades to its website and phone system on Thursday.

The app can give users audible alerts on incidents and closures as they occur on driving routes.It's available for Apple and Android devices.

“511 helps people driving in Wisconsin choose the safest and easiest routes to their destinations,” said WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson.

WisDOT officials say the upgraded 511 system fully integrates the website, the phone system and the new app.

A section called "My Routes" allows users to map out their route between two destinations, and it can reveal if there is roadwork or closures along the way.

"Once a user has set up the ‘My Routes’ feature in their account, it doesn’t matter if they are on the web, in the app or calling 511, the user can receive personalized information for their chosen routes,”explained Jon Riemann, communication manager at the WisDOT Traffic Management Center.

Website upgrades include user-selectable layers for information including incidents, project closures, camera images, weather radar and the introduction of crowd-sourced data from Waze.

“All of the features previously available are still there,” Riemann added. “We didn’t take anything away.”

511 Wisconsin was first launched in 2009 with an automated phone system and website. In 2015, the first mobile app was released.