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Maryland launching 3-digit phone line for traffic news

Motorists in Maryland can now receive up-to-the-minute traffic information through a new phone system.

Beginning Thursday, drivers can dial “511” to get the latest on traffic-related news, such as traffic jams, lane-closing roadwork and weather-related delays. Maryland State Highway Administration spokeswoman Valerie Burnette Edgar says callers also can choose to receive information about the Baltimore and Washington transit systems and flight information from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

At first, most of the road information offered will be limited to the state highway system and the Maryland Transportation Authority’s toll facilities. Burnette Edgar says information on county roads will be added later.

The system is being operated by Rockville-based Telvent under a $4.7 million, five-year contract with the highway agency.