Most Mississippians know that you call 911 to report an emergency and 411 to look up a phone number. Soon, residents and visitors will be able to call 511 to find road and travel conditions.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted Tuesday to assign the 511 telephone number to the state Transportation Department to use as a travel information line.
Clearing that hurdle means transportation officials can give the go-ahead to their contractor to start building the phone system. It could begin taking calls early next year, said the Transportation Department's David Thornton. Today, 38 states operate 511 systems.
British-based engineering firm Atkins has a $1.13 million contract to set up Mississippi's system and run it for 30 months, according to a contract filed with the PSC.