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Before you hit the road, check the conditions.

by Lorien Nettleton ~ January 12th, 2012

The latest round of winter weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service have once again put motorists on alert about hazardous driving conditions. The Alaska Department of Transportation has closed the Seward Highway at Turnagain Arm, and travelers in Alaska’s South Central highway corridors are encouraged to check the DOT’s road conditions sites before traveling.

Travelers have a number of ways to get updates on road conditions, including over the phone by dialing 511, online at 511-dot-alaska-dot-gov, and they now post updates on twitter and facebook as well.

The DOT also unveiled weather cameras at many points along the Parks and Glenn highways in November of last year. Now travelers can check road conditions before they hit the road, using a network of weather stations and highway cameras that put road conditions and weather images at travelers’ fingertips.

The Alaska DOT has completed installing the Road Weather Information System, a network of sites that relay road condition and weather information from different points along every highway in the state. A traveler Headed from Anchorage to Valdez, or from Fairbanks to Talkeetna can see temperature, precipitation, winds, and road conditions from several points along the route. The stations also update weather cam real-time images of the highways.

Weather information sites are along the length of the Parks Highway, including sites near Houston, at the junction of the Talkeetna Spur road, Little Coal Creek and Broad Pass. On the Glenn Highway, sites are located at Gunsight Mountain and at Mile 176 near Glenallen, and on the Richardson highway, three stations in the Thompson Pass area alone, with more sites on the north side of the Alaska Range.

The weather information is available from DOT’s  website at 511.alaska.gov, as well as on DOT’s Facebook page. Traveler information is also available over the phone by dialing five one one.

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