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Freeway cameras keep your eyes on the drive

The Miriror

Smile, drivers, you’ve got candid cameras working for you.

Traffic engineers for the state Department of Transportation planned to turn on three new freeway traffic cameras in Federal Way by today. The electronic eyes, tied into DOT’s traffic-monitoring Web site, will focus on traffic between the Interstate5-State Route 18 interchange and the King County-Pierce County line.

The cameras and their window on traffic are “very popular” with motoristts, especially commuters, said Vinh Dang, freeway operations manager. “They allow drivers to see real-time traffic conditions and make informed decisions about their trip” before starting out.

With the addition of the new Federal Way cameras, the traffic-watching system has more than 120 freeway cameras between the greater Seattle-Tacoma area and the Canada border, officials said.

New pages DOT launched in September include travel information for Seattle-area driving at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle and for the Tacoma area at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/tacoma .

To prepare for bringing the trio of Federal Way cameras on line, DOT engineers spent last weekend upgrading camera systems and replacing 15-year-old wiring throughout south King County. The work put freeway cameras on several key routes out of service between 6 a.m. Saturday and late Sunday, including I-5 between Interstate 90 and the King/Pierce county line and State Route 167.

Ramp meters, electronic freeway signs and highway advisory radio message

stations will operate with the exception of I-5 between I-90 and the

Michigan St. exit. The traffic cameras will be back on and working for the

Monday morning commute.

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