Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reporter's Digital How-To Scouting out Road Delays

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reporter's Digital How-To Scouting out Road Delays

Article excerpt

Famed map maker is your guide at

Road construction Can play havoc with newspaper readers and reporters alike. Consider:

* When you send your reporter and photographer on a four-hour trip into the boonies halfway across the state, it certainly would be nice to be able to warn them that a key bridge on their journey is closed for repairs.

* Readers using your story for directions to the regional basketball tournament in a distant state would appreciate a heads-up about the traffic snarl they are likely to encounter on the interstate, so they could at least exit beforehand for a lunch and restroom break.

* Holiday travelers coming into your region - most of them friends and relatives of your readers - will be singing your praises if you can suggest time-saving shortcuts around construction projects on major local arteries.

* Your travel writers can avoid complaints about their stories on business and pleasure trip ideas through a little advance research with transportation departments in the various states they write about.

Fortunately a new "Road Construction" feature added to the online site of famed map maker Rand McNally & Co. can alert you to possible delays on road trips anywhere in North America. Search by state and type of road, from interstate highways to state routes.

You can also specify dates of travel. The database, which is updated monthly, returns construction reports with start dates and estimated completion dates.

At the Rand MeNally site, click on the Road Construction link displayed on the left side of the introductory page. In the resulting form, click the down arrow at the right of the first field and select a state or province from the drop-down menu. You may then select a road type, either U.S. routes, state roads or interstates or click the 'All Roads button.

Optionally, you may also enter a road number in a provided data field. And you can enter date parameters in From:' and "To:" fields.

After you have made your selections. click on the "Submit Search" button. The site then displays a table matching your search criteria, listing each highway the location (a town name like "Piketon" or a direction. …

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