Interstate highways across Northwestern Pennsylvania will be fitted with a wireless network of traffic cameras, dynamic message signs and highway advisory radio systems.

The Department of Transportation says the region's Intelligent Transportation System will mostly be funded by the federal government.

"ITS provides the tools PennDOT needs to keep motorists better informed of crashes, weather conditions, or other potential travel delays," said PennDOT District 1 executive Bill Petit. "The enhancements announced today will give motorists the information they need to modify travel plans if necessary."

Features of the new system will include traffic cameras, dynamic message signs and highway advisory radio systems on Interstates 90, 86, 80, 79 and 376 in Butler, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer and Venango counties.

Work will begin this spring. The completed system is expected to come on-line by mid-2012, with testing continuing into early 2013. Traffic will be maintained along all interstate highways during construction of the network, although motorists might encounter some delays while the work progresses.

The contractor is Bruce & Merrilees Electric Co., of New Castle, Lawrence County. The $7.3 million project will be funded with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds.