New 730 Area Code Coming to Southern Illinois
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A new area code is coming to southern Illinois.  The Illinois Commerce Commission announced the new 730 area code will overlay the existing 618 area code.  The first prefix in the new area code will not be introduced until after July 7th of next year.  The 618 area code covers all or parts of 37 counties in Illinois, including Alton, Belleville, Cairo, Carbondale, Centralia, East St. Louis, Edwardsville and Marion.  It is one of the original, eighty-six area codes in the United States, assigned by Bell Laboratories in 1947.