SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — It’s imperative truckers “Know Before They Go” to northern Utah during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games or they may face travel times quadruple the norm.
Organizers admit truck drivers and transport traffic is necessary to keep local businesses thriving, but the Games will certainly make their job a bit more challenging.
“This is an exciting time for our country as Utah prepares to welcome the world to the Games,” says John Njord, executive director for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). “But an event of this magnitude will undoubtedly impact transportation in general and specifically the long-haul trucking industry.”
To make sure the transportation system works effectively and efficiently, UDOT is aiming to reduce normal traffic by 20 per cent. Long-haul truckers can help by making a travel ‘Game Plan” when driving through Utah during the Games.
With the Olympics set to kick off in just 11 days — running from Feb. 8-24 — an estimated 174,000 daily spectators traveling to the 10 competition venues spread throughout northern Utah.
To help truckers save time and money, UDOT provides the following travel recommendations for Feb. 8-24, 2002: * In general, avoid high-impact interchanges from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. (I-84 and US-89; I-215 and 3500 South; I-215 and SR-201, SR-201 and Redwood Road; I-80 and I-215; I-80 and SR-224; and I-80 and US-40). * If possible, avoid traveling east or west through northern Utah on I-80 by using I-70 through central Utah. * If you must drive through northern Utah during the Games, avoid I-80 between Salt Lake City and Park City by using I-84 to the north, but expect increased east-west congestion on I-84 four hours prior to and three hours after Snowbasin events (Feb. 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17). * If you must use I-80, travel westbound on I-80 from 4 p.m. to noon and eastbound from noon to 4 a.m. * If possible, avoid travel on US-89 between I-84 and I-15 near Ogden.
“We would like to thank the trucking industry in advance for helping to make the transportation system work,” says Njord. “With a little advanced planning, Utah hopes to host the best Games ever.”
Olympic event schedules, as well as details on road restrictions and anticipated congestion, are available at www.utahcommuterlink.com. Utah’s free 511 travel information hotline also offers Olympic travel route information and road condition reports (dial 511 in Utah or 866-511-UTAH from outside the state).
Utah’s Port of Entry officials can also provide truckers with the “Know Before You Go” flyers (created specifically for truckers) and a copy of the official Olympic Transportation Guide. The state’s Electronic Messaging Signs (EMS) will also provide critical transportation information and updates during the Games.
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