'Know Before You Go' to Utah during the Olympic Winter Games in February

Rene Tankersley | 1/3/2002

Truckers can expect delays and detours while traveling through Utah during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in February, but the Utah Department of Transportation has provided all the information drivers will need to navigate Utah during this busy month.

"We need the trucking companies and their drivers to use the available information about suggested routes and travel times when traveling through Utah," says John Njord, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). "With the help of truckers taking alternate routes and adjusting their travel schedules, Utah's roadway system can run smoothly and safely."

One major concern of UDOT is the Interstate 80 corridor through Parley's Canyon. This is where truckers will experience major traffic congestion from Feb. 8-24 with the heaviest traffic expected Feb. 9-12, 14 and 21. If at all possible, UDOT advises long-haul truckers to completely avoid northern Utah during the Olympics by using I-70 for interstate travel. Truckers also can use I-84 as an alternate route. If you absolutely must travel the I-80 corridor, adjust your schedule to travel eastbound in the afternoons and westbound in the mornings. If you do not travel during the recommended times, it may take you three or four times the normal amount of time to travel through this area.

"Our goal is to reduce normal traffic during the Olympic Games by 20 percent," says Njord. "If truckers don't do their part in helping with this reduction, it is likely that motorists, including truckdrivers, will experience the worst congestion and gridlock ever on Utah's highways."

UDOT's "Know Before You Go" program provides motorists and truckers with information necessary to get around during the Olympics. There are several transportation information resources available highlighting detailed information about road closures and restrictions, along with suggested routes and travel times.

"The Official Olympic Transportation Guide" contains maps and information crucial to travel during the Olympics. These guides are available at all of Utah's Port of Entry stations. If you'd like a large quantity of the guides, contact UDOT at (801) 965-4000. If you're on the Internet, you also can access the guide's information, maps and more at www.utahcommuterlink.com. At the web site, you'll get up-to-the minute road information, you can download maps and sign up for e-mail alerts notifying you of specific traffic, road and weather conditions.

Additionally, you can dial 511 to hear the latest traffic updates, current road conditions and weather information. From an out-of-state cell phone, you can call the toll-free traveler information line by dialing 1-866-511-UTAH. Flyers also are available at Utah's Port of Entry stations providing even more detailed information and maps specifically for motor carriers and truckdrivers.