Transportation planners for the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games acknowledged the outstanding cooperation and support the trucking industry showed by changing their schedules and routes to significantly reduce interstate truck traffic during the February games.
Statistics gathered during the games by ports of entry within and surrounding Utah revealed decreased truck traffic on Interstates 80 and 84. Truck traffic on I-80, a primary travel route to mountain Olympic venues, decreased significantly during the games with truck counts at Utah's Echo Westbound I-80 port decreased by more than 1,800 vehicles. At the Wendover East and Westbound I-80 port on the Utah-Nevada border, truck counts plummeted by more than 3,700 for the 17 days during the games.
Truck traffic on I-84, another important road leading to mountain Olympic venues, also dropped during the games. Truck counts at Utah's Perry North and Southbound I-15/84 port revealed a reduction of about 7,000 vehicles during the games.
Commercial motor vehicle travel times shifted during the games, allowing trucks to avoid peak Olympic spectator travel times. Under normal circumstances at the Echo I-80 port, an average of 1,500 trucks passed through per day during the day shift and 300 to 500 at night. During the games, port officials counted an average of 800 to 1,000 trucks per day during the day shifts and 500 to 800 at night.
Changes in routes and schedules weren't the only way the trucking industry contributed to the games' success. The timely delivery of goods by truck was essential to the success of the Winter Games.
"We recognize the fantastic contribution made by hundreds of trucking companies and drivers who heeded the pleas of Olympic transportation planners and showed their Olympic spirit during the games," said organizers. "Your contributions and sacrifices were integral to the successful transport of spectators, media and athletes who accomplished amazing feats. On behalf of all those who participated in the games as spectators and competitors, thank you for your support."