Moving 2,500 Special Olympics athletes, coaches, family, friends and spectators around the Treasure Valley and state for a week takes a monumental effort.
“It takes planning, coordination and communication among involved agencies,” says District 3 Assistant Engineer, Dave Kuisti. Partners, according to Kuisti, include:
Representatives from those groups met several times since early last summer to identify the best travel routes for the Olympic athletes and to enhance communication during the event to ensure the safety of participants, their families and volunteers.
It is a massive task that will utilize more than 100 buses traveling between eight venues, from the Idaho-Utah border near Snowville, Utah, to Sun Valley, Twin Falls, Boise, Nampa and McCall. Participants will cover a distance of approximately 700 miles.
Some of the athletes will arrive by plane in Salt Lake City and will be accompanied to the Idaho border by Utah law enforcement officers. Participants will be met at the Idaho border by ITD personnel for safe travel through the southern and central parts of the state.
“If necessary, snowplows and maintenance equipment will accompany the buses carrying those directly involved with the Special Olympics to and from the different venues safely and quickly,” Kuisti said. “We’ll make sure there are no hazards in the road.”
This effort also involves creating special venue signs for the event, coordinating routes and making ensuring a minimal number of travel delays that could adversely affect the events, he said.