|For Immediate Release||Contact: Steve Kulm|
|January 29 2002||847/705-4079|
SCHAUMBURG, IL -- While the mountain slopes and sporting arenas of Salt Lake
City are playing host to Olympic athletes next month, the Illinois Department of
Transportation’s own world-class team will be in Utah working to keep a major
interstate highway free and clear of any disruptive traffic incidents.
A four-man team from IDOT’s Emergency Traffic Patrol (ETP)-commonly known as
the Minutemen-has been invited to assist the Utah Department of Transportation
in its traffic incident management efforts during the Winter Olympics.
ETP’s regular job is to help keep traffic moving on Chicago area expressways
by detecting disruptive problems and initiating quick clearance procedures to
restore normal traffic flow.
"Our Minutemen are regarded as being among the best in the world at doing
their job," said Bruce Dinkheller, IDOT’s Engineer of Operations in the Chicago
area. "We are honored that they have been invited to demonstrate to a worldwide
audience the significant skill they have in this field."
The IDOT team will be primarily responsible for patrolling and responding to
traffic incidents on and around a 20-mile section of I-80 between Salt Lake City
and Park City. The Minutemen are bringing with them one of their largest
wreckers, one equipped with a 50-ton capacity rotating boom. This piece of
equipment is designed to assist with accidents involving large trucks or buses.
ETP has nearly 60 drivers and maintains four heavy wreckers, 35 medium duty
emergency patrol vehicles and a variety of other equipment in the Chicago area.
"We are well equipped to handle any situation in the Chicago area while our
team is serving in Utah," said John G. Mitchell, ETP Manager.
IDOT also will provide training to Utah DOT personnel regarding strategies
for responding to major traffic incidents on major highways.
The Utah DOT is paying for virtually all of the cost associated with IDOT