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Starved Rock officials will review how they handle huge crowds

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2014

A man who has worked at Starved Rock State Park for over 30 years says he’s never seen a crowd like the one over Memorial Day weekend.

Assistant Park Superintendent Don Petre guesses over 80,000 people visited the park in Utica between Saturday and Monday. Petre says visitors came from all over. There was even a family from Poland.
While business was good, the number of people forced the south entrance of Starved Rock to close Sunday afternoon for about 40 minutes. Petre says this was done mainly for safety reasons so that ambulances and police still could get in the park.

Conservation Police Sgt. Hank Frazier says westbound Interstate 80 traffic trying to get into Utica was backed up for a mile at one point Sunday. He plans to talk with park officials and the Illinois Department of Transportation about how to better handle huge crowds in the future.

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