Taylor Thornley 804-786-2211
Jeff Caldwell 804-786-2715
April 14, 2010
Governor McDonnell Announces Remaining Seven Rest Areas Opened One Day Ahead of April 15th Goal
– All 19 Previously Closed Rest Areas Now Open –
From the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell and The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) today officially reopened the final seven rest areas in various parts of the Commonwealth. McDonnell announced he would reopen all 19 rest areas closed last year due to funding cuts by April 15, noting the importance of reopening the closed facilities to tourism and economic development in the state.
"Rest areas allow a break for the tired motorists on our state's highways," McDonnell said. "The facilities also provide valuable access to tourists, businesses and commuters with information on the many sites and services the Commonwealth has to offer. In living up to our commitment to reopening the rest areas within the first 90 days of this administration, we are increasing safety and ensuring that everyone knows Virginia is open for business."
The facilities officially reopened today include:
- I-95 Ladysmith north and south rest areas at mile marker 107
- I-64 Goochland east rest area at mile marker 169
- I-64 Goochland west rest area at mile marker 168
- I-81 Troutville south rest area at mile marker 158
- I-85 Alberta north and south rest areas at mile marker 32
In January, the Commonwealth Transportation Board responded to Governor McDonnell's call to reopen 19 closed rest areas by reversing its June 2009 decision to reduce the number of VDOT rest areas and welcome centers from 42 to 23. Eighteen facilities closed in July 2009 and the final facility – the Interstate 66 West Manassas Welcome Center – closed in September. VDOT will soon announce its plan to offset or reduce the costs of operating the rest areas.
Four rest areas reopened in mid-February and eight more reopened in mid-March. The reopening of the final seven rest areas has restored all of Virginia's rest areas to full operations.
In preparation for rest area reopenings, VDOT crews have restored utilities, restocked traveler information centers, cleaned the facilities, installed vending machines and restored rest area grounds. Gates blocking motorists' entry to these seven rest areas were opened over the last week while VDOT crews completed final electrical, plumbing and facility testing. All work is now complete and the rest areas are officially open for business.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.