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April 8, 2008
I-81 VIRGINIA WELCOME CENTER AT CLEAR BROOK BOASTS SPACE AND ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES
WINCHESTER – The new Interstate 81 Virginia Welcome Center at Clear Brook and the Virginia Department of Transportation Safety Rest Area offers spacious facilities for travelers and the local community and is an environmental and energy efficient building.
The welcome center and safety rest area is the latest of three such Virginia facilities to be constructed and opened to the public. The first facility is located along Interstate 64 westbound lanes in New Kent. The second building is along Interstate 95 South near Fredericksburg. Each of the three meets the standards of the Virginia Green initiative.
Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner David Ekern said, “This new facility is not only a statement of welcome to all travelers entering the commonwealth, it is a statement reflecting Virginia’s long love of natural beauty, hospitality and environmental stewardship.”
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The Clear Brook facility is over 15,000 square feet and contains display areas, an education room and offices for the Virginia Tourism Corporation. The VTC manages welcome center operations in all of Virginia’s welcome centers. The building also houses full rest area amenities, including restrooms, vending machines, landscaped sidewalks and picnic areas and separate car and truck parking. Informational kiosks are available for travelers to use. The structure is also fully handicap accessible.
“A facility such as this gives us the best opportunity to serve people,” said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Visitors can come in and create their own itineraries, get travel information, talk with our travel counselors and be entertained in the process. Virginia’s Welcome Centers are key to our mission of getting visitors to stay longer in Virginia and spend more money in our state.
The building is constructed to meet United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Brochure (PDF, 870 KB)
The construction methods included:
- Saving taxpayer dollars by reducing construction debris and reusing portions of the old demolished Welcome Center building.
Installing efficient plumbing fixtures that save over 688,000 gallons of water per year.
Utilizing long-lasting , durable recycled glass terrazzo flooring in the main areas.
Installing a geothermal heat pump system to condition the building, saving over $9,500 in taxpayer dollars per year.
- Utilizing over 50 percent regionally sourced materials, which reduces pollution from transportation and helps support the local economy.
The construction of the Clear Brook facility is part of a $20 million General Assembly special appropriation, which provided for improvements to 11 Virginia safety rest areas and three welcome centers. Construction was done by Charles Ricketts Construction Co. of Winchester.
For more information about Virginia’s safety rest areas and welcome centers, go to VirginiaDOT.org and click on the Travel Center page.
To learn more about travel in Virginia, visit www.Virginia.org
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.