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Four rest areas along I-81 reopen in Virginia
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 00:00

As promised, four rest areas and the critical parking these sites provide for truckers officially reopened in Virginia on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

The reopened facilities include:

  • I-81 North Rural Retreat, mile marker 61;
  • I-81 South Smyth (Atkins), mile marker 53;
  • I-81 South New Market, mile marker 262; and
  • I-81 North Radford, mile marker 108.

Another 15 rest areas are scheduled to reopen in the state by mid-April.

The 19 rest areas were originally shuttered by former Gov. Tim Kaine, who closed the sites in an effort to save $9 million from an expected $4.6 billion revenue shortfall in the state’s transportation budget over a six-year period.

Virginia’s new governor, Robert F. McDonnell, vowed that if elected he would reopen the shuttered rest areas within 90 days of taking office. He announced plans to reopen the 19 sites just four days after he was sworn in as governor.

Jeff Caldwell, chief of communications for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Land Line on Tuesday, Feb. 16, that “everything is on track” to reopen the 19 sites.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told Land Line recently that this is great news for truckers and motorists traveling through the state of Virginia.

“Obviously, Gov. McDonnell has recognized the importance of reopening these rest areas,” Spencer said. “This is absolutely great news and shows the new governor is committed to promoting highway safety.”

Land Line Magazine, 2/17/2010