By Terry Scruton
In response to a growing demand for truck parking, the Maine Department of Transportation is considering adding more rest stops along the state's interstate highway system.
Initially, the department plans to build at least one new rest stop in Kittery, near the southern end of Interstate 95, the Maine Turnpike. As of press time, however, the department was silent on the details.
However, the Kennebec Journal reported that preliminary planning has begun for a rest stop near the intersection of I-95 and Interstate 295. While the department has not yet released any information about the size of the rest stop, one official told the Journal that it would likely be a joint project between MaineDOT and the Maine Turnpike Authority.
According to a study conducted by the DOT, the state has a total of 183 parking spaces for trucks.
As many as 7 million trucks travel through the state each year.
The study estimated that the state needs more than 600 parking spaces to adequately meet demand.
Several years ago, the DOT started the Commercial Vehicle Service Plan, a program designed to determine how much parking is needed for trucks and to find solutions to best meet those needs.
The plan calls for updating existing rest areas to better meet the needs of truckers, including adding services such as vending and food where needed, and increasing lighting and security where needed.
The plan also calls for the development of new rest areas with truck parking and the addition of truck parking spaces to existing rest areas.