Connecticut governor's budget proposal could shut down state rest areas

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Friday, February 24, 2017

Truckers may have fewer options of where to stop for rest in Connecticut. If Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget proposal passes, seven rest areas along the interstates will be shut down to make room for the $20 billion 2017-18 budget.

According to the proposed budget, the state will save more than $500,000 by closing operations at the seven rest areas, including the elimination of 12 rest area attendant positions. Rest areas are located at Interstate 84 in Danbury (eastbound), Southington (eastbound), and West Willington (eastbound and westbound); Interstate 91 in Wallingford (southbound) and Middletown (northbound); and Interstate 95 in North Stonington (southbound).

If the budget goes through, closures will not affect the service plazas on Interstate 95, Interstate 395 and Route 15. Those are owned by the state but operated by a private company, according to a Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesperson.

It is not clear whether or not all functions of the rest areas will be closed. ConnDOT spokesperson Judd Everhart told Land Line that the proposal calls for the closure of the buildings. However, the fate of other aspects of the rest areas such as gates at the entrance, parking and port-o-lets is unknown and will not be known until after the governor has signed the budget.

Currently, the 12 attendants are for maintenance only and do not interact with the public, according to Everhart. Hours of service have been reduced to 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with around-the-clock truck and car parking.

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