Virginia rest stop building presses ahead

| 12/18/2002

Despite budget cuts and layoffs of state workers, the Virginia Transportation Department is moving forward with construction of a $7.1 million rest stop on I-64, a state transportation official said recently. The new facility will boast 70 truck spaces.

The 11,000-square-foot facility at mile marker 213 eastbound in New Kent County is scheduled for completion in September, Cyndi Ward, director of special operations sections for maintenance at VDOT, said.

The new facility will feature improved restroom facilities, an indoor vending area with tables, space for a State Police field office, fiber-optic cable, a computer room and an enclosed lobby containing travel information. The grounds will be landscaped to include picnic and pet areas.

Ward said the New Kent center survived the budget-cutters' ax because it was one of Virginia's busiest, handling more visitors than the westbound station across the highway, and the only state rest area for travelers exiting from I-295 onto I-64 east.

Transportation officials had also planned to raze and rebuild the westbound rest area, but that was before VDOT's six-year plan underwent a facelift. The more modest, 2,300-square-foot westbound station reopened in September.

--By Keith Goble, staff writer