Iowa rest stops temporarily safe from demolition

| 3/17/2006

Truckers seeking a public rest stop in Iowa shouldn’t have any problems – at least for the next few years – following a recent decision by the state’s Department of Transportation.

On Tuesday, March 14, DOT officials voted unanimously to continue maintaining 40 rest areas located on highways across the state, according to the DOT’s Web site.

However, the board members also clarified that several highway projects, including the Interstate 35 interchange near Ankeny, IA, could permanently eliminate some of the stops after the construction is complete. However, new rest areas could be added in other locations if that happens, the Des Moines Register reported.

“As I travel about, I really admire places that have nice rest areas,” Iowa Transportation Commissioner Patricia Crawford told the Register. “It sets a really welcoming tone. So why should we start making exceptions?”

Truck parking in Iowa isn’t a huge problem, according to a 2002 study by the Federal Highway Administration. In the report, Iowa ranks 10th in the availability of public rest areas in the country, and ninth in overall truck parking, which also factors in parking at commercial truck stops.