OOIDA members went to the mat to keep all of the rest areas open in Virginia, but financial concerns seem to outweigh truckers’ safety concerns. The Commonwealth Transportation Board voted to close 19 rest areas at its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 18.
The CTB estimates this will save the cash-strapped Virginia Department of Transportation an approximately $9 million annually. Originally, 25 rest areas were on the chopping block, but the CTB voted to save six of them, including two truck-only facilities in Dale City.
There was a piece of good news that came out of the CTB meeting. The board voted to eliminate the two-hour rule, which will make it possible for truckers to take their 10-hour breaks at the remaining rest areas in Virginia.
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Pierce R. Homer stated in a release that the “commonwealth is facing a crisis in transportation funding” and that the drastic reductions “reflect our ongoing challenge to meet federal obligations and state maintenance needs while experiencing drastic declines in state and federal revenues.
VDOT officials said details about the rest area closures will be released in late June.
– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer