Comment period ends March 4 on MoDOT truck parking plan

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 3/1/2011

So far, MoDOT has received hundreds of comments about their proposal to raze two aging rest areas located at mile marker 110 near Fruitland on Interstate 55 and turn them into truck-only sites. The comment period ends on Friday, March 4.

Joe Rajkovacz, regulatory affairs director for OOIDA, said MoDOT should be commended for its commitment to maintaining and adding truck parking options.

?At a time when some states are simply closing their rest areas because of costs, MoDOT is attempting to find compromises to accommodate truckers passing through the state,? Rajkovacz said.  

Many of the comments MoDOT has received so far have been from truckers and OOIDA members, according to Nicole S. Thieret, community relations manager for District 10.

?Many of those in support of this project recognize and understand the limited number of current parking spaces available for commercial vehicles today,? Thieret told Land Line on Tuesday, March 1.

DeAnne Rickabaugh, a MoDOT spokesperson, said recently that under MoDOT?s new plan each location would be able to accommodate approximately 30 trucks. That is up from about 15 trucks the sites currently can hold.  

?For about five years now, we?ve had a department-wide report that identifies areas we need to keep an eye on, and one of our measures has to do with truck parking,? Rickabaugh told Land Line. ?Whenever we are building new sites, we are adding truck parking, or we are trying to save the parking even when we can?t save the buildings.?

MoDOT?s Thieret added that those still wanting to comment on the project can also send messages via Facebook, Twitter or by calling MoDOT?s customer support center at 888-275-6636.

?As we continue to talk to individuals about this project, many support providing extra parking because they understand the positive economic impacts commercial vehicle drivers have throughout the country,? she said.