Iowa DOT warns truckers about winter closure of parking-only rest area

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 10/29/2013

Citing a steep incline, the Iowa Department of Transportation has made the decision to close a parking-only rest area that is mainly used by truckers in Warren County, Iowa, for the winter.

The rest area, which is located at mile post 51 on southbound Interstate 35, will be closed starting Nov. 4. The site is expected to reopen in late March 2014.

According to the Iowa DOT release, the parking-only rest area is mainly used by commercial motor carriers.

Steve McMenamin, rest area administrator for Iowa DOT, told Land Line on Monday, Oct. 28, that there are no designated parking spaces at this site.

“Assuming everyone plays nice you might get five to eight trucks in there,” he said.

He added that the undeveloped rest area that’s closing for the winter is about 20 minutes south of Des Moines, Iowa, and about 20 minutes north of the nearest rest area.

“Because the ramp from the rest area to I-35 is on an incline, large vehicles often have trouble getting traction to merge onto I-35 during winter weather, causing a dangerous situation on the roadway,” according to Steve McMenamin, rest area administrator for Iowa DOT.

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