Truckers urged to comment on Kansas DOT's plan to close rest areas

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Friday, January 03, 2014

There’s still time to comment on the Kansas Department of Transportation’s plan to close critical rest areas, citing expensive maintenance costs as the reason for the proposed closures.

KDOT has already closed two rest areas near Junction City, Kan., which the agency says will save the state approximately $200,000 per year on maintenance costs. Those rest areas along Interstate 70 were closed in December 2013.

Now, two rest areas near Russell, Kan., are on the chopping block.

Truckers are urged to provide feedback/comments to KDOT engineers about the proposed closure of the two rest areas, which provide 20 truck parking spaces. Comments, due Jan. 15, 2014, should be emailed to Joe Finley, KDOT District Three Maintenance Engineer at finley@ksdot.org, or to KDOT Area Engineer Kevin Zimmer at KevinZ@ksdot.org.

Barb Blue with KDOT told Land Line on that “the parking will not remain open at the rest areas that are closed.”

KDOT cites increased water usage at the rest areas as the main reason for the proposed closures.

Kristen Brands, public affairs manager for KDOT, told Land Line recently that of the state’s 303 truck parking spaces at 33 sites, approximately 38 truck parking spaces will be lost if all four rest areas are closed.

Brands said the next rest area along I-70 to the west is WaKeeney, which is approximately 55 miles. The closest rest area to the east is about 37 miles east of Exit 184 along I-70.

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