A fire in November 2014 destroyed the building at the Fruitland Rest Area on Interstate 55 in southeast Missouri, but rather than rebuild it as a rest area, the state DOT has converted the lot into truck-only parking spaces.
The Missouri Department of Transportation striped the lot for 15 truck parking spaces at the former rest area located at mile marker 110, which more than doubles what was available to trucks there before. The lot opened to trucks on Friday, Jan. 23. Temporary, portable restrooms are on-site until the vault restrooms are completed, MoDOT says.
The move made sense for cost-effective maintenance, MoDOT says, but it also makes sense because truckers need safe places to park their trucks and rest.
“Parking space for commercial vehicles is a nationwide concern,” MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Matt Seiler stated in a press release.
“Commercial vehicles comprise approximately 30 to 35 percent of the average daily traffic on our interstates. More parking will help commercial vehicle operators meet their U.S. DOT requirements to rest and will reduce the current, unsafe practice of parking on ramps,” he said.
MoDOT’s Southeast District has previously converted four facilities along I-55 into truck parking lots, the department says. Those are the dual facilities at Steele, the northbound Marston facility, and the southbound facility at Bloomsdale. MoDOT says all of those have vault restrooms onsite and that the Bloomsdale facility also houses a scale.
I-55 is a major trucking route linking Chicago and New Orleans via St. Louis, Memphis and Jackson.
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