DOT cuts hours at interstate rest areas

From the Hartford Courant:

The state Department of Transportation is cutting back hours at interstate rest areas in six communities.

Beginning Friday, Rest areas along I-84 in Willington and Southington, I-95 in North Stonington and I-91 in Middletown and Wallingford will be open and staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A rest area along I-84 in Danbury will be staffed 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The state said the move will save $2 million a year.

During off-hours, motorists can still pull over and park at the rest areas but the small buildings that contain restrooms, vending machines, maps and other information will be closed. A spokesman for the DOT said portable toilets would be available when the buildings were locked.

The rest areas are where motorists can pull off to stretch their legs — not the larger service plazas that remain open 24 hours a day.

The reduced hours at the rest areas come after a welcome center along I-95 in Westbrook was closed on July 27. Parking is not available at that site.

Previous attempts to permanently close the highway rest areas drew sharp rebukes from the trucking industry.

The story from the Hartford Courant is available online.