First, the bad news: two rest areas on interstates in Missouri will close next week and remain that way until late fall.
Now for the good news: when they reopen they will be for truck parking only.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said in a statement it will permanently close the southbound Platte County Interstate 29 (Dearborn) and Clinton County Interstate 35 (Lathrop) rest areas next week as work begins to convert the facilities to commercial vehicle parking. The rest areas, including parking, will be closed to all motorists beginning the morning of Thursday, March 16.
As part of the project, the current rest area buildings will be removed, additional truck parking will be added and vault toilets will be installed. The $3.8 million project is expected to be finished by the end of October.
MoDOT estimates that up to 35% of the annual daily traffic on Missouri’s interstates are commercial vehicles. Of the 141 sites near an interstate in Missouri, 87 are at or above capacity at the peak hour between 2 and 3 a.m. An additional 23 are between 80-100% full.
“When truckers can’t find parking off the road, they resort to parking on the interstate access ramps and this creates a safety hazard,” said Marty Liles, MoDOT northwest district engineer. “By converting the rest areas to truck parking, we’re able to help meet the needs of commercial vehicles while decreasing the costs associated in the renovation and upkeep of traditional rest areas.”
MoDOT said it maintains seven welcome centers, 14 rest areas and 24 truck-only parking sites on seven interstates throughout Missouri.
For more information about the rest area projects and to sign up for project email updates visit www.modot.org/northwest-missouri-rest-area-modifications.