A public rest area on Interstate 55 North in Fruitland, Mo. is getting a $65,000 conversion into a trucks-only parking area, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
DeAnne Rickabaugh, project manager for MoDOT Motor Carrier Services, said an electrical fire caused extensive damage to a building at the facility, located at mile marker 108. The department looked at the area and determined the cost for potential rebuilding was impractical, and made the decision to convert the rest area into trucks-only parking because it was more cost effective.
Rickabaugh said the department has tried to keep the truck parking area open since the fire occurred, with only limited closures to allow for demolition equipment to arrive and begin work. Portable toilets are available for truck drivers’ use until permanent facilities are installed around Sept. 22.
Rickabaugh said the department actively looks for new ways to service truck drivers and create truck parking.
“We know what truckers face,” Rickabaugh said.
The now trucks-only rest area will include bathrooms as well as parking spaces for 12 trucks. While there are no immediate plans to increase the number of parking spaces available at the Fruitland Rest Area, Rickabaough said the department hopes to find funding to add additional spaces in the future.
“We hope to find funding to covert the area to more truck parking,” Rickabaugh said.
The estimated cost of the conversion, $65,000, will cover the demolition of the existing, fire-damaged building and the installation of the vault toilet facilities. The converted area is expected to open in September.