Two rest areas saved, but residency office still on cutting board
Two Central Shenandoah Valley rest areas have escaped the Virginia Department of Transportation chopping block as the transportation department finalizes its recommendations for budget cuts to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
The rest areas at Fairfield on southbound Interstate 81 and New Market on northbound I-81 had been slated for closure in an earlier round of recommendations to trim $12 million by closing 25 of the Commonwealth’s 42 interstate rest areas. Those two and two others on the I-81 corridor – at Radford and Ironto – were taken off the closure list.
“We resoundingly heard citizens’ recognition that VDOT provides vital services to all motorists, and that citizens recognize our difficult financial situation,” said VDOT Commissioner David S. Ekern. “We considered thousands of public suggestions as we finalized our recommendations. This resulted in some changes which allow us to reach our financial targets while meeting our customers’ most critical needs.”
The closures still on the books, including both the stops in the Mount Sidney area on the I-81 corridor, would provide an estimated $9 million in savings, according to a news release from VDOT issued today.
Snow removal activities will not be impacted by any of these recommended reductions, the transportation department reported, and a total of 55 VDOT facilities, including the Verona Residency Office, are slated for closure under the plan.
– Story by Chris Graham