Texas Rest Stops Get A Facelift - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/24/02

Texas Rest Stops Get A Facelift

If you are looking to make a pit stop, road travelers know you don't have to look far. Just look for Rest Area signs along side the road. But even though rest stops can be a driver's saving grace, some drivers chose to drive on by Texas rest stops. "For the most part, we never stop in them because they're not very good looking and they're kinda run down. That's why we don't stop at them. We stop at gas stations," says one traveler from Arizona. "Compared to other states that we have traveled through in the last few years, Texas rest stops are not as good as any of them, probably the lowest of the few," says another traveler from South Dakota.

Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Penny Mason says for the next couple of years, most Texas rest stops will be getting a facelift. It's part of a $52 million capitol improvement project. "I would say we have a lot of work in Texas to do on our rest stops," says Mason.

TX-DOT has located 96 rest stops in Texas, but will only renovate 67 stops. One of those can be found just south of Plainview on Interstate 27. Which is a nice rest stop already, according to a California man who has been driving for three days. "Several places we've stopped (along the way)they haven't been cleaned for weeks, but these (I-27 rest stops) have been nice so far," he says.

Mason says it will be a first class stop for drivers to use. The rest stop on I-27 will have air conditioning and heating, additional restrooms, larger parking areas, a DPS office, and an information booth with traveling brochures. A total cost for the north and south I-27 rest stop: $5.8 million of federal money.

Mason says that TX-DOT is improving the look to attract more drivers to use them. "It's really a safety issue, so they'll want to stop and take a break and be better drivers," Mason says. Texas will also build almost 30 new rest stops, but only along state highways and interstates. But Mason says new ones will not be built in the Lubbock region. The I-27 rest stop will be complete next February.

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