New York closes 6 rest areas

This month, New York closed the last four of the six rest stops slated for temporary closure to cope with budget cuts, despite outcry from truckers.

The state rest areas of Lewis (southbound) and Schroon Lake (northbound) on Interstate 87 and Worcester (eastbound)  and Wells Bridge (westbound) on I-88 closed Dec. 2. Last month, Brewerton/Hastings on I-81 (southbound) and Schodack on I-90 (westbound) closed.

Kendra Adams, executive director of the New York State Motor Truck Association, said the association, New York assembly members and other trucking representatives met with the state Department of Transportation before the closings. But $500,000 will be saved in maintenance this fiscal year alone with the closings.

They asked the DOT to put closed signs a few miles ahead of the closed locations and expressed concern there was no assurance the DOT would reopen the locations in 18 months as planned, Adams said.

Among those who met with state representatives was Hope Rivenburg. Last year, her trucker husband Jason Rivenburg was murdered after parking at an abandoned South Carolina gas station.

Last year, Congress introduced “Jason’s Law” bills to provide more safe truck parking in the National Highway System.  H.R.2156 was referred to committee with 45 co-sponsors and S.971 was referred to committee with one co-sponsor.

The department selected the rest areas to close based on age, condition, size and proximity to other state rest areas and commercial comfort facilities. The locations’ compliance with the American with Disabilities Act also was also considered.

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