The Indiana Department of Transportation has confirmed plans to close the Nancy Hanks Rest Area along Interstate 64 near Dale.
The state transportation department says the shutdown of the east and westbound rest areas is due to cost efficiency based on the amount of traffic the rest area sees, and needed repairs on the thirty-year old buildings. They say crime is also an issue.
INDOT Southwest Communication Director Jason Tiller says there is a very large investment involved and that the usage just does not justify the amount of money the state has to put into it.
He says in fact, that amount would be in the millions.
Tiller says to keep these facilities up and running, you’re looking at a significant investment of probably a million dollars per facility. So for the two facilities there, two million dollars.
Tiller says that includes annual operating costs, all the maintenance that has to be done, contractors etc.
Tiller says there is no set timeline for the closures, but it will be in the immediate future.
While the shutdowns could potentially save taxpayers money, it could complicate commutes for truckers that deliver throughout the I-64 route.
While INDOT estimates that only around eight percent of traffic on I-64 stops at the Nancy Hanks Rest Area, many of those drivers are truckers who use it to take mandatory breaks.
Indiana Motor Truck Association’s president Gary Langston says Indiana already has a truck parking shortage, so any reduction in capacity is a concern.