More truck parking called for at Connecticut rest areas

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A Connecticut study recommends rebuilding all state highway service plazas and rest areas and constructing new stops and welcome centers to create more truck parking, the Stamford Advocate reported today, July 10. State Department of Transportation officials are planning a series of public hearings during the next two months.

After spending more than two years on the $1.8 million study, the agency concluded it must upgrade service plazas and rest areas, DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick told the Advocate. Under federal regulations, the state cannot build more full-service plazas, but concessions can be upgraded and truck parking can be added, Nursick told the newspaper.

According to the study, which can be viewed by clicking here, the state will be short 1,760 truck parking spaces by 2025. The study recommends adding about 1,060 spaces and creating partnerships to encourage private companies to build truck stops, Nursick told the Advocate.

Trucking industry advocates say the recommendations are a good start. “Some of these proposals can be done easily,” Michael Riley, president of the Connecticut Motor Transport Association, told the Advocate.

State Sen. William Nickerson, R-Greenwich, a critic of the state policy that allows truckers to park overnight in breakdown lanes, told the Advocate he hopes the recommendations are a remedy. “The state has not provided adequate truck parking,” Nickerson told the newspaper. “The breakdown lanes were intended for breakdowns and to provide access to emergency vehicles.”