McDonnell Seeks To Lower Rest Stop Maintenance Costs
The McDonnell administration is targeting different strategies to reduce the costs of maintaining the Commonwealth’s highway rest stops. Craig Carper reports.
During last year's campaign, Governor McDonnell pledged to reopen Virginia’s previously-closed rest stops, a promise he kept shortly after taking office. Now his administration is trying to bring down the cost of maintaining those rest stops.
VDOT will be re-negotiating maintenance contracts for the rest areas in December, and looking for potential savings in the process. The Virginia Transportation Research Council is conducting a study to find new funding options allowed under state and federal law, as well as additional options if the federal code were amended.
Currently, federal law prohibits certain types of commerce within rest areas, including gas stations and restaurants. Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton says he believes there are still other revenue-generating options not banned by law, most notably advertising.
Connaughton: Tens of millions of people each year stop at our rest stops; when you look at the numbers and you look at the opportunities to actually touch people, there’s very few other ways to touch so many people so quickly.
Currently each of the state’s 41 rest stops costs approximately 500,000 dollars annually to maintain.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square