11/22/2010 9:15:00 AM
By Michele Fuetsch, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the Nov. 22 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
Truckers traveling on Interstate 90 across northern Ohio will find that two rest areas along the highway in the city of Mentor were closed this month.
When they reopen in the spring, though, both sites will be totally refurbished under a $16 million state construction program to upgrade 44 of the stateâ€™s oldest highway rest areas.
Ohio has 109 rest areas on its highway network.
The two closed Mentor rest areas, located in Lake County, are the east and westbound facilities situated between King Memorial Road and Morely Road.
With both sites closed, drivers traveling through the state from the west on I-90 will find the next nearest rest area along State Route 2 eastbound in Lorain County.
Those driving through Ohio from the east will find the next two nearest rest areas along I-90 westbound in Ashtabula County and on State Route 2 westbound in Lorain County.
In October, the state closed four rest areas for six months of renovation work. The four were on: U.S. Route 50 in Torch in Athens County; State Route 7 northbound in Kanauga in Gallia County; and both eastbound and westbound U.S. Route 33 in Hocking County.
So far, remodeling work has been completed at seven of the targeted rest areas, said David Rose, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation. The facilities reopen as work is completed.
The fully renovated rest area on U.S. 30 in Allen Country near Cairo recently reopened.
A total of 21 rest areas are currently closed and under construction, with work at the remaining 16 to begin sometime next year, Rose said.
The renovations will make the rest areas energy-efficient, ODOT said, and will include all new plumbing, electrical wiring, energy-efficient windows and doors, new concrete floors and new tile and bathroom fixtures.
New heating and air-conditioning systems and new roof coverings are being installed.
â€œEach day we are working to make ODOT a more environmentally conscious agency,â€� said Bonita Teeuwen, ODOT deputy director in charge of the Mentor area. â€œBy reducing energy usage in . . . existing rest areas, we are becoming a green leader in the nation,â€� she said in a written statement about the latest closings.
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