Sunday, September 16, 2001

Rest stops to close on I-75

Facility on way to Dayton adds parking

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONROE — The only rest areas on Interstate 75 between Cincinnati and Dayton will be closed for more than four months while parking is expanded, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

        “These are the most heavily used rest areas in Ohio,” ODOT spokeswoman Kim Patton said, and are among the 13 that have traveler information centers.

        Northbound motorists used to stopping at the rest areas near Exit 29 (Ohio 63) now will have to wait about 50 miles for a stop near Piqua, and southbound drivers' next rest area is in Kentucky.

        The Butler County rest areas have only about 10 spaces each for tractor-trailers, Ms. Patton said. The $1.7 million project will double that and also add car spaces.

        Work is expected to be finished in late January, according to ODOT. The agency also is planning new welcome centers at the rest areas in the spring, Ms. Patton said, but those plans are not final.

        “At least they're shutting down at a good time, if there is a good time,” said Margaret Drexel, marketing director for the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

        The bureau uses the rest areas' visitor centers to distribute information about attractions in neighboring Warren County such as Paramount's Kings Island, The Beach and antiques shops.

        The project is part of an effort to refurbish the 148 rest areas in Ohio.

        It's also a safety issue, Ms. Patton said, because the truck spaces are often full, so truckers park along the exit ramp. And I-75 traffic is only going to increase: About 78,000 vehicles pass the rest areas daily in each direction, and ODOT predicts that will grow to 110,000 by 2020.


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