Facility helps meet federal requirements for safe rest areas for truckers
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that it will reopen the existing truck rest area along I-95 North, located between Exits 2 and 3. The rest area will provide additional safe parking for truck drivers, who must comply with federal regulations that limit the number of hours they can drive and establish minimum rest periods between shifts.
RIDOT???s maintenance forces are busy working at the facility, clearing excessive weeds and brush from the grounds, sweeping and restriping the parking lots, repairing guardrail and installing new signage. RIDOT expects to reopen the facility as a rest area by mid-September.
Reopening of the existing truck rest area was always envisioned when RIDOT sought federal TIGER grant funding for the new Rhode Island Travel Plaza and Transit Hub. With the awarding of $9 million in funding for the new Welcome Center, RIDOT is moving forward with that project.
???When we prepared our application for federal funds last fall, we looked at the existing truck rest area ??? closed for five years ??? as a perfect place to provide additional parking for truckers so they can remain fresh, alert and safe behind the wheel.???
The existing truck rest area closed in 2011, at roughly the same time new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service Regulations were being developed. These regulations not only limit the number of hours spent driving, but also mandate minimum rest periods between shifts.
Federal restrictions apply to the existing truck rest area, which prohibit certain travel amenities from being provided ??? services travelers expect and deserve at a modern travel plaza.