The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced that food trucks will be permitted to set up in several rest areas along Connecticut highways, with the goal of feeding hungry truckers and other essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The directive comes in the wake of recently suspended enforcement of federal prohibitions against the commercialization of rest areas nationwide, to free states to provide additional necessities.
“These truck drivers are keeping Connecticut moving and are providing critical necessities to and through our state during this national crisis. We need to make it as easy as possible to keep them fed around the clock,” said CTDOT Commissioner Joseph J. Giulietti. “I am hoping that the Governor’s Executive Order will go a long way toward easing any limitations facing these drivers who are such a critical part of Connecticut’s economy, recovery, and most importantly our response system during these difficult times.”
The Governor reiterated his directive that everyone “Stay Safe and Stay Home,” and to restrict themselves to essential travel only. Truck drivers, he said, have no choice but to be out on the road making critical deliveries and pick-ups.
Under the Executive Order, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) will open four rest area locations for food truck operations, which includes the rest area on I-84 in Danbury, on I-91 in Middletown and Wallingford, and on I-95 in North Stonington.
“If drivers can’t eat, they can’t do their job of transporting supplies in direct response to the public health emergency,” said Joe Sculley, President of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut. “This is a great development, and we thank the Connecticut Department of Transportation for making the decision to allow food trucks to operate at these rest areas.”
CTDOT maintains seven rest areas on Interstates 84, 91 and 95, which are open 24-7, year around offering food and beverage vending machines and restrooms, but no other travel services. Rest areas are distinct from the Service Plazas on I-95, 395 and Route 15, which have fuel, food, and other amenities.
Food truck operators interested in participating must obtain a permit from the CTDOT, which requires a valid license issued by a local health department or health district to serve food in Connecticut. Measures to limit COVID exposure, including the public health and safety directives for food service previously ordered by the Governor, including social distancing will be required.
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