The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will replace three of the Commonwealth’s most-visited and oldest Safety Rest Areas to better meet the needs of motorists traveling in the Commonwealth.
“Adequate rest area and welcome center facilities are essential for motorists traveling through Virginia,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “Comfortable facilities encourage travelers to take a break from driving, which promotes safety on our highways and helps to decrease fatigue-related accidents.”
Three rest areas on Interstate 95, two in Caroline County and the other just across the Virginia state line, will close for demolition beginning mid-April and open prior to Memorial Day with temporary facilities. The facilities are Ladysmith rest areas north and southbound I-95 in Caroline County and Skippers rest area and welcome center northbound I-95 in Greensville County.
Thirty-three million people a year visit the state’s 43 rest areas and welcome centers. More than three million travelers visit the Ladysmith rest areas and 1.3 million people visit the Skippers rest area and welcome center.
The three rest areas will be completely rebuilt at a cost of $11.6 million with construction scheduled for completion by Memorial Day in 2017. The improvements include the following:
- Larger modern facilities with additional restrooms
- A welcome center will be added to the Ladysmith rest areas on I-95 northbound
- Restrooms will contain energy and water efficient fixtures.
Buildings will meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
VDOT looked at the 43 rest areas and welcome centers across the state and ranked them based on visitation and age. They found that three of the most-visited facilities were also some of the oldest and smallest. Based on those criteria, the rest areas at Ladysmith and Skippers ranked as top priorities for reconstruction. They were built in the mid to late 1960s. Bigger buildings and additional restroom facilities are now needed to accommodate today’s larger volume of visitors.
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