Five SE Ohio Rest Areas To Be Commercialized

By
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Mon, Jun 4, 2012 3:16 pm

In a move to fund upcoming state transportation projects, the Ohio Department of Transportation is planning to commercialize five of the state's non-interstate rest areas.

The move will convert the stops to service plazas similar to those on the Ohio Turnpike.
 
Two rest areas on US Route 50 in Athens County, two on US Route 33 in Hocking County and one on US Route 23 Pickaway County will be affected.
 
In a news release, the agency lists the cost of operating all 104 Ohio rest areas as being $50 million a year.
 
"Rest areas are expensive to operate and maintain, and in some cases, they have become safety hazards to motorists traveling in our state," said ODOT director Jerry Wray. "If we can generate enough money to offset the costs and improve safety, Ohioans will be better off."
 
ODOT leaders announced a $1.6 billion budget hole in January.
 
Since then, the agency has been looking into cost-cutting measures and ways to fund future transportation projects. 
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