The Arizona Department of Transportation is temporarily closing 13 of 18 state-owned rest stops as part of a plan to fix a projected $100 million shortfall in highway user funds, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The closures, which could begin as soon as Oct. 19, are expected to be temporary, Linda Ritter, an Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman told the Arizona Daily Star. The state will review those closures after the 2009-2010 fiscal year ends in June.
The locations that will be closing were selected based on several factors, including their distance to other facilities such as restrooms and overnight truck stops. The most heavily affected area is northern Arizona, where three of the four rest areas along Interstate 40 are slated to be closed. Only the Painted Cliffs rest area, just west of the Arizona-New Mexico border, is scheduled to remain open.
The rest area closures are part of a “budget road map” the Arizona Department of Transportation has constructed as it prepares for the transfer of $530 million in transportation funding to help address the state budget shortfall, said Bill Pederson, an ADOT spokesman.