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INDOT to invest $600 million in rest areas, truck parking over next 10 years

Kankakee Welcome Center
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Kankakee Welcome Center
Kankakee Welcome Center
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Posted at 6:42 PM, Jun 14, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — When you are on a long road trip, you often to stretch your legs or relieve yourself.

For Indianapolis residents Jeff and Donna Eaton, rest areas are essential. They travel from Indianapolis to Brookville every weekend in the summer.

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"We count on [the rest stop] to have a place to get the dogs out and if we have any other needs we need to take care of,” Jeff Eaton said at a rest stop in Greenfield. “It means a lot to us. We look forward to it on the way down and the dogs would be upset if we didn't stop."

They stop every weekend at the rest area in Greenfield on their commute. However, they admit that not all rest areas in the state are the same.

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"There are some rest areas that are not as good, a lot don't work,” Donna Eaton said. “The faucets don't work; commodes don't work and they're dirty, but this one has been kept clean."

That's why Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is investing $600 million to rest areas, welcome centers and truck parking facilities over the next 10 years.

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INDOT currently operates 26 rest area or welcome center facilities on highways. 20 of those facilities will be getting upgrades, while four will close.

With those updates, INDOT says it will increase truck parking capacity by 82%, adding 1,149 additional spaces.

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"If you travel very early in the morning or late at night on the intestate, you will see trucks parked on those ramps,” Natalie Garrett with INDOT said. “That is a safety hazard for travelers and those drivers."

Many of those facilities will have a theme to highlight the history of the area that the facilities reside.

The facility pictured below is in Kankakee and was finished last October.

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"At that location, the roof has a rolling appearance like the dunes," Garrett said.

Kankakee Welcome Center
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While these investments are something travelers told WRTV are important, one truck driver would like to see INDOT focus on fixing the roads.

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To see the timeline of the upgrades, which areas will be closing and where rest areas reside in the state, click here. To read more about the full plan, click here.