Rest areas reopen, safety & tourism boost expected - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Rest areas reopen, safety & tourism boost expected

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - Eight different rest areas closed in June of last year are reopening today, in a move to add safety and tourism to the state.

The closed signs that lined this part of Interstate 85 are now gone. It's been a long time coming for many drivers, passing by one of the 19 rest areas closed in the middle of the busy travel summer last year.

"I've said this idea of reopening rest stops is a very important thing for people with large families or people with small bladders," exclaims Gov. Bob McDonnell.

With a snip of some big scissors, Gov. McDonnell officially started the activity up again at rest stop.

That's a relief for the millions of drivers who hit Virginia's roadways every year, including Jim Glanden. "I certainly appreciate it! I can't vote for him but I'm glad they are here!"

Judging by the activity at the Dinwiddie site, you would never know this stop had been closed.

Making good on a campaign promise, Governor McDonnell reversed the budget decision his predecessor came up with. "For a small price, this is good news that people will have safe traveling on the highways in Virginia."

But to do this, is going to cost the state some money and of course, the state is in a tough budget situation.

While the exact cost to keep these sites open is not known right now, the Governor hopes to new ideas will save millions state wide, at all the rest stops.

"Non-violent prison inmate labor to do some of policing up here. I've talked to several companies myself that are interested in an adopt a rest stop sign that can donate. Those are ideas that are good we know they will work," says Gov. McDonnell. 

Also with this opening, tourism may get a boost as well. "Closure of the rest areas is really a symbol to the traveler you know we're not open for business, don't stop here," says Alisa Bailey with the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

But now people like Jim can make a pit stop here, as Bailey and other tourism leaders hope Jim, along with others, will add to the already $19 billion tourism industry here in Virginia.

Seven more rest areas are set to reopen on April 15, including two along Interstate 64 in Goochland.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Sunday, April 30 2017 8:30 AM EDT2017-04-30 12:30:14 GMT
    Sunday, April 30 2017 8:30 AM EDT2017-04-30 12:30:14 GMT

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>
  • Hanover's Sam Rogers drafted by Rams

    Hanover's Sam Rogers drafted by Rams

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:58 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:58:56 GMT

    Former Hanover High School and Virginia Tech star Sam Rogers was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday. 

    More >>

    Former Hanover High School and Virginia Tech star Sam Rogers was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday. 

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    1 dead after two-vehicle crash in Hanover County

    1 dead after two-vehicle crash in Hanover County

    Saturday, April 29 2017 8:49 PM EDT2017-04-30 00:49:34 GMT

    One person has died after a two-vehicle crash in western Hanover County Saturday night.

    More >>

    One person has died after a two-vehicle crash in western Hanover County Saturday night.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Sunday, April 30 2017 12:31 AM EDT2017-04-30 04:31:34 GMT

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly