Public to weigh in on plan to close Va. rest stops

Posted by Colby Rogers - email

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Virginia highway officials are set to hear from the public on proposals to close rest areas and other cost-cutting measures.

The Virginia Dept. of Transportation holds the first of 11 public hearings on the plans Tuesday night in Roanoke.

The agency is proposing to close 25 of the 41 rest stops in the state, including all but two along Virginia's 325 miles of Interstate 81. Four that would be closed are in the Salem District, which will be the focus of the hearing.

VDOT also would reduce patrols that help motorists who break down or run out of gas. And the agency is proposing less roadside maintenance, such as mowing.

Officials are planning for a $2.6 billion shortfall in transportation funding through 2014.

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