According to the Hays Daily News, the Kansas Department of Transportation plans to remove the bathroom and water facilities from the rest areas east of Russell, on Interstate 70 at exit 184, but that the parking areas will remain open for travelers.
In December, KDOT announced plans to close the rest areas. KDOT sought public input on the proposal.
The Hays Daily News reported that the city of Russell is coping with chronic drought and water shortages during the summer months. The city of Russell has asked residents to reduce water consumption by 25%.
While Russell residents were cutting back on their water consumption, water usage at the rest areas increased from almost 800,000 gallons in 2011 to 1.6 million gallons in 2013.
KDOT received numerous emails in favor and against the rest area’s proposed closure. While many believed shutting down the rest areas was a good idea, others were concerned about traveler’s needs to stop, park and rest, KRSL reported.
As a compromise, KDOT agreed to close the facilities but keep the parking areas open.
During the week of March 3, KDOT will close the rest areas for one week to remove the buildings. After the buildings have been removed, the parking area will reopen.
Hays Daily News