Two Indiana Toll Road Travel Plazas will close their doors for good while eight others will soon be demolished and rebuilt as part of a $30 million upgrade project.
The two easternmost rest stops in Fremont will be permanently closed starting October 1. These rest stops only offer fuel and restrooms, and there is another rest stop only 20 miles away, so it didn’t make sense to keep them open.
The other eight travel plazas will be demolished and then rebuilt with improved food choices and state-of-the-art upgrades and amenities. The rest stops in Rolling Prarie and Howe will be full-service plazas while the revamped stops in Portage and Elkhart will feature gas stations and convenience stores.
The renovations come in the wake of a report of numerous problems with the travel plazas, including deficient pavement, “high liability” RV dumping areas, and standing water in the basements.
The project was made possible by an Austrailian investment group that bought the toll road out of bankruptcy. The rest stop restoration project is slated to be finished by 2018.
The Indiana Toll Road outlined the tentative schedule for the project as follows:
♦ Phase 1: Oct. 1, 2015; Steuben County travel plaza buildings and fuel stations (MP 146) permanently closed. Demolition to be scheduled for 2016.
♦ Phase 2: April 2016 – August 2016; Portage (MP 22) and Elkhart (MP 90) travel plazas demolished and rebuilt into fuel/convenience stores.
♦ Phase 3: August 2016 – August 2017; Rolling Prairie (MP 56) and Howe (MP 126) travel plazas demolished and rebuilt into full-service plazas.