After cutting funding for rest area maintenance led to disgusting conditions, the Connecticut DOT is hoping that corporate sponsorship could be the key to making the facilities a little less foul.
DOT Cuts Result In Odious Bathroom Experiences For Travelers
In late September, the Connecticut DOT cut the hours of operation for seven rest areas on I-84, I-91, and I-95 down from 24 hours a day to only seven hours per day. During the off hours, drivers were forced to use porta-potties.
The cuts saved the state of Connecticut about $2 million.
According to many rest area users, the conditions in the port-potties were deplorable — toilets overflowing with waste, no toilet paper, no soap or hand sanitizer. According to one rest area visitor, “It was almost filled to the brim … with you-know-what … It’s worse than not having any porta-potties at all. I would rather go in a bush.”
Another driver sent the DOT an email after a visit to the Willington rest area, claiming that the conditions he encountered gave a strong message: “Welcome to the Sh—–st State in the Country”.
The “sickening” conditions in the rest areas caused what a local newspaper referred to as a “public relations nightmare” for the DOT.
Connecticut DOT Hopes That “Adopt A Rest Area” Will Be The Answer
The Connecticut DOT’s solution for the unpalatable porta-potty situation? They are looking for sponsors who would pay to help keep the rest area buildings for additional hours in exchange for signage — one sign in advance of the rest area and then two signs at the site of the rest area itself.
Bids for sponsorship are due November 22. It isn’t clear whether there are any takers yet.
Conditions have reportedly improved in the port-potties as the DOT has asked the cleaning company to attend to the units more frequently.