Iowa considers closing down almost half of the state’s rest areas

IowaDOT is currently accepting public comments about this proposal.

Rest Area

The Iowa Department of Transportation recently announced that they are considering a plan to shutter nearly half of the state’s rest areas — a decision that could leave truckers in the lurch when they need parking.

Currently, Iowa has 38 full-service rest areas and 15 parking-only rest areas. The new plan proposed by IowaDOT would involve closing 11 full-service rest areas along with all 15 parking-only rest areas within the next 30 years. IowaDOT projects that they could save $30 million over the next 20 years by closing all twenty six rest area sites.

Iowa DOT justifies the parking-only rest areas by noting that “only five of the 15 sites are more than 74% utilized during peak hours (less during off peak). With only two of the fifteen sites accommodating more than 8 truck parking spaces, impacts to the majority of the traveling public with these closures will be minimal. While maintenance costs are not generally high for these sites, there is great difficulty in keeping these parking only sites in good sanitary condition for those who do use them.

IowaDOT says that they plan to make up for the lost truck parking areas by installing parking cameras and providing real time parking updates and by increasing the amount of truck parking at rest areas that are kept open. Private partnerships and “automated vehicles” have also been floated as possible solutions for the potential truck parking losses. Another option would be to convert some of the parking-only sites into weigh stations.

Proposed Full-Service Rest Area Closures:

Near Term (1‐5 year) Closure Recommendations

Davenport EB (I‐80 Scott County ‐ MP 300)

Mid Term (5‐15 year) Closure Recommendations

Loveland EB (I‐680 Pottawattamie County – MP 16)

Loveland WB (I‐680 Pottawattamie County ‐ MP 18)

Missouri Valley NB (I‐29 Harrison County ‐ MP 79)

Missouri Valley SB (I‐29 Harrison County ‐ MP 79)

Sergeant Bluff NB (I‐29 Woodbury County ‐ MP 139)

Sergeant Bluff SB (I‐29 Woodbury County ‐ MP 139)

Osceola NB (I‐35 Clarke County ‐ MP 33)

Osceola SB (I‐35 Clarke County ‐ MP 33)

Story City NB (I‐35 Story County ‐ MP 120)

Long Term (15‐30 year) Closure Recommendations

Story City SB (I‐35 Story County ‐ MP 119

Proposed Parking-Only Rest Area Closures:

Near Term (1‐5 year) Closure Recommendations

Salix NB (I‐29 Woodbury County – MP 132)

Avoca EB (I‐80 Pottawattamie County – MP 44)

Wilton EB (I‐80 Cedar County – MP 268)

Wilton WB (I‐80 Cedar County – MP 268)

Osceola SB (I‐35 Clark County – MP 30)

St Charles NB (I‐35 Warren County – MP 51)

St Charles SB (I‐35 Warren County – MP 53)

Northwood NB (I‐35 Worth County – MP 211)

Story County Overlook SB (I‐35 Story County – MP 120)

Mondamin NB (I‐29 Harrison County – MP 92)

Mondamin NB (I‐29 Harrison County – MP 92)

Minden EB (I‐29 Pottawattamie County – MP 32)

Minden WB (I‐29 Pottawattamie County – MP 32)

Mid Term (5‐15 year) Closure Recommendations

Clear Lake NB (I‐35 Cerro Gordo County – MP 196)

Clear Lake SB (I‐35 Cerro Gordo County – MP 196)

Long Term (15‐30 year) Closure Recommendations

None

The IowaDOT is currently accepting public comment on the rest area closure proposal. You can click here to add your comment.