The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) says that the restroom facilities at some I-80 rest areas may be periodically closed due to the lack of availability of toilet paper, but they are committed to staying open to provide truck parking.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt American life, the availability of toilet paper has been top of mind for many people, with some consumers hoarding it and grocery stores struggling to keep shelves full.
On March 17, the Lincoln Journal Star reported that NDOT had opted to close certain I-80 rest areas when there was no attendant present due to the theft of toilet paper from those facilities.
NDOT issued a statement on March 17 to clarify that they remain committed to keeping truck parking available for U.S. truckers — even if they aren’t always able to keep restrooms open because of toilet paper availability issues.
We’ve received some questions regarding our rest areas. We understand the vital nature of the interstate system and the role it plays in keeping supply chains intact as it relates to the response to COVID-19 across the nation. With this in mind, to combat the spread of COVID-19, restrooms may remain available with regularly scheduled cleaning or at a minimum the vehicle parking will remain open at these locations to serve commercial carrier vehicles. Some bathroom facilities may be closed in the event that acquiring paper products becomes problematic. However, all locations will remain open for parking as they provide important rest stops for drivers. Continue to check 511.nebraska.gov for updated information on availability.
Earlier this week, Pennsylvania authorities announced that they would be closing rest areas and welcome centers for COVID-19, sparking outrage from many members of the trucking community who are working hard to keep grocery store stocked during the pandemic.