The renovation and subsequent closure of 10 New York service areas this summer has truckers worried about what they will do in the meantime.
Earlier this week, the New York State Thruway Authority announced that a $450 million construction project will start at the end of this month. And, while the prospect of healthier food options and updated rest services has truckers looking forward to the upgrades, drivers still aren’t sure what they will do for the next year as they await the reopening of the long-standing service areas.
“You’re going to make it more inconvenient for people who use it the most,” said truck driver Jay Poquadeck, pointing out that these service areas act as a sort of ‘port in a storm’ for drivers traveling through the state. With 10 of these areas closed at once, he and his fellow drivers are worried that the remaining areas available to truckers will become even more crowded, and therefore more unsafe, than they already are.
That’s a lot of problems that you’re going to have you’re going to have pollution, you’re going to have liter, you’re going to have people doing things they shouldn’t be doing on the side of the road so it’s not safe, if they’re going to do it they’re going to have to do it quickly,” Poquadeck said to News 10 ABC.
While the state has offered no solutions, they have reiterated that the truck parking spots will still be available to drivers, even if the other amenities of the service area are not. “All truck parking will remain during construction. No two consecutive service areas in the same direction will be closed at the same time meaning the nearest service area is approximately 20 to 30 miles away. In addition, once complete, truckers will enjoy benefits at select service areas such as shows, laundry, fitness center and private entrance,” said a spokesperson from the Thruway Authority