WELLS BRIDGE – After seven years of rest, the Interstate 88 rest area here is open again to between exits 12 and 11 to westbound drivers.
On site today, State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who obtained the necessary state funds to reopen this rest area – and, in 2014, the one in Worcester as well – announced the news.
When the closings were announced in 2010, “I joined with the motoring public in voicing opposition,” said Seward. “Closing these rest areas compromised public safety and sent a message that New York State was dilapidated and rundown.”
He continued, “I fought hard to secure state budget funding to reopen both … rest areas because they are vital components of our highway system and safe havens for those who drive for a living as well as everyday travelers.”
State DOT Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll and Kendra Hems, state Trucking Association president, issued statements supporting the move.
The two Otsego County rest areas were among six DOT closed as a cost-saving measure in 2010 during the national Great Recession, and are the only two reopened so far.
Seward obtained funding in the 2014-2015 state budget to resurface the parking lot and walkways, install new pavement markings and upgrade signs Worcester.
In 2015, that restroom was modernized with new plumbing, electric, septic and heating/air conditioning systems, a new water supply and treatment system and new doors and windows. Bathrooms were remodeled to provide ADA-compliant stalls. A new emergency backup generator also was installed.
In the 2015-16, the senator obtained another $2.5 million for the same work at Wells Bridge. The parking area was reopened in November 2015. Today, the fully rehabbed restroom building opened as well.
The state Office of General Services was responsible for the design and construction of both facilities.