Operations at 13 rest areas statewide temporarily suspended

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PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Transportation has temporarily suspended operations at 13 rest areas across the state. The closures, which were first announced earlier this month, are the result of ADOT's $100 million budget shortfall that requires reductions in services, highway construction, maintenance and staff.

Five ADOT and more than a dozen non-ADOT rest areas along our state's highway system remain open. Rest areas currently closed are: Bouse Wash, Canoa Ranch, Ehrenberg, Hassayampa, Haviland, Mazatzal, McGuireville, Meteor Crater, Mohawk, Parks, Salt River Canyon, San Simon, and Sacaton. Two of these facilities -- Mazatzal and Salt River Canyon -- were already closed due to water system issues.

The 13 rest areas are now completely inaccessible with all services shut down, however there is an ADOT and Department of Public Safety personnel presence. Maps are available at www.azdot.gov, showing the nearest location for services from each of the closed rest areas -- in some cases, only miles away.

This is part of ADOT's plan to reduce its use of state highway funds by 25 percent. The plan also includes shutting down 12 Motor Vehicle Division field offices, deferral of $370 million in highway construction projects, deferral of maintenance activities, consolidation of customer services, and a 10 percent staff reduction.

To help address the needs of drivers with reduced opportunities for rest when on the road, ADOT will develop a program in partnership with businesses to welcome travelers to stop and use restroom facilities free of charge.

For more information on the impacts of the 2010 budget, visit www.azdot.gov.