State’s rest areas to open 24/7 starting Monday

The state’s seven highway rest areas, the closure of which nearly three years ago became a metaphor for Connecticut’s budgetary problems, will reopen on Monday, July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday said that the facilities will again become available around-the-clock, seven days a week.

“While certainly well-intentioned, I believe the move to shut our state’s rest areas was penny wise and pound foolish,” Lamont said in a statement. “We have to make the necessary investments to attract people to visit and return to our state. This is a small but meaningful step toward making Connecticut more attractive to visitors and our residents alike.”

The rest areas include four along Interstate-84, two on I-91, and one on I-95. They supplement 23 service-station plazas along the interstates and the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways. The partial closure of the facilities became part of the 2018 gubernatorial debate, when Republican Bob Stefanowski used it as a symbol of what was wrong with state government.

“My agency has always felt that our seven rest areas are important safety amenities for travelers and truckers,” said Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said. “While I’m proud of the fact that we managed to at least keep them open in the face of financial adversity, our residents and visitors to our state deserve better than portable bathrooms. This has been a long time coming, and I thank Governor Lamont for helping to get us the resources we needed.”

The seven rest areas are located at:

I-84 Danbury EB past Exit 2

I-84 Southington EB past Exit 28

I-84 Willington EB past Exit 69

I-84 Willington WB past Exit 70

I-91 Wallingford SB past Exit 15

I-91 Middletown NB past Exit 19

I-95 North Stonington SB past Exit 93