Motorists traveling in Haywood County will soon have new and improved rest areas to enjoy as they drive through North Carolina's mountains.
TheN.C. Department of Transportationrecently awarded a contract to build a new rest area on U.S. 23/74 southbound near Waynesville and renovate an existing rest area about one mile away.
The $6,151,716 project will be completed in two phases:
-Phase 1 includes construction of the new southbound rest area and is scheduled to begin in late April;
-Phase 2 includes renovations to the existing rest area and is scheduled to begin in May 2015.
The new Rest Area will be similar to the existing rest area in both features and appearance. The new facility will provide parking, restrooms and vending services and should be completed in spring 2015.
The new rest area will be open before the existing facility is closed for renovations, so there will be no interruption of service for travelers.
The renovation of the existing facility includes building new dual men's and women's restrooms, adding a family restroom for people who need assistance from a companion and adding new sidewalks. During renovations, the existing facility will be temporarily closed. Once the facility reopens in December 2015, it will serve northbound travelers on U.S. 23/74.
Rest areas are an important safety feature of the state highway system. The facilities provide a safe off-road location for highway travelers to use restroom facilities, picnic and to rest before continuing on their journey.
This is one of the 25 road and bridge contracts worth $71 million recently awarded by NCDOT for projects across North Carolina. The contracts were awarded to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The low bids received on the projects were 1.2 percent, or $845,000 below NCDOT estimates.