RALEIGH-The N.C. Department of Transportation has completed the Beaufort County rest area. After nearly a year of construction, the newly renovated rest area features 18 truck spaces and 61 car spaces, and is fully ADA compliant with a family restroom. The site is equipped with a 3,000 gallon underground cistern that catches rainwater off the rooftop for irrigation which helps control storm water runoff. This rest area also has a solar thermal system that uses the sun to heat water for use in the rest area.
The new rest area is located about a mile south of Chocowinity on U.S. 17 at Harding Rd. at the beginning of the Washington Bypass in Beaufort County. It serves both the northbound and southbound lanes.
Barnhill Contracting of Tarboro was the contractor on the project with a low bid of $4.3 million. The contract date of availability was March 3, 2014 with a completion date of October 12, 2015. The site was opened early to traffic Monday, May 18.
According to FHWA guidelines, rest areas are for highway safety and keeping travelers alert by allowing frequent stops during their travels. North Carolina has 41 interstate and 19 primary route rest areas for a total of 60 sites which attract more than 25 million visitors each year.