Raleigh - North Carolina's rest areas aren't just a place for a quick bathroom break - many offer travelers a chance to take in some beautiful scenery and learn about regional history. Now, the I-85 rest areas in Alamance County do just that.
N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson today celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the two newly renovated rest areas. N.C. Transportation Board Member Cheryl McQueary and Jerrie Hall of the Textile Historical Museum at Glencoe joined Secretary Tennyson in welcoming visitors to the revamped rest areas.
The rest areas now feature a bubbling waterfall and design touches that showcase materials salvaged from a local historic millstone and cotton mill. The rest areas were designed to highlight the region's culture and natural beauty.
"This unique renovation helps make North Carolina a welcoming and attractive place to visit," said Secretary Tennyson. "A lot of thought and effort went into making these rest areas inviting to visitors and also ensuring that they showcase the rich history and character of this region."
The rest areas' support beams were salvaged from the Alamance Cotton Mill. Built in 1837, it was the first industrial scale textile mill in Alamance County and became the first mill in the South to manufacture dyed cotton cloth.
N.C. Transportation worked with Hodgin Construction to redesign the rest areas, which brought in more than 1.3 million travelers in 2015 and are the second busiest in the state.
The renovations reflect Governor McCrory's 25-Year Vision to improve transportation safety and promote tourism in North Carolina. According to the Federal Highway Administration, rest areas help drivers stay alert by allowing frequent stops during their travels. North Carolina has 60 rest areas which attract more than 25 million visitors each year.