Talk Of Closing Rest Stops Creates Controversy On I-80

By Mark Carlson, Iowa City Bureau Chief

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Travelers on Interstate 80 were not happy to learn of news to potentially close some rest stops in Iowa.

"Why would anyone want to get rid of rest stops?" said James Hart, a truck driver passing through Iowa. "That's just crazy."

State officials have said two rest stops in Dallas County won't reopen after they're demolished to make room for an interchange project. There are 38 other rest stops in Iowa, which cost the state about $6.1 million annually. Officials have said there will be an overall reduction in rest stops in coming years.

"You got people who need to use the restroom," said Phil Pool, who drivers across the state twice a week. "They shouldn't close any."

"There's one every 35-40 miles," said Ed Brant, who lives in Missouri but frequently drives to Central Iowa. "You want to stop and relax."

Of approximately 10 drivers asked about closing rest stops, every single one said they don't want to see any rest stops closed.

"There should be more," said Pool.

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