The State Highway Administration reopened its long-closed South Mountain rest stops along Interstate 70 near the Frederick- Washington County line this week after an $18.3 million renovation project.
The agency opened a section of the eastbound and westbound rest stops after expanding the parking area and updating restroom facilities. The stops, between Exits 35 and 42 in Frederick County, have been provided with walking trails, picnic areas, parking and restrooms that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
According to the SHA, the reopened rest stops each have 76 parking spaces for passenger vehicles, 26 parking spaces for commercial trucks and six parking spaces for RVs and buses. The state also added a playground and a pet area.
The new welcome centers are each approximately 3,940 square feet and the new restrooms are 6,180 square feet, compared with a total of 1,250 square feet in each of the old facilities. The SHA said the new buildings have been designed to reduce energy consumption and cut operating costs.
The new facilities replace original restrooms and parking areas that were constructed in 1972. The welcome centers were added in 1978.