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Amenities are Missing from Connecticut’s Rest Stops

Some of the newly renovated highway service plazas will not include water fountains, vending machines, pay phones, or seating.

Just recently, news hit that the state’s newly renovated highway service plazas, including one in that will begin next month, will not have water fountains or vending machines. 

In some plazas, there will be no pay phones or seating.

DOT officials said that fountains were not included to maximize space for restaurants and shops.

It has been reported that travelers can bring a water bottle or ask for a free cup at a food outlet which can be filled with water from the restroom sink.

Confirming those reports, DOT Director of Communications Judd Everhart added that plaza food outlets are required to provide free cups of ice water to anyone who asks.

The requirement means travelers will not be forced to use restroom sinks for free water.

It also takes some strength away from the theory that some have made claiming that the removal of water fountains was done to boost revenues for food outlets. 

While vending machines also will not be included in the renovated plazas, Everhart explained that each will have a 24-hour convenience store. 

Pay phones will be missing from some of the renovated plazas but plaza staff members are required to offer travelers a phone to make an emergency call, if asked.

While each plaza will feature a Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts, not every one will provide a place to sit and enjoy that footlong, donut and cup of coffee. 

“There is no room for seating in the (six) Merritt and (four) Wilbur Cross Parkway service plazas,” Everhart said. 

Renovations have already been completed on the North Haven plazas along the Wilbur Cross Parkway. 

The three , two in Plainfield and one in Montville, as well as all 10 I-95 plazas will have seating.

Two plazas in , along I-95, have already reopened after renovations featuring indoor and outdoor seating.  

It’s a different story for the state’s rest areas, which do not offer food, retail, or gas services.

The regional ones in Westbrook and North Stonington on I-95 will continue to have water fountains, vending machines, barbecues, picnic areas, benches, and staffed welcome centers

“There are no longer pay phones at the rest areas,” said Everhart. 

None of the rest areas are slated for renovation.

All of the rest areas are open 24 hours except for Westbrook.  

Patch Readers: Have you used water fountains, vending machines, pay phones, or seating areas at rest stops?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ellyn Santiago (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Hey Corey! Jump on Montville Patch Facebook page and check in with one of our good friends who has a question about rest stops! (I posted your blog.)
KEV August 18, 2012 at 02:42 AM
A pay phone? Cant remember the last time I saw one of those anywhere!!
Corey Sipe August 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Here is a link to pay phones across Connecticut. http://www.payphone-project.com/numbers/usa/CT/. I have seen recent installation of some pay phones in high traffic areas like at the X-Tra Mart in Guilford off I-95.

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