We welcome travelers to take a break along Connecticut’s highways but do we give them a place to sit and relax?
Surprisingly, the newly renovated Plainfield Service Plazas on I-395 opened with no benches, picnic tables, or chairs.
Imagine enjoying a foot long Subway sandwich or having a Dunkin’ Donuts bagel and coffee standing up. Even for the most coordinated among us, it would be quite difficult.
While it’s great Project Service has renovated the aging service plazas by adding two food outlets, travel kiosks, and new Mobil Mart convenient stores and gas stations, it seems tables and chairs took a back seat.
At the newly renovated I-95 Milford plazas, large food court seating greeted travelers opening day along with drive-thru window service for those wanting to quickly get back on the road. Patio seating was later added to the plazas.
The cramped parcels of land at the Plainfield plazas, and its sister Montville plaza currently closed for renovations, makes drive-thru service out of the question which means all customers must walk into the building for their food and beverages and should have a comfortable place to enjoy them.
Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesman Judd Everhart told Patch that patio seating will soon be installed at the Plainfield plazas by the end of this week.
It will also be added to the Montville plaza when it reopens after renovations are completed.
It’s great to eat outside on warm days, but it’s not really an option when it’s cold, rainy, or snowy.
“Some indoor seating may be added at some point in the future,” Everhart said, adding “They (Project Service) want to see how the "foot traffic" flows inside before making a decision.”
Even Plainfield’s Shell gas station and convenience store off exit 87 of I-395 have tables and chairs to accommodate those who want to enjoy its two eateries: Honey Dew Donuts and Dominoes’ Pizza.
After renovations, the Plainfield plazas are still smaller and simpler than its Milford counterparts which offers customers other food choices like Sbarro, McDonald’s, Good to Go Organics, Robeks, Cheeseboy, Panda Express, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Carvel Ice Cream along with Statement gift shops, retail carts, large Fast Freddie’s Convenience Stores, pet walking areas, diesel fuel, truck idle reduction technology, and enlarged truck parking areas.
Eastern Connecticut travelers should at least have a place to sit and relax along the highway.