The N.C. Department of Transportation opened a new rest area near Balsam today. The rest area will serve the southbound lane of U.S. 23/74.
The new facility has dual restrooms, a family restroom, a vending area, and parking for cars, long-distance vehicles and trucks. It also offers picnic tables, a water feature and landscaping that utilizes native stone.
The existing northbound-lane facility, located less than 1 mile south of the new rest area, opened in 1989. This site will close for renovation in February and is scheduled to reopen in June. NCDOT contracted with Buchanan and Sons Inc., from Whittier, on the $6.15 million project to complete both rest areas.
According to FHWA guidelines, rest areas are for highway safety and keeping travelers alert by allowing frequent stops during their travels. North Carolina has 41 interstate and 19 primary route rest areas for a total of 60 sites which attract more than 25 million visitors each year.