No Rest Stops in CT (Almost)?

What the heck is the deal with all the Rest Stops across CT? They are closed from 3:30pm to 8:30am! At first, I thought it was only the Welcome Centers. But, no… I see it is every Rest Stop! You mean they can’t stay open to accommodate most travelers, like until 9pm maybe? And, this is not simply a matter of closing food services. The entire building is locked, so no bathrooms! Seriously? …Even in the summertime? What’s the deal?

Looks like that’s the way it is on I-84 and I-91. You’re better off taking the parkways.

The Service Plazas are stillopen 24/7. But the rest areas (which are just parking areas with restrooms and maybe vending machines) that are only open 8:30 -3:30 have apparently been in danger of closing altogether at least as far back as 2011 - and the reason is budgets. The Service Plaza with the restaurants and gas station don’t cost the state anything. There are different ways states handle those plazas, but they never end up costing the state money-either some company has a concession for the rest area and maintains it, or the rents collected from the business pays for the maintenance. The rest areas don’t generate enough revenue to even cover their own expenses.
Although I have seen rest areas of this type in other states that are open even when staff is onsite - I’m not sure why Connecticut is different.

Most of the rest stops in MA were victims of budget cuts a few regimes ago, only the ones on the Pike (you know the road the tolls were scheduled to come off of in the 80’s) are left.

Of course , I meant I’ve seen them open even when staff** isn’t **onsite.

I’ve found Connecticut to be a disaster for drivers looking for a place to pull off the Interstate and get a bite to eat, unless you’re within a major city limits or willing to drive for a long distance after exiting to find something.

Very few accessible low cost or fast food restaurants compared to other states.

Shuttered rest stops is the icing on the cake.

And how about the construction in Waterbury? Been ongoing for at least the last 100 years!

How long does it take to drive across CT, anyway? 2 hrs. ? I think I could plan my trip such that I never even needed to stop in the state. There are many states, where that wouldn’t be possible.

The service plazas along I-95 are actually quite elaborate, with a selection of restaurants, a big gas station and so forth (even Tesla supercharger stations). The ones on the Merritt/Wilbur Cross Parkways are simpler, with a small gas station and basically a small convenience store in an old stone building. BTW, those buildings were actual service stations/auto repair shops only a few decades ago. It tells you something about how much more reliable cars are today that the only auto services they offer are minimal (gas and air for tires, really).

I think the reason there aren’t service plazas along the other interstate highways in the state is that the federal government stopped allowing it.

I agree! And, from what I recall seeing, CT does not mark what services are at each exit. And, the morons will NOT renumber the exits in miles! :mad:

The stops on the Merritt Parkway (which parallels I-95 for part of its length) are open more normal hours. They’re among the Service Plazas listed above, so they’ve already been covered.

As for those rest stops that close at 3:30, I have to admit that this seriously bugs me and makes little sense – how much money are they really saving by closing those? – but you should know that they at least have 24 hour port-a-potties at those rest stops.

Going by the articles I read, they only keep those rest areas open when staff is onsite- they used to be staffed 24 hours, so changing the hours to 8:30-3:30 cuts it down to one shift per day instead of three. According to this article it saves CT $2 million a year, although that’s got to include more than just salaries for the workers ( benefits, pension payments, all those things for a couple of additional supervisors and so on)

I-95 through CT used to be a toll road (Connecticut Turnpike). That would explain the elaborate Service Plazas (common on most turnpikes). I seem to recall that exits were fewer and farther between. Those two factors would have discouraged development of services off the turnpike, since there was no real easy-off, easy-on when you had to go through toll booths. However, that was a long time ago - plenty of time for services to spring up (although the cost of land is really high in the western part of the state).

I think most people would be satisfied if the r4est stops were open to at least 11, even if not open 24 hours. It’s the idiocy of being closed during what most people would see as normal business (and travel) hours that rankles.
As for the Connecticut Turnpike originally having been a toll road – yes, but that was a LONG time ago – Connecticut stopped the tolls thirty years ago in 1988 ( ) Nearby businesses have had plenty of time to fill in services around the Connecticut Turnpike (and the Merritt Parkway).