Those who believe no road trip is complete without a mega-sized beverage but don’t have a mega-sized bladder to match will find comfort with the opening of a new rest area near Bliss. Refrains of “hold on” are no longer necessary for those traveling between Wendell and Glenns Ferry.
An official dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new facility (which replaced an outdated, inadequate rest area at the same location) was held on Thursday, Dec. 2.
Chuck Winder, Idaho Transportation Board Chairman served as master of ceremonies; Devin Rigby, District 4 Engineer, thanked and acknowledged the many engineers, contractors and businesses that came together to complete the $6.2 million project.
Walter Burnside, Twin Falls Resident Engineer, led a humorous and rather chilly tour of the outside facilities, including shelters for volunteers and environment-friendly wastewater lagoons.
The new facility replaces one built in the 1960s, and comfortably and securely accommodates up to 43 large trucks. An additional area has been set aside in case more truck parking is needed in the years to come.
Chuck Winder spoke briefly on the ITD allocation of $10 million a year for rest areas around the state, noting that the Bliss Rest Area is a showcase. He also emphasized the critical need it meets for both east- and westbound motorists and truck drivers.
Everyone from ITD Director Dave Ekern, Idaho Transportation Board members Monte McClure and Gary Blick to Ted Lyster, a weary traveler from Bend, Ore., agreed the Bliss Rest Area is indeed a new jewel in the Gem State.
Photos: Chuck Winder explains ITD's commitment to rest areas (above). After the ribbon cutting the rest area was open for tours and refreshments (included light-hearted lagoon water).