ITD will partner with Flying J Corp. to provide travelers along Interstate 15 a new opportunity to safely stop and rest in McCammon as part of the federal government’s Interstate Oasis program.
As part of the Oasis partnership agreement, ITD will provide the Flying J Corp. $328,000 and signing along the interstate at the corporation’s new site in McCammon. In exchange, Fying J agrees to provide a free public rest area that will be built and maintained to ITD standards at its new store, according to Ed Bala, District 5 engineer.
“By entering into this partnership we can close the existing rest area at Inkom, which is about 12 miles from McCammon,” Bala said. “This also means we won’t have to rebuild the existing rest area in 2012, at a cost of $14 million.
“The monetary part of the agreement is fully “federal aid” reimbursable,” he said, adding that the Utah Department of Transportation already has a number of similar public/private agreements.
“Dave Jones was really instrumental in setting this up,” Bala said. “He heard about the UDOT program, conducted quite a bit of research and proposed this program for Idaho. District 5 got lucky, because Flying J is building a new site at the McCammon interchange.”
At its October meeting, the ITD Board encouraged expansion of the Oasis program to as many sites as possible.
The federal program was designed to enhance safety and convenience for interstate highway users. It allows states to designate and provide signing to eligible facilities off the freeway that provide products and services to the public, 24-hour access to public restrooms, and rest area-type parking for automobiles and heavy trucks.
To qualify for designation and signing as an Interstate Oasis, a facility must meet specific criteria:
In cases where no single business near an interchange meets all the eligibility requirements, a state may allow the criteria to be satisfied by a combination of two or more businesses located adjacent to each other and easily accessible on foot from each other’s parking lots.
The legislation was included in the Federal Highway Administration’s 2005 SAFETEA-LU highway bill and signed into law in August 2005