BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) says major rest stops in Idaho are getting cleaned more often to minimize the spread of novel coronavirus. The stops are staying open to support delivery of goods and services throughout Idaho and the rest of the nation.
“Rest areas provide an essential service as a respite for truckers,” said Nestor Fernandez, ITD's mobility services engineer. “While we’re seeing fewer passenger vehicles on the highway, freight services are in full tilt. We have heard from our partners in the trucking industry that they need these areas open, and we are working to meet that need.”
Rest stops at Midvale Hill on US-95 south of Midvale, Blacks Creek on I-84 east of Boise and Huetter on I-90 west of Coeur d'Alene will be cleaned every two hours. There is a focus on commonly touched surfaces, like door handles.
All rest stops are typically cleaned twice a day. Now, due to high usage at these locations, they will be cleaned more often. ITD is working with those resoponsible for cleaning rest stops to make sure they have the appropriate resources.
The rest stop on US-12 at Lolo Pass on the Idaho-Montana border is currently closed.
“Out of an abundance of caution for our employees and the public, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests has made the decision to close the Lolo Pass Visitor Center, including the restrooms, until further notice,” said Jennifer Becar, public affairs specialist with the USFS. “This decision was made in order to best protect the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and the public, and is consistent with the forest’s shift to only offering virtual services at offices and other facilities at this time.”
Another rest area on eastbound I-84 on the Idaho-Oregon border near Fruitland continues to be closed due to issues with the septic system.
ITD is exploring options to allow food trucks to offer services at remote rest areas to support truck drivers as they continue to deliver goods across the United States. To check the status of specific rest areas, visit 511.idaho.gov or download the app.