A Virginia weigh station will no longer allow overnight truck parking “due to increasing incidents of littering, vandalism, and unsanitary practices,” officials say.
The temporary allowance for overnight truck parking began in May 2022 when VDOT closed the Troutville Rest Area located on southbound I-81 near mile marker 158 in Botetourt County, Virginia for construction. During the closure, drivers were allowed to park overnight at the Troutville Weigh Station on southbound I-81 at mile marker 149.
The construction added 12 truck parking spots to the rest area during the project, which has been completed. For a while, VDOT continued to allow truck drivers to park at the weigh station as a way to combat the universal truck parking problem, but as of this week, the Virginia DMV has asked Virginia State Police to start enforcing the reinstated truck parking ban.
“As much as we’ve been pleased to offer this service to truck drivers passing through our Stephens City and Troutville weigh stations, we are no longer able to provide it due to increasing incidents of littering, vandalism, and unsanitary practices,” director of communications Brandy Brubaker said, reported WDBJ 7. “In addition to the Troutville Rest Area, truck drivers in the area can visit the nearby Pilot Travel Center in Raphine.”
Truck drivers and local police officers say that the stoppage of the temporary weigh station parking will only exacerbate the truck parking issue, which has had deadly consequences in some areas.
“For years, we’ve had issues with truck parking at the 158 rest area,” Virginia State Police Sergeant Rick Garletts said. “It would fill up inside and then back out onto the interstate which obviously caused problems. We’ve had a couple fatalities there.”
“The biggest problem is looking at truck stops around here, there’s nowhere to park,” said Shawn Canada, a truck driver passing through the area. “It just makes it hard for drivers trying to make a living everyday.”
“If we can’t stop, if we’re still running on our hours, you’re stuck,” Canada said. “There’s a lot of times we’ll see drivers piled up down the streets and that’s not safe to be on the side of the highway out here. There’s just not enough parking.”
“I wish there was more free parking because a lot of the trucks stops are now charging for parking and these rest areas are key,” he added.