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February 27
Seven Commercial Motor Vehicle Rest Areas to Open in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) plans to open seven commercial motor vehicle rest areas to provide locations for truck drivers to rest in an effort to improve highway safety.

These seven non-facility rest areas will be for use by commercial motor vehicles, defined as vehicles that require commercial vehicle licensed drivers.

The locations are:

 

·        I-20 in Aiken County (eastbound and westbound). To be opened in early April. These rest areas are located approximately twenty miles east of North Augusta at mile marker 20.

·        I-20 in Darlington County (eastbound and westbound). To be opened in early April. These rest areas are located approximately twelve miles west of Florence at mile marker 129.

·        I-95 in Jasper County (northbound and southbound). To be opened in mid-March. These rest areas are located approximately four miles south of Ridgeland at mile marker 17.

·        I-95 in Dorchester County (southbound only). Opened February 25. This rest area is approximately three miles south of St. George at mile marker 74.

 

These areas are some of the non-facility rest areas that were closed in 2001. The 2007-08 South Carolina Budget appropriated $723,000 from the General Fund and designated this money for “Commercial Motor Vehicle Rest Areas.”  The funding includes $637,400 for a one-time allocation for site preparation and $85,600 annually reoccurring money for electricity for lights and vegetation maintenance. Site preparation includes installation of lighting and fencing; pavement marking; guardrail repair; asphalt aprons; catch basin repair; crack sealing; vegetation clean-up; and signing.

Federal regulations require truck drivers to have 10 hours off between each driving/on-duty shift, and drivers must remain in the sleeper berth for a minimum of eight hours. These regulations have placed an increasing demand on available parking facilities.

Commercial vehicle operators have begun using the shoulder of interstate interchange ramps. However, this results in a hazardous environment for members of the traveling public as well as damage to SCDOT-maintained paved shoulders.