Clark County rest area recognized by KYTC

Published 9:00 am Saturday, May 27, 2023

Those traveling through Clark County on Interstate 64 can take solace in knowing they will have a place to stop if needed.

For the fourth time, the Interstate 64 eastbound rest area in Clark County, located between mile markers 98 and 99, was recognized as the state’s best-maintained rest area for outstanding service, cleanliness and more.

The ceremony recognizing was recently held with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and other officials present.

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“It’s an honor for me to come and announce and recognize the Clark County rest area as being selected as the commonwealth’s best maintained rest area for the year of 2022,” said Kelly Baker, KYTC Chief District Engineer. “Our visitors…recognize how well it’s cared for and maintained.”

The rest stop, the only rest area of four built in the 1960s to still exist as a part of the interstate system, features circular walls and tile mats, as well as restroom facilities and vending machines.

While unique in its architecture, the comment cards indicate its positive reputation.

Along with Baker, other officials at the gathering included KYTC State Highway Engineer James Ballinger, Kentucky State Representative Ryan Dotson, Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed and Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates.

Ballinger talked about the facility’s importance because it serves multiple purposes, such as tending to those who are tired and need a restroom break or simply providing a stop to grab a snack.

As a lifelong Winchester resident, Mayor Reed is familiar with the rest area’s rich history.

“Back when I was a little girl, and my parents and I would travel to Florida we would think, ‘Where are we [going to] stop along the road, somewhere? Let’s pack a picnic. ‘Where are we going to stop to go to the restroom.’ We had to seek out these places because places like this rest area were not there at [that] time,” Reed said.

Following the development of the interstate system and implementation of the rest area, many of these questions got instantly answered.

Dotson complimented the staff, noting that KYTC chose the Interstate 64 eastbound rest area for the award over 22 other facilities.

“It’s a testament to the work ethic and the other staff and the management here,” Dotson said. “Clark County is situated strategically, really, at the crossroads. We are a gateway to the east…so it is very important as it is a reflection of our community. I’m very proud of the fact that this facility [and] these grounds received this award.”

Community Services Project, which helps folks with disabilities find and maintain jobs, played a significant role in helping to operate and maintain a standard of excellence.

Dr. Trish Roberts is the President and CEO of the Community Services Project.

“Our people are hardworking. They are dedicated. They do an amazing job [of] making sure that the rest area stays clean and safe,” she said. “It gives them an opportunity to get out in the community.”

While CSP Shift Supervisor Jason Downey, an employee of three years, espoused the benefits of a positive work environment, Project Supervisor Stacy Kuisel mentioned that the experience left the staff proud.

“It’s actually really neat because. We try our best to keep it clean and well-maintained,” Kuisel said. “It’s just a real honor.”

In a show of gratitude, staff members were awarded individually by the KYTC.

However, the team’s success has led to its recognition.

“It’s a pretty good place to work,” Downey added. “The entire team here is doing a great job.”