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AUSTIN, TX-The Dallas Morning News reports that new “safety” rest stops are planned for Interstate 10 and Interstate 45, with more on tap for near Laredo, TX.

AUSTIN, TX-The Dallas Morning News reports that the Texas Department of Transportation is soliciting $30 million worth of bids for four high-tech rest stops between Beaumont and Houston and two more near Corsicana. More of the “Safety Rest Stops,” as they’re called, are on tap for 2010, near Laredo.

The article states that the rest stops are being planned in Texas while other states are shuttering theirs. TxDOT’s director of the rest-area safety program notes in the article that Texas, with its long stretches of isolated road, needs Internet-connected and Wi-Fi enabled rest stops to give fatigued drivers an excuse to get off the road, stretch their legs and wake up.

Furthermore, the rest stops provide a place for long-haul, big-rig carriers to park and take a quick nap, the article points out. With many commercial truck stops closing due to the economy, and big box retailers prohibiting 18-wheelers from parking in the parking lots, the options are few and far between for long-distance truck drivers who need a place to stop when fatigued.

The Dallas Morning News article says the state is paying for the projects with some of its share of the $787 billion stimulus money that was authorized by Congress during the winter. Read more about the rest stops, and need for them, here.

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