Late night travelers on I-395 and on I-95 have often seen tractor trailers parked illegally alongside highway shoulders and exit ramps.
Michael Riley, president of the Connecticut Motor Transport Association , said that every night 1,200 truckers are unable to find parking spaces in public or private truck rest stops so they are forced to park on highway shoulders or other places.
Despite ongoing improvements at the state’s highway service plazas, shortages are expected to continue.
While Fairfield County and western New Haven County will see large increases in truck parking, Eastern Connecticut and Middlesex County will see none. Few increases in truck parking are expected in eastern New Haven County.
A 2005 Service Plaza study examined future demands for truck parking at the state’s rest stops.
Connecticut Department of Transportation Spokesman Kevin Nursick said that the I-395 corridor will see no increases in truck parking.
The newly renovated Plainfield Service Plazas still have 18 truck spaces even though 61 spaces are needed to meet future demand.
The Montville plaza, which is undergoing renovations and is expected to reopen this summer, will still have 9 truck spaces while future demand is for 32 spaces.
I-95 Rest Areas
I-95’s two non-commercial rest areas in North Stonington and Westbrook are not slated for renovations.
The North Stonington southbound facility with 34 truck spaces is expected to have a future demand for 58 spaces while the Westbrook northbound facility has no designated truck spaces.
I-95: Eastern New Haven County
The truck parking design has not yet been finalized for the Madison Service Plazas, which have 36 spaces and an anticipated demand for 167 spaces.
The plazas are expected to close this summer for renovations.
When the Branford Service Plazas reopen later this year; they will have 26 truck spaces, only three more than previously, while expected demand will be for 76 spaces.
I-95: West of New Haven
It’s a different story for service plazas west of New Haven; the newly renovated Milford plazas have 42 more truck spaces, a 51% increase, for a total of 82. Ironically, the plazas already met future expected demand by 32 spaces before the expansion.
After renovations are completed at the Fairfield plazas, truckers will have 24 more spaces, a 35% increase, for a total of 67. The expansion still leaves the plazas short for future demand by 138 spaces.
At the Darien plazas, which are the closest to the New York border, there will be 54 more truck spaces after renovations are completed, a 59% increase, for a total of 91 spaces. Even after the addition, the plazas need 155 more spaces to meet future demand.
Nursick said truck parking areas were reconfigured using existing space at the plazas.
“Adding more (truck parking) than we are at the service plazas, or frankly, anywhere else in the state, means we would more than likely have to acquire property to do it via eminent domain, of course, not exactly popular. Financially, we’ve got more than enough on our plate with a backlog of billions of dollars worth of statewide transportation projects as it already stands. Money to add truck spaces would be another financial addition to our already substantial list of unfundable initiatives,” Nursick said.