Late night travelers on Interstate 91 and Route 9 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.
While Fairfield County and western New Haven County will see large increases in truck parking on I-95, travelers along I-91 and Route 9 will see none.
There are no proposed renovations slated for the I-91 rest areas
and proposals to add new rest areas to I-91 and Route 9 never left the drawing board.
A 2005 Service Plaza study examined future demands for truck parking at the state’s rest stops.
The Middletown Rest Area is on I-91 Northbound, between exits 19 and 20. It has 37 truck spaces even though 2025 projected demand is for 92 spaces.
The Wallingford Rest Area is on I-91 Southbound, between exits 15 and 14. It has 59 truck spaces. Projected demand in 2025, however, is for 140 spaces.
Proposed but not Built
At one time, the Connecticut DOT proposed building new rest areas in Enfield on I-91. This would have created 197 truck spaces for an area that has a projected 2025 demand for 307 spaces.
They also proposed a truck parking facility near I-91, directly off Route 20, that would have 186 spaces. This area has a projected 2025 demand for 52 spaces.
Other proposed rest areas by the Connecticut DOT on Route 9 between Old Saybrook and Middletown would have created 120 truck spaces. The area has a 2025 demand for 188 spaces.
A private truck stop was once proposed in Hartford near the I-84 and I-91 junction.
It’s a different story for I-95 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.