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County rest area receives recognition

Chilton County has one of the best rest areas in the state, and the award is now there to back up that claim.

The Interstate 65 southbound rest area was recognized by the Alabama Department of Transportation for their maintenance excellence during the second quarter of 2020.

According to ALDOT, there are 19 rest areas and eight welcome centers throughout the state of Alabama.

The rest area maintenance staff was judged based on the rest area’s cleanliness, appearance, landscaping, supply upkeep and friendliness.

A plaque has already been awarded to the staff, but they will be presented their award during a visit to Montgomery in December if it is approved by state health officials.

Maintaining the rest area is a constant challenge with ALDOT estimating 8,000 to 10,000 visitors stopping at the rest area per day.

That number can increase or decrease depending on the day and season of the year.

The holiday season is traditionally a busy time of year for travelers on the road, and it is just a month and a half away.

The rest area is just before Exit 212 in Clanton, which will also be where the future site of the Alabama Farm Center at ALFA Centennial Park will be located.

The farm center complex is expected to bring an increased influx of visitors to the exit and therefore the rest area could also be affected with its own future increases.