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Revamped rest stops? Governor Ducey calls current conditions 'archaic'

Posted at 3:00 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-23 15:29:02-05

Off of Interstate 10 there’s a rest stop. In fact, it one of 28 scattered across the state. For some travelers, these stops are necessary during a long trip.

Camille and Carl are just two people among many who welcome rest stops. They were recently spotted off the I-10 enjoying a picnic before reaching Tucson. However, there’s a chance several drivers will keep going — skipping the turn — in search of something better.

"If you just have to go to the bathroo,  there are bathrooms available but there's literally no other service except for some vending machines," said Governor Doug Ducey. 

Ducey noticed the condition of the state's rest stops when he was criss-crossing Arizona on his campaign. 

"Archaic" is just one word Ducey uses to describe some of these stops; Some haven't been updated in decades.

"It's certainly not a revenue projector for the state," Ducey said. "It's an expense for the state and often times it didn't strike me as all that safe."

Now the governor is coming up with a plan to develop these neglected areas.

Think a rest stop, plus a Starbucks, or something like that. The problem is a federal law is keeping Arizona from commercializing these areas. 

Now, Ducey is asking officials for an exemption so the state can start talking with potential partners. 

"I would feel very commercial," said Camille Dull who was enjoying a picnic with her husband at an I-10 rest area. "It wouldn't give me the same quiet feeling I have here. But I know it's very practical."

It might be practical, but there's also the argument the state would have an unfair advantage in doing business — especially compared to mom and pop shops set up along interstate exits. 

The governor doesn't see it that way. 

"Look at what we've done at Sky Harbor in terms of bringing local Arizona brands into Sky Harbor," said Ducey. "That would be an opportunity or a possibility for these rest stops."