Legislations saves roadside restrooms

April 4, 2012

SALEM - A bill that brings funding to the Government Camp rest area on U.S. Highway 26 along with 16 others throughout Oregon was signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber on Wednesday.

In attendance at the ceremony were chief sponsors Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, and Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, according to a press release from Thomsen's office.

Also in attendance were Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard and Welches resident Bob Reeves, who each played significant roles in advancing SB 1591.

Senate Bill 1591 transfers management of 17 rest areas to the Oregon Travel Experience, the semi-independent state agency credited with cleaning up and revitalizing the Baldock rest area on I-5 just south of Wilsonville.

"We went from impending closure of my district's rest stop to achieving unanimity in making 17 rest areas better - all in the span of a few months. That is what happens when we listen to people, and when leaders come together," Thomsen said.

The Government Camp rest area near milepost 54 and the Tillamook rest area on U.S. Highway 101 near milepost 70 will be transferred to OTE next month.

In January 2013, management of the five rest areas along the I-84 Corridor will be transferred to OTE. They include Memaloose, in the Gorge; Stanfield, east and westbound (west of Pendleton); and Charles Reynolds, east and westbound (east of La Grande).

In January 2014, management will be given to three additional rest areas along I-5.

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