You can now go to the bathroom or grab a refreshing drink at any rest stop while traveling across Virginia.
All 19 Virginia highway rest stops closed last year are now back in business. Gov. Bob McDonnell said the final seven rest areas reopened this week. The 19 rest areas and welcome centers were closed last summer when former Gov. Tim Kaine shut them down under a budget crunch.
Those visitor welcome centers are important to tourism, McDonnell said. And they are. Those new to Virginia(spelling) or newly lost on the road can stop and get directions. Not everyone has a Garmin.
McDonnell also pointed out they promote economic development. Employees are needed to run the rest areas, and businesses make money selling snacks and drinks from the vending machines.
The reopenings come just in time for the summer travel season.