After six months of renovations, the Texas Canyon rest area on Interstate 10 has reopened as the Arizona Department of Transportation moves past the halfway point in a decade-long effort to improve rest areas across the state.
Texas Canyon, between Benson and Willcox in southeastern Arizona, is the ninth of ADOT’s 17 rest areas to be improved since 2013. The San Simon rest area near New Mexico on I-10 reopened in May.
Two more rest areas will open later this year: Mohawk, at milepost 56 on I-8, which has been closed for seven years, and Haviland on I-40, just east of the State Route 95 interchange.
Many of the improvements repair or replace aging infrastructure that in some cases has been in place for 50 years. The biggest effort has been to improve water and wastewater systems, including replacing pipes and septic systems.
ADOT is ensuring that all rest areas comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act so all travelers can utilize the facilities. Other improvements include new pavement, new restroom fixtures and structural repairs to buildings.
“Not only are rest areas important places for drivers to take a break from the road, they’re a place where Arizona can make a good impression on those from elsewhere,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “They have to be clean and provide the services visitors expect on their travels across Arizona.”
All Arizona rest areas include drinking fountains, vending machines, pet exercise areas and relief stations. Some, such as Sunset Point on I-17, offer stunning mountain and desert views. All are clean, since caretakers are on-site at most rest areas for 16 hours per day.
Upgrades will continue across Arizona through 2020.