Texas Department of Transportation officials and staff, elected representatives, and county officials yesterday joined forces to officially open to travelers the new $23 million Hopkins County Safety Rest Areas on Interstate Highway 30 east of Dallas, near Cumby, Texas.
“The day has finally come when we can officially open this new safety facility for those traveling along I-30,” said Noel Paramanantham, TxDOT Paris District Engineer, before welcoming comments by local and state officials. “More than 31,000 vehicles a day, including 11,000-plus big trucks, travel on I-30 every day. It is a major traffic and corridor in Texas.
“There have been more than 740 fatigue-related crashes along I-30 since 2013, and three fatalities right here in Hopkins and Hunt County in the Paris District. This new facility, one of 78 statewide, will provide a welcome break for all kinds of travelers in a safe, convenient environment.”
State Rep. Dan Flynn, Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom and Commissioner Danny Evans addressed the history of the partnership with TxDOT that sited the safety rest areas in Hopkins County. Flynn and Newsom then cut the ceremonial ribbon opening the facility to the traveling public at 11:30 a.m. The new facility replaces the aging rest area facilities in Franklin County, which closed the same afternoon.
Designed by SLA Architects and constructed by general contractor Haydon Building Corporation, the dual facility rest areas are 1 mile east of Cumby, Texas. A rest area north of the I-30 frontage road serves west-bound traffic, and one south of the I-30 frontage road serves east-bound traffic. Each 49-acre site is equipped with restrooms, vending, a Texas Department of Public Safety office, playgrounds and picnic arbors, and walking and exercise areas.
Each site also includes separate parking for 25 cars and 28 trucks, on-site security surveillance, an irrigation system that uses recycled storm water, and on-site aeration treatment system for wastewater.
The main lobby at each site features interpretive exhibits on natural surroundings and flora and fauna found in Hopkins County, as well as information on notable people and historic places in Hopkins and nearby counties. Other exhibits focus on the dangers of driving, and encourage visitors to travel safely by making driving their only objective when behind the wheel.