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Rowan County I-64 Rest Area Judged ‘Best Maintained’ in Kentucky


A clean, safe and inviting rest area on the westbound lanes of Interstate 64 in Rowan County today was announced as the “best maintained” in Kentucky for 2020.

“One thing that all travelers appreciate is a well-run, well-maintained, easily accessible rest area where they can stop, relax and enjoy a respite from the road,” said Jim Gray, secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which annually presents the Best Maintained Rest Area Award.

It’s the fifth time in the award’s 22 years that the Rowan County Westbound I-64 rest area, near Morehead, has captured the honor. Judging is based on unannounced quarterly inspections by the cabinet.

The rest area, which opened in 1979, offers essentials for weary travelers – clean restrooms, drinking water, snack machines, well-lit parking, picnicking and a pet walking area. It also features eye-catching landscaping, including bedding plants grown by inmates in a horticulture program at Little Sandy Correctional Complex, a regional state prison.

All Kentucky roadside rest areas are operated by Community Services Project Inc. (CSP), a nonprofit that trains and employs about 400 disabled workers in Kentucky. About a third of the workers are dedicated to maintaining Kentucky’s 16 rest areas, seven welcome centers and four truck rest havens.

Certificates to commemorate the award were presented to CSP employees and to employees of the Department of Highways District 9, which includes Rowan County.

“Rest areas contribute to the safety mission of the Transportation Cabinet,” said State Highway Engineer James Ballinger. “Driving for long periods is tiring. We all need some time to get off the road, stretch our legs and get refreshed. At the same time, our rest areas leave an impression on the public. For many of those traveling west on I-64, this rest area will be among their first stops in Kentucky. Thanks to the hard work of CSP and our own Roadside Environmental Team in the Department of Highways, the impression they take with them will be a good one.”

Steve Gunnell, chief engineer for District 9, praised the facility staff whose dedication returned the Best Maintained Rest Area Award honor to the district.

“We appreciate the teamwork you’ve shown among yourselves and in working with the Cabinet to make these rest areas the best they can be,” Gunnell said. “And, I want to thank our district staff, who have gone the extra mile in working with CSP on facility needs, especially our beautification efforts.”

(provided by Commonwealth of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."