Bennett Rest Area Closed

July 24, 2012 - Central Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - ARAPAHOE COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has closed the Bennett Rest Area, just east of Bennett off Interstate 70.

CDOT closed the area earlier this month after an analysis showed the cost of required improvements is significantly more than the benefit it is providing the traveling public.  Those upgrades include a new water treatment facility and connecting the wastewater line to Bennett’s sewer system.

“It would cost us $1 million to make the sewer connection and that’s money we don’t have right now for a rest area that requires a lot of maintenance and only sees about 109,000 people a year, compared to more than 700,000 people who visit the Vail Pass Rest Area each year,” said CDOT Regional Transportation Director Tony DeVito.  “In addition, it gets hit with a lot of vandalism.  Now that there’re other options for travelers in the area, it made the most sense to close it.”

A new truck stop, major grocery store and other shops have opened just off I-70 in Bennett over the last few years.

Built in 1970, the area is outdated and costs about $138,000 each year to operate or an average of $1.26 per customer, making its cost ineffective.

“These water and sewer improvements would have to be made to keep it open since the state health department would require it,” added DeVito.  “So we’re going to demolish it, save a substantial amount of money and, as a bonus, return one full-time employee to the field, enhancing our area maintenance operations.”

After the facilities are torn down, the area will be returned to its natural setting with native vegetation.