Officials: Rest area should again reopen in six weeks
OAKWOOD — It should be another six weeks before the often-closed Salt Kettle Rest Area on Interstate 74 east of Oakwood reopens, a state official said.
On June 16, the rest stop was shut down for the third time in less than three years for what an Illinois Department of Transportation spokeswoman described as "upgrades, improvements and modernization of the rest rooms" and improving access for the disabled.
The project remains on schedule to open sometime in mid-September, IDOT's Paris Ervin said. Ervin said the same updates are being done at the Illini Prairie Rest Area on southbound I-57 near Pesotum.
The contractor for both jobs is Grunloh Construction Inc., which will be paid $265,925 for both, Ervin said.
Salt Kettle is the first rest area for traffic coming into Illinois from Indiana. The next-closest stop for westbound drivers is 50 miles away, just beyond Farmer City at mile marker 158.
Salt Kettle was closed for several weeks beginning in September 2013 for a sanitary-sewer-system project. Starting in January 2012, it was closed for more than six months after pumps moving waste from the rest rooms to the on-site wastewater-treatment system broke down during the winter.