Politics & Government

Beaver Dam rest area to reopen after bid process completed, officials say

The Ohio County rest stop on the Wendell Ford Western Kentucky Parkway lies about halfway on the route from Lexington to Paducah and has been a stopover point for decades. The state says its closing is temporary.
The Ohio County rest stop on the Wendell Ford Western Kentucky Parkway lies about halfway on the route from Lexington to Paducah and has been a stopover point for decades. The state says its closing is temporary. KentuckyTourism.com

The state Transportation Cabinet said Monday that it hopes to reopen a popular rest area on the Wendell Ford Western Kentucky Parkway after completing a bidding process.

The doors were closed and the gas pumps were switched off Sunday at the Beaver Dam rest area in Ohio County because the lease with the current vendor had expired and a recent bid process was terminated due to the bidder’s failure to provide complete information, cabinet officials said Monday.

The stopover, in the median of the parkway at mile marker 75 just west of the Beaver Dam exit, is between the U.S. 231 interchange and the William H. Natcher Parkway interchange. It has an Arby’s restaurant and a convenience store.

Because of liability concerns, the state decided to close the rest area when an agreement administered between the Finance Cabinet and the vendor expired. “The closure took effect because the current vendor provided an incomplete response to the state’s request for proposals and was non-responsive to the state’s request for more information,” the Transportation Cabinet said in a news release.

Transportation officials said reopening the rest area is “a top priority.”

“We are eager to get a new contract in place to reopen this popular rest area as soon as possible,” said Asa James Swan, chief of staff of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Motorists who plan to travel the parkway should be aware that no services will be available, including restrooms, food service and gasoline purchases during the closure. Truck parking also will be prohibited.

The cabinet has not set a timetable for reopening, but it anticipates, in conjunction with the Finance Cabinet, offering a request for proposal soon.

In the meantime, temporary message boards will alert the public that entry ramps at the site have been barricaded.

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