Upgrades to travel plazas on the West Virginia Turnpike will exacerbate truck parking problems in the area for the short term while the facilities are renovated. Once done, though, there will be a few more parking spots for tractor-trailers.
The Beckley and Bluestone travel plazas on the West Virginia Turnpike will be closed for renovations beginning Feb. 1, according to a news release. Both travel plazas are scheduled to be rebuilt from the ground up.
The West Virginia Parkways Authority approved the plans on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
The Beckley and Bluestone travel plazas are expected to be complete by late 2024. The two travel plazas are about 30 miles apart on I-77.
Ten truck parking spaces will be added to the Bluestone Travel Plaza, bringing the total there to 79.
Another 35 spots will be added to the Beckley plaza, bringing their total to 165.
Once the Beckley and Bluestone facilities are reopened, though, upgrades are planned for the Morton Travel Plaza near Burnwell, W. Va. Renovations to that facility are scheduled to begin in 2025. The Morton Travel Plaza is about 30 miles north of the Beckley Travel Plaza.
New amenities at the West Virginia Turnpike rest areas
In May 2022, the Parkways Authority approved the expenditure of $152 million spread over three fiscal years to revamp the Turnpike’s travel plazas. Plans were based on the results of a 2021 survey of Turnpike travelers.
The Parkway Authority surveyed 3,400 people about renovating the travel plazas. Visitors reportedly said the facilities were opportunities to learn about the state and to purchase crafts and products at tourist information centers.
Surveyed truck drivers said they look to the travel plazas for safe and secure parking, according to the news release.
“Each year 3.3 million people, double the population of West Virginia, visit our WV Turnpike travel plazas,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a news release. “This is our chance to show them ‘almost heaven, West Virginia,’ so we better not screw it up. And now we’re going to have the best facilities that showcase everything that West Virginia has to offer.”
Here are architect renderings of the projects and site plans from the Flickr account of Gov. Jim Justice.
The newly redeveloped West Virginia Turnpike travel plazas are expected to offer expanded food concepts, a 24/7 Mountain State Market convenience store, outdoor dining options, expanded parking for tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles, EV charging stations, separated vehicle and tractor-trailer fueling options, picnic area, and pet relief areas.
The Beckley Travel Plaza will offer a drive-thru, increased restroom facilities, and bus parking, as well as enhanced Parkways Authority tourist information centers. LL