Interstate 70 across Kansas can be a long, lonesome highway according to Beverly and Avon Acker. They travel that route a lot on their way from Texas to Wyoming, and they always stop at the rest area near Russell.
"That's one thing I've always liked about Kansas," Avon Acker says. "They have so many rest areas."
But the next time they travel through, this rest area may be closed for good.
Water is the reason. The Russell rest area has been consuming twice as much as it did just two years ago, and it's piped in from the city of Russell which has been suffering form a shortage. Years of drought have forced the city to restrict water use. At the same time, the Department of Transportation has had to pump extra water into the rest area's sewage lagoons so they don't dry up.
Shutting down the rest area could save 1.8 million gallons of water a year. It would also save the state more than $80,000 a year.
However, travelers would be left with a 100-mile stretch between rest areas along I-70.
The state says the decision isn't final. If there's enough public outcry, they'll reverse the decision. The Kansas Department of Transportation is taking public comment on the matter until January 15th, 2014.
You can send your comments to KDOT District Three Maintenance Engineer Joseph Finley at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 785-877-3315.