WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced more than $300 million to address the national truck parking crisis, and industry reaction is pouring in.
“As a truck driver, I can tell you firsthand that when truckers don’t have a safe place to park, we are put in a no-win situation. We must either continue to drive while fatigued or out of legal driving time, or park in an undesignated and unsafe location like the side of the road or abandoned lot. It forces truck drivers to make a choice between safety and following federal hours-of-service rules. (The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association) OOIDA and the 150,000 small business truckers we represent thank the department for its increased focus on resolving an issue that has plagued our industry for decades,” said Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA.
Notable parking projects announced by USDOT
- $180 million for the Florida DOT to build more than 900 trucking parking spaces along Interstate 4 in Central Florida along four sites in Volusia, Seminole and Osceola counties.
- $40 million for a project at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Pennsylvania, which will include the creation of a safe truck parking area as an alternative to the current practice of parking off-site in unauthorized locations nearby.
- $8 million for Wisconsin DOT to reconstruct a Safety Rest Area along I-90 in Sparta, Wisconsin. This will expand the number of spots from 16 to 70 (a 430% increase).
- $12 million for Washington State DOT to deploy a regional truck parking information management system at 54 truck parking facilities along the I-5 corridor in WA, OR, and CA to connect truck drivers with available parking.
- $92 million for the Missouri DOT to improve I-70, which includes new truck parking facilities and truck parking information systems.
“I often hear directly from truck drivers on the serious challenge of finding safe parking, and today, we are answering those concerns with more action,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This major investment from President Biden’s infrastructure law will build new truck parking facilities and create smart systems to give drivers better information about available spots.”
Combined with previous awards to Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Wyoming and Iowa, the announcement brings the total number of truck parking projects supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 11, encompassing roughly 2,000 additional spaces.
“Florida Trucking Association is proud to have partnered with FDOT on this funding request — I-4 is one of the busiest corridors for freight movement in the country, with far too few parking options,” said Florida Trucking Association President and CEO Alix Miller. “Our state leadership prioritizes the trucking industry and the safety of our drivers, who often have no other choice than to park illegally when they are tired or for their federally mandated rest time. This project will make all motorists safer on our roads and improve efficient movement of freight as we drive the economy forward.”
In November 2023, ATA sent a letter calling on all 50 state governors to make room for truck parking in their infrastructure spending priorities.
The letter spelled out the numerous new resources provided by the federal government, including new funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to improve and expand truck parking facilities.
“The severe shortage of truck parking continues to rank among drivers’ highest concerns, which is why we appreciate that Secretary Buttigieg and a growing number of states are making these projects a top priority,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “America’s highways are our shop floor. When drivers finish their shift, they deserve to know that they will be able to find a safe place to sleep that night. These significant investments in expanding parking capacity along some of America’s busiest freight corridors will help reduce supply chain bottlenecks, alleviate stress on truck drivers and make the roadways safer for all motorists.”
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.