Popular ‘Beaver Dam’ rest stop temporarily closes

UPDATE: A spokesperson with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has clarified the abrupt closure of the popular ‘Beaver Dam rest stop’ on the Wendell Ford-Western Kentucky Parkway as only temporary. 

Ryan Watts with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said Sunday that the closure is temporary but couldn’t say for how long.  Watts went on to say that the center closed because the lease with the current vendor expired and a recent bid process was terminated due to the bidder’s failure to provide complete information.

The Beaver Dam rest area is located in the median of the Parkway at mile marker 75, along the Parkway between the U.S. 231 interchange and the William H. Natcher Parkway interchange in Ohio County.

Drivers who plan to travel the Parkway should be aware that no services will be available, including restrooms, food service and gasoline during the closure. Truck parking will also be prohibited during this time. 

Citing liability issues, the state closed the rest area Sunday afternoon when the deal between the Finance Cabinet and 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 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is currently in a bidding process. After the current vendor turned in an incomplete application, the Cabinet was forced to actively begin seeking a new one for the Beaver Dam rest area," said Asa James Swan, chief of staff of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 

"We are eager to get a new contract in place to reopen this popular rest area as soon as possible."

The Cabinet has not established a timeframe for its reopening, but anticipates, in conjunction with the Finance Cabinet, offering a request for proposal soon. Re-opening the Beaver Dam rest area will be a top priority for KYTC.

KYTC personnel will put up temporary message boards to alert the public and will barricade entry ramps at the site.

Food and gasoline services are available nearby at the U.S. 231 Beaver Dam exit 75 interchange.

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A place you and your family might rely on to refuel and grab a snack while traveling closed Sunday. 

The Kentucky New Era reports that the welcome center and rest area along the Wendell Ford Western Kentucky Parkway, known to many as the Beaver Dam rest stop, closed suddenly at 3p.m.

A shift manager for the center told the paper that 13 people lost their jobs, not including those who worked at Arby’s restaurant located inside the center. 

WPSD Local 6 has reached out to the Kentucky Department of Transportation and Kentucky Tourism for additional information on the closure and a plan for the future.  No one from those agencies returned our calls as of Sunday. 

We will update this story when new information becomes available. 

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