WKY Parkway rest area reopening next year

Less than a year after the Western Kentucky Parkway rest area in Ohio County suddenly closed, a new company agrees to take over operations.

Officials with the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet say Martin and Bayley, Inc., the operators of Hucks gas stations, agreed to renovate, reconstruct, and run gas and merchandise operations. Up to 20 jobs will be created. The rest area has sat empty since January after it abruptly closed.

"It was fine with me," says Leslie Cardwell of Beaver Dam. "I've been to several Hucks and they're pretty good and they have good food to."

The contract includes two five-year renewal options, which could extend this contract to 2048. Some local people are happy to have it back.

"Just thankful that they're opening," says Annette McKee of Morgantown. "I have a cousin that's in Elizabethtown and she used to go through to Central City and that was sort of our drop off spot, where we can meet up and have a burger and see each other."

The travel center closed after an agreement between the state and its past vendor ended, leaving travelers and truck drivers with one less place to stop for nine months.

"My husband is a truck driver," says Melissa Crews of Beaver Dam. "It was kind of a let down because he came through there and that was one of the places he went to, but he understands business is business."

Hucks officials say it will have a drive-thru and food found at other Hucks gas stations. Ohio County Judge Executive David Johnston says the rest area's reopening will help with tourism, since it's was a major spot people can learn about attractions. 

State officials say the rest area is expected to reopen on January 26th.


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