DIX HILLS - Work is set to begin on a new rest stop on the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County, and some truck drivers and residents are not pleased with the changes it will bring.
After a long day of hauling bee's wax in his big rig, Ross Duthie, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, spent his night at the LIE text stop between exits 51 and 52. But soon, truckers like Ross won't be able to do that any longer.
As News 12 has reported, the state plans to build a new welcoming center at the stop, complete with bathrooms, food and expanded parking. The project has drawn the ire of local residents who worry about pollution and congestion. As a compromise of sorts, the state has decided to ban trucks from using the new rest stop once it's completed. Ross says that's a dangerous plan because tired truckers will be forced to travel even farther.
Under the state's new plan, truckers heading east won't have a place to stop on the LIE until Exit 66. Going west, truckers will only be allowed to park at the state Department of Transportation's facility at Exit 56.
The plan isn't sitting well with some Dix Hills residents. Bob Bergeman's property backs the LIE's south service road near the rest stop. He says he doesn't want a welcoming center in his backyard, regardless of the presence of trucks.
Ed Quigley, of Centereach, sees the project a bit differently. He doesn't live in the area of the new center, but uses the current text stop often and says he would appreciate an upgrade.
Work on the center is expected to begin as soon as next week.