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Weary Travelers Regain An Option On Their Way To The City

The Crystal Springs rest area was rebuilt with heavy compliance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A rest stop on Interstate 280 often used by northbound drivers heading to San Francisco reopened Thursday after a two year closure.

The Crystal Springs rest area, known by car travelers as the place along the highway where a huge statue of Father Junipero Serra can be seen, closed in September of 2009.

"We completely tore down the old restrooms, and then build from the ground up," says Bob Haus, Public Information Branch Chief for Caltrans.

The new rest area features 24-hour surveillance cameras, a California Highway Patrol drop-in station, vending machines run by the Department of Rehabilitation, new landscaping, a new wheelchair ramp, and the new restrooms, including a "family" restroom.

"If we have someone that is elderly or disabled, and they travel with a caregiver of the opposite gender, there’s a restroom set aside for them that’s open for both genders," says Haus.

"The family rest area is a huge plus," adds Caltrans Chief Deputy Director Dan McElhinney. "If you need to support a family member, you can do that."

McElhinney estimates the old rest stop was built in the late 1950's or early 1960's at a time when the the United States interstate system began construction. Fifty years later, the rebuilding of an entirely new rest area cost $2.7 million, about $1 million less than Caltrans estimated when first embarking on the project.

McElhinney says he expects about 200,000 visits to the facility every year.

Caltrans estimates 110,000 cars pass by the rest area on Highway 280 every day.  He says the location of Crystal Springs is unique to the northbound traveler. "It gives you a chance to stop before you hit heavy traffic, you can plan ahead for a place to stop, and now we’ll have some new vending machines in case you need something to drink, as well as these new comfort stations."

Says Haus, "This is a state of the art rest area; we’re very, very proud of all the work that’s gone into this."

The rest area will be open 24 hours.

Bob May 27, 2011 at 09:52 AM
"McElhinney estimates the old rest stop was built in the late 1950's or early 1960's ..." Caltrans Chief Deputy Director Dan McElhinney needs a mind check and you Dave as a "journalist" should always check your facts. Prior to 280 there was no road at the spot where the rest stop is located. The only road between 92 and 84 was Canada Rd. That section of 280 freeway was not completed until the early 1970's. The "old" rest stop CalTrans replaced wasn't built until the freeway was completed. The only rest stops in the 50s and 60s were 1)at the Pulgas Water Temple on Canada Rd. 2) along the reservoir on Skylien just north of 92 and 3) the island at the intersection of old 92 and Canada where cold drinks and hotdogs were available from a couple of "hotdog" trucks that would park there on the weekends.

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