The closures will leave the state with 12 rest areas, eight of them in pairs along I-40.
The highway commission cites both safety and cost savings as reasons for closing the rest areas. In April 1997, a pair of rest stop killings prompted the state to first announce plans to close rest areas. It plans to add security cameras to several of the remaining stops. In addition, the commission wants to use the $1.4 million a year in savings for road repairs.