Q: What is the status of the rest area on I-64 at mile marker 25? It has been closed for repairs for over a year and there are truckers parked on the off-ramp every day.
A: As any homeowner knows, all buildings eventually need renovations, and interstate rest areas are no exception.
To help save money, the state has been installing more energy-efficient lighting both inside and out, according to the folks at the Illinois Department of Transportation District 8 office in Collinsville. Other work is being done as well to perhaps make people feel safer, including brightening up the lobby area by replacing the dark wood-panel ceiling.
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The bad news is that the state’s funding woes and unexpected problems before the work started slowed the work, as you have seen. The good news is that the project is down to a few last details and that IDOT expects it to reopen within a month at most. Then, work will start on the eastbound area, which the agency hopes will go considerably smoother and faster.
Who was the first president born outside the original 13 states?
Answer to Saturday’s trivia: The College Park (Md.) Airport is still flying high as the world’s oldest airport still in operation. Leased on Aug. 25, 1909, by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, the airport saw its first plane — a Wright Type A biplane — uncrated and assembled on Oct. 7. Wilbur Wright, who with brother Orville had made the world’s first successful airplane flight six years earlier, then trained Lts. Frederic Humphreys and Frank Lahm to fly the government’s first airplane. Since then, the airport has racked up a long list of firsts, including the first female passenger in an airplane (Wilbur Wright took Irene Van Deman on a flight on Oct. 27, 1909); the first mile-high flight by a powered airplane; and the first controlled helicopter flight. Today, it serves as a getaway to Prince George’s County, Md., and Washington, D.C.