Local News

N.C. DOT opens 'green' rest station

Posted October 12, 2009

— The North Carolina Department of Transportation opened the state's first environmentally-friendly rest station early this month.

The Northwest North Carolina Visitor's Center, off U.S. Highway 421 in Wilkesboro, will greet visitors to the mountains.

N.C.'s first 'green' rest station opens N.C.'s first 'green' rest station opens

"It's part of our initiative for greening the Department of Transportation," said Don Lee, who manages DOT's rest area program.

The $3.3 million, 10,000-square-foot building features solar panels, geothermal wells for heating and cooling, and a rain-water collection system.

"We're hopeful that we can collect enough rainwater to fully operate the site for lavatories," Lee said.

DOT officials said the green technology will pay off. The new rest stop in Wilkesboro is about 40 percent more efficient than a traditional rest area.

Monitor the green rest station's energy savings.

Older rest areas do have some green features. For example, one near Benson has recycling bins and older solar-panel technology.

The rest area in Wilkesboro, though, is an experiment the state is watching carefully.

"We've got a lot of facilities that are 25, 30 years old that need renovations," Lee said. "We're going to be looking at more green technologies."


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  • Here kitty kitty Oct 12, 2009

    I work on a green campus, and here's why I don't like "green:" it's either freezing or too hot. The lights are on sensors, and as is the case now, lights stay on when no one is in the room. There are no wall switches to turn them off. Water sensors are weird; the water comes on when you walk by the sink, and the commodes flush when no one is in the stall. Where is the savings? I'm glad everyone is excited with the "green" but check back in a year and see if this rest stop saved anything.

  • veekee Oct 12, 2009

    It says 3.3 million, not 12, but everything bashers love to inflate things 4 times. Read the article, not the comments. And for the person that said you could build one for 100k, what century do you live in? The land alone would probably cost 3 times that. It has to be way bigger than land for a house!!! They will probably save so much in water and electricity that it will end up cheaper than a typical stop in long run. I use rest stops a lot on long trips, they are much less creepy than running in to go at some dirty Hardees or something.

  • Here kitty kitty Oct 12, 2009

    Green rest station...that means it welcomes martians, right?

  • fishon Oct 12, 2009

    WOW, Maybe the public can learn something. It is time we stop burning reptile blood and clean our environment.
    If you are talking about oil it is not reptile blood. Maybe you can learn something.

  • fishon Oct 12, 2009

    I'm going near Winston-Salem in a few weeks. Maybe I'll continue on to this site so we can inaugurate the facility. Might as well take advantage, can't recall I've used a bathroom that cost $12 Million!

  • jfdfirefighter1055 Oct 12, 2009

    It was probably updated, I didn't get to read it until later on in the day, but 3.3 million is still way too much for a rest area.

  • vote4changeASAP Oct 12, 2009

    Earlier this morning, the article did say $12 million for a 10,000 square foot rest area/$1200 per square foot. I first calculated the cost after reading the article.

  • Real-Old-School Oct 12, 2009

    Either I am losing my mind or the article was updated - I thought it originally said "12 million"

  • ladyblue Oct 12, 2009

    While this is find and dandy I can't help but wonder how much stimulus money that project took. Lot of good it'll do when travelers don't have money to go places. Gee

  • jet2rdu Oct 12, 2009

    Here is a suggestion for a new name for the new green rest area:
    Perdue's Rest Area Constructed Through Incometax Collected Everyday or for short The "PRACTICE" Area.