Food trucks allowed at ADOT rest areas
PHOENIX — While most of the nation is at a standstill, the over the road truck drivers continue to move products throughout the United States.
To help truckers keeping Arizonans supplied with food and essentials, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order April 15 allowing food trucks to operate at eight Arizona Department of Transportation rest areas.
While commercial activity is ordinarily prohibited at federally funded rest areas, the Federal Highway Administration recently permitted states to allow food trucks at rest areas while the national emergency declaration remains in effect.
“We want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to support the truck drivers who are working long hours to keep our grocery stores stocked and our medical professionals equipped,” Ducey said. “(This) order will allow long-haul truck drivers to buy nutritious food during their trips, and will help increase business for food trucks at this time. Arizona will emerge from this public health challenge stronger by supporting each other and staying connected.”
To support Ducey’s Executive Order, the Arizona Department of Transportation has developed a permit process for food truck owners. Owners can visit azdot.gov/permits and click on the Encroachment Permits tab to get more information and apply for a permit to sell food at the rest areas. There’s no cost for the permit, and it will be good for 30 days.
The program will initially include eight rest areas along interstate freeways: Sunset Point and Christensen along I-17; Haviland, Parks and Meteor Crater along I-40; and Ehrenberg, Burnt Wells and Sacaton along I-10. More rest areas may be added depending on demand.
Food trucks permitted to operate at rest areas will have to abide by all federal, state and local guidelines for operation and public interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, ADOT reopened the Parks and Christensen rest areas, located along I-40 and I-17 respectively in northern Arizona, exclusively for commercial vehicles to use.
Ducey and ADOT also raised the weight limit for commercial vehicles hauling supplies for the coronavirus relief effort to 90,000 pounds, making it more efficient to get supplies to grocery stores and medical facilities.
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