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Rest stop relief coming for desperate drivers in Virginia

Rosalind Helderman

Gov. Bob McDonnell visited the Commonwealth Transportation Board this afternoon this afternoon to ask that the board vote to reopen the 19 highway rest stops ordered closed by former Gov. Tim Kaine to save $9 million. And, unsurprisingly, the board voted to do just that. Unanimously.

The decision to close the stops was widely unpopular and McDonnell had pledged to reopen them during his campaign for governor. Kaine had asked that they be closed to help address a $4.6 billion shortfall in the state's six-year road improvement program. McDonnell said he would pay for them to be opened by soliciting corporate sponsorship of the stops and employing cheap prison inmate labor to maintain them. The stops will be open within three months, McDonnell has said.

More to come.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 20, 2010; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Next: McDonnell reflects on Brown's win in Massachusetts


Stop at the Virginia Rest Stops, now kept clean by Lee Boyd Malvo and MS-13!! Brilliant

Posted by: TJ1743 | January 20, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Virginia's rest stops should remain open. I'm all for cheap labor, and I'm all for putting inmates to work, but I'm wondering, how will inmates be segregated from the public? How will prison escapes be avoided? How will public safety not be compromised by criminals who are there to serve the public?

Posted by: dannykurland1 | January 20, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I work in an office where jail inmates are used as the cleaning crew. The inmates used are in for non-violent offenses. We haven't had any problems with them, though we are advised not to engage in personal conversation with them. There is an incentive for them to behave, they can work in an air conditioned office doing cleaning or confined all day in a hot jailhouse cell or pod.

Virginia would not use the likes of Lee Malvo or MS-13 for cleanup crews, state laws and/or VADOC policy was changed in the late 1980s to remove felons convicted of violent crimes from serving on work crews.

Posted by: vuac | January 21, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

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