Travelers will still be able to stop, take a break, and pick up items for the road when the Beckley and Bluestone travel plazas on the West Virginia Turnpike shut down next month for a series of complete renovations.
The Beckley and Bluestone travel plazas will be closed beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, to begin demolition and site redevelopment. Both travel plazas will be rebuilt from the ground up.
But Jeff Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority, said that doesn’t mean drivers won’t be able to stop.
“We will still be able to provide motorists a safe area to get off the roadway, park and rest, take a break,” Miller said. “We will have those areas still open.
“We’re fortunate at the Beckley travel plaza off Exit 45 that we do have Tamarack Marketplace located right there,” he said. “They have a full-service restaurant, restrooms, retail, and grab-n-go area.”
Miller said that beginning Saturday, April 1, 2023 the hours of the Tamarack Marketplace, located next door to the Beckley travel plaza, will expand. The facility will open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., a change from 6 days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Restroom renovations at the Tamarack Marketplace will be completed in a few weeks. The Tamarack Marketplace will also open ‘Country Roads Market.' The addition is aimed at supplementing the needs of interstate travelers with convenience store offerings such as food, drinks and car items.
Miller said drivers of tractor-trailers will not have to look for alternative locations from Beckley and Bluestone for meeting, switching equipment, and fueling.
“The fueling operations, which do contain restrooms and sell snacks and beverages, will remain almost through the entirety of the project,” Miller said. “We will be able to keep all of the parking open which is highly utilized for tractor-trailer parking.”
Miller said the only time parking will be impacted will be during paving operations.
The newly redeveloped travel plazas will offer expanded food concepts, a 24/7 Mountain State Market convenience store, outdoor dining options, expanded parking for tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles, EV charging stations, separated vehicle and tractor-trailer fueling options, picnic area, and pet relief areas.
The Beckley travel plaza will offer a drive-through, increased restroom facilities, and bus parking, as well as enhancing and highlighting the Parkways Authority Tourist Information Centers.
Construction of the new travel plazas is expected to be completed by late 2024.
“Long-term, the facility that we will deliver to the traveling public and to drivers will be a world-class facility,” Miller said.
The Morton Travel Plaza near Burnwell will remain open until renovations to that facility begin in 2025.
In May 2022, the Parkways Authority approved the expenditure of $152 million spread over three fiscal years to revamp the Turnpike’s travel plazas. Plans were based on the results of a 2021 survey of Turnpike travelers.