ArDOT Opens $6M Commercial Truck Parking Lot in West Memphis

ArDOT Opens $6M Commercial Truck Parking Lot in West Memphis

More: Assistant Editor Marty Cook dives deeper into the trucking industry's parking lot problems in his Transportation column. Read it here

The Arkansas Department of Transportation opened an additional 84-space lot for commercial trucks along Interstate 40 outside of West Memphis on Tuesday.

The $6 million facility is an expansion on an already existing lot and is expected to help handle some of the 20,000 tractors that pass through the area daily. Truck parking is a significant issue for the industry; a 2019 survey by the Federal Highway Administration found that there was one parking space for every 11 drivers looking for one.

The Arkansas Trucking Association supported a 2013 registration fee increase to fund the Arkansas Commercial Truck Safety and Education Program for projects such as the West Memphis parking expansion.

“This expansion is the fruit of more than a decade of labor by Arkansas’s trucking industry,” ATA President Shannon Newton said. “A parking lot might not seem like an exciting enhancement to our state’s highway system, but for the 87% of Arkansas communities that rely exclusively on trucks to deliver milk to their grocery stores, medicine to their pharmacies and furniture to their homes, this is a critical piece of infrastructure.”

A 2022 report by the American Transportation Research Institute, a nonprofit connected with the American Trucking Associations, said that parking is the No. 1 concern of truck drivers. The search for parking for mandatory rest times costs drivers as much as an hour a day and $5,500 in annual compensation, according to the American Trucking Associations.

“The issue of safe and available truck parking touches every issue that is important to our industry,” Newton said. “It impacts our commercial driver’s safety and well-being. It impacts how efficiently our industry can deliver and whether it can grow.”

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