Indiana joins multi-state parking system for semitrailers

A new system will provide semitrailer drivers on Interstates 65, 70 and 94 with current information on safer places to park their rigs than highway ramps and rest area shoulders, an Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman says.

The state is among eight states to receive federal grant money to implement the Truck Parking Information and Management System. INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield told the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. The state will get $4 million in grant money and will contribute a 10 percent funding match.

When the system is activated, INDOT will be able to broadcast real-time parking info through electronic message signs, traveler information websites and smartphone applications, the agency said.

That's good news to drivers like Jim Smith of Mooresville.

"You can never have too much information, especially hauling one of these things," Smith said after stopping his rig at a rest stop along I-70.

Wingfield said INDOT plans to partner with truck stops along the three interstates to provide parking.

"The volume and percentage of truck traffic that travels on I-65, I-70 and I-94 are higher than any other interstates that INDOT maintains," Wingfield said.

Semitrailer drivers must follow federal rules limiting their time on the road, forcing them to park at rest stops, truck stops or wherever they can find space.

The parking system went live on I-94 in Michigan last summer. Collin Castle of the Michigan Department of Transportation said the state has received mostly positive feedback from drivers who've used it.

"Overall, we just feel it benefits the community as a whole," he said.

The other states participating in the federal grant are Michigan, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

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