RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Tourism Corporation announced today the opening of a new safety rest area and welcome center in Caroline County. This new facility will serve as the Northern Virginia Gateway welcome center. This is the twelfth welcome center to open in the Commonwealth.
The grand opening ceremony marked the completion of the $3.6 million project on Interstate 95 northbound in Caroline County, located at mile marker 107 at Ladysmith. The new Safety Rest Area is opening two months ahead of schedule, and will serve travelers before the peak spring break and summer travel season.
“As gateways and first-stop destinations for travelers, Virginia Welcome Centers provide an invaluable way to promote events, attractions and destinations across the Commonwealth,” said Hayes Framme, Deputy Secretary of Commerce & Trade. “This new welcome center is a larger and more modern facility, and will serve as a wonderful new resource for travelers in Virginia.”
“Our welcome centers serve as critical communication channels for travelers in Virginia,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “The new welcome center will provide a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and visibility for all of our tourism products, not only in the greater Fredericksburg-area, but also for our tourism partners in Northern Virginia.”
“We are very pleased to host this beautiful new facility in Caroline County” said Jeff Black, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for the Western Caroline District. “It will afford the millions of travelers who pass through our County on Interstate 95 each year with a modern, convenient place to stop and relax. We encourage visitors to take advantage of the opportunity the Welcome Center provides to learn more about Caroline County and what it has to offer the traveling public.”
Construction on the 9,400 square foot building began in mid-April 2016, and offers a greater number of restrooms, including a family restroom and several child-size fixtures. The facility also meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Additionally, the rest area is designed to be energy efficient, and meets LEED Silver requirements from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Approximately 1.6 million people visit the I-95 northbound Safety Rest Area at Ladysmith in Caroline County each year. It is the third most visited rest area in Virginia.
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2015, visitors to Virginia spent $23 billion, which supported 223,100 jobs and contributed $1.6 billion in state and local taxes.
To find out more and plan your next vacation in Virginia, visit www.virginia.org.