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Highway rest areas named Missouri's top travel destination

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

9/14/07 – Highway rest areas have been officially named Missouri's top travel destination by the state's Department of Transportation.

Over 24 million people a year visit one of the 19 rest areas along Missouri's interstate highways.

MODOT spokesman Jeff Briggs says that's more than the number of people who visit the Gateway Arch, Branson, and the Lake of the Ozarks each year combined.

"I'm pretty sure people don't actually come to Missouri for the purpose of stopping at a rest area, but it is a good illustration, I think, that our rest areas are getting a whole lot of use," Briggs said.

Each rest area provides information on road conditions and work zones, and those designated as welcome centers also provide road maps and information on tourist attractions.

The most heavily-visited rest area in Missouri is near Wright City along I-70, about 50 miles west of St. Louis. The east and west-bound facilities combined average over two million visitors a year.

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