If you stop and think about what can go wrong at a public space such as a park, transit station, or a highway safety rest area—a million things might spring to mind. Be it plumbing, electrical or storm related, OTE rest areas undergo daily interruptions to regular service. The traveling public is most always affected even for a short period of time.
Vandalism at rest areas usually requires some type of service interruption. At OTE’s French Prairie southbound I-5 men’s restroom building, staff were busy cleaning a ginormous mess from shattered mirrors. Vandals had smashed all mirrors in the structure and not only was broken glass strewn across the floor, sinks were gouged and tile damaged.
Rest Area Supervisor John Horton reported that Rest Area Specialists Kurt Valdez and Kory Morris were busy removing damaged tiles and re-designing wall space over the men’s room sinks. In order to combat ongoing vandalism, glass mirrors will be phased out. In fact, mirrors will not be replaced until OTE researches improved and vandal-proof options.
Morris and Valdez worked most of the day yesterday and this morning to clean and demolish old tiles and resurface the walls. While they complete their repairs, the front men’s restroom is closed. However, there is an adjoining restroom that continues to operate as normal.
All of us at OTE hope that you will let us know if there are repairs or other issues when you stop to use our facilities. We’re here to ensure that your Oregon rest areas remain safe and clean. You can let us know if there are problems with vandalism even when rest area staff is off-duty. We will respond through the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Emergency Dispatch number: 877-527-6560. Local law enforcement is also aware of 24-hour activity within our rest areas and will respond to reports of criminal behavior when reached through Emergency Services at 9-1-1.