I-49 worst road for washroom breaks in U.S., study reveals

by Today's Trucking

Finding a washroom on the road is a constant struggle for truck drivers, but those who travel I-49 have to hold it for longer than their peers on other highways.

A study from QS Supplies shows the route that runs from Lafayette, Louisiana, to Kansas City, Missouri, has two rest stops spaced an average 264 miles (425 km) apart on the 528-mile (850-km) interstate.

And the longest stretch of U.S. highway without facilities is the I-22 from Birmingham, Alabama, to Byhalia, Mississippi — a 202-mile (325-km) run with no stops.

Map of rest stop distances

Rest areas, unlike truck stops, are funded by state transportation departments and forbidden from selling fuel or food, or hosting commercial businesses. Unfortunately, they have become a drain on state resources around the country, and many have now closed widening the gap between toilet stops, the study said.

Two stops along 849 km highway

Both of the I-49’s washroom stops are in Louisiana (one near Boyce, the other near Washington), where the original part of the I-49 first existed. The road also runs through Arkansas, but you’ll have to hold it in that state until you reach the endpoint in Kansas City, Missouri, the study revealed.

At some stage, the two sections of the I-49 will meet briefly in Texas when the final part is completed – and while public funding for the project is limited, it seems likely that private enterprises in Texas will take advantage of this major south-north thoroughfare by catering to the needs of drivers.

Graphic on rest stops

But if you think you’ve got things bad in Missouri, you’ll be tying your legs in knots in Mississippi. The Birmingham, Alabama to Byhalia, Mississippi I-22 is 202.22 miles (325.44 km) of hot, thirsty road without a single washroom stop.

That’s three hours of crossing your legs and your fingers — nearly twice the time you’ll wait to relieve the pressure on the third-longest washroom-free stretch, which is on Route 220 in North Carolina.

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