PUEBLO, Colo. - Closed for cleaning is an understatement. The septic system at the Pinon Rest Area near Pueblo is clogged, and not with what you'd think.
"We were having people put trash, inappropriate things, even clothes into the system," said Michelle Peulen, the Colorado Department of Transportation communications manager.
It's frustrating for travelers like Sandra Hollis, who says this stupidity has forced her to the other side of the interstate to take a break.
"I mean, what are you going to do, go in the grass?" Hollis said.
Here's the crazy part, CDOT installed a one-of-a-kind waterless sewage system here in 2013. It was supposed to last decades. It lasted four years.
Since the closure of this rest area in April, CDOT has had to clean out a massive amount of human waste, and other things, at a price of $200,000.
"We do have a contract with a company that's going to help us clean and maintain the rest area. So there will be someone here that watches it, so we hope that that will deter folks," Peulen said.
CDOT has to find $2.6 million for a permanent repair. In the meantime, the agency is hopeful the massive amount of drivers who use this stop will be mindful.
"These are taxpayer funds, so please take care of the rest area as you would if it were your own," Peulen said.
This reopening isn't permanent; until they can find the funding to redo the septic system, it will be closed every so often for cleaning and maintenance.