Just in time for Labor Day weekend, the Darien South service plaza on Interstate 95 reopened for business, with gas, a store and several restaurants.
Each of those amenities, along with the restrooms, will be available at the rest stop, located just before Exit 9, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, said Mike Modine, director of operations for Milford based Project Service LLC.
Like the Darien North rest stop on I-95, the just rebuilt rest stop has a McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, Sbarro and Subway (each of which will be open all the time).
Not yet open(with Modine's current estimates for openings):
-- Cheeseboy ("Probably a month")
-- Statements -- a shop with souvenirs and other items ("three weeks")
-- Applegate ("a month")
-- Pinkberry ("a couple of months")
-- Cinnabon ("a couple of months")
The new, 25,000-square-foot building, like its brother on the northbound-traffic side, has a huge food court under the done-like central part of the one-story structure.
Unlike the Connecticut Tourism desk on the northbound side (the first I-95 rest stop in Connecticut) this rest stop -- the last one before leaving the state -- has a digital kiosk where travelers can look up information and even get it printed out.
For trucks, there are 10 "no-idle" spots where truckers must turn off their engines but can plug in to an electricity jack and even get air conditioning.
Perhaps as many as 80 people have been hired by various businesses at the rest stop, Modine said. Tyrone Davis, director of operations for Michell Enterprises, based in Windsor Locks, said 35 to 40 workers have been hired for his company's business at the rest stop (but they 're always looking for more, he added -- for more information, go to mcstate.com).
The service station has strong WiFi coverage, Modine said, and during power outages, generators should be able to provide the entire rest stop fully powered, he said.