BRENTWOOD REST AREA HISTORY
It all began on May 25, 1966 when the Arkansas State Highway Commission purchased the land containing 5.4 acres for the amount of $2250, which then would be the new home of the Highway 71 Rest Area. Soon after the purchase, construction began for the needed rest stop for travelers to enjoy.
On April 13, 2001 the rest area was closed by the Arkansas State Highway Department because of vandalism and lack of use since the opening of Interstate 540. In 1997, traffic counts made at the rest area indicated an average of 847 vehicles per day entering the facility. A count in 1999 after the opening of I-540 showed the average daily vehicle count had plunged to 88.
The rest area remained closed until November 16, 2001 at which the agreement with the Arkansas Highway Commission and Washington County agreed on an agreement to keep the facility open with the intentions of utilizing the rest area as a sheriffs department substation. On October 14, 2002, the Rest Area/Park was reopened under the control of Washington County, with the Washington County Sheriffs Department responsible for the grounds and opening and closing of the gates to the facility on a daily basis. The idea of a substation fell through due to the lack of funding but the Washington County Judge agreed to keep the park open.
After a couple years past, on September 2, 2004, the Washington County Sheriff proposed to terminate the contract with the State due to the expense and the burden it produced for the Sheriffs Department. According to the contract with the State, the rest area would be closed for good 90 days after written notification from County officials which would be early December2004.
Three Brentwood residents attended the Washington County Quorum Court on October 14, 2004 in plead to keep the Brentwood Rest Area/Park open. It was in consideration for volunteers of Brentwood to provide the upkeep of the facility on a daily basis. On December 7, 2004 it was agreed by the Washington County Finance Committee to provided funding and with a joint effort between Washington County and Brentwood Community members, the rest area at Brentwood would remain open. This agreement was approved by the Washington County Quorum Court on December 9, 2004. The rest area/park will remain open.