The New York State Thruway Authority board of directors approved the selection of a proposal to redevelop the 27 service areas located on the Thruway.
Empire State Thruway Partners was selected from bids received in response to a Request for Proposals. The service areas were originally built in the 1950s, with the last significant redevelopment taking place in the 1990s.
"The Thruway is a vital connector for interstate commerce and its service areas provide motorists with essential travel amenities that allow them to reach their destinations safely," Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. "The upgrades planned with this redevelopment project include innovative, modern initiatives to improve the customer experience for the tens of thousands of travelers who use the service areas every day."
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the initiative to reimagine the Thruway service areas in his 2018 State of the State address.
Empire State Thruway Partners submitted a $450 million investment plan to rebuild 23 of the 27 service area restaurant buildings and provide significant renovations and upgrades to the remaining four.
The contract with Empire State Thruway Partners includes a 33-year term, with two phases of construction. Phase one includes 16 service areas with staged reconstruction expected to begin in 2021. Phase two includes 11 service areas with renovations expected to begin in January 2023. To ensure continuity of services to Thruway customers during construction, no two consecutive service areas in the same direction of travel will be closed for renovations at the same time.
Amenities and services were established in the RFP using feedback from a Thruway administered customer survey in 2018, which gathered information from customers to gain fresh insight into consumer preferences, best practices and appropriate business models.