The New York State Thruway Authority announced construction will begin this month during the busy summer travel season on a $450 million project to redevelop the 27 service areas located on the NYS Thruway. The service areas were originally built in the 1950s, with the last significant redevelopment taking place in the 1990s. On July 29, ten service areas will close for work to begin on the first phase of the project. Fuel services will remain available at all locations during construction.
(Photo above: Rendering of new building at Pattersonville rest area to be completed in 2022.)
Following a competitive bidding process, Empire State Thruway Partners was awarded the contract and will 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. The project is funded through a public-private partnership, and no toll dollars or state tax dollars are being used.
“A new travel experience is on the horizon for customers as this long-anticipated project to redevelop the Thruway’s 27 service area gets underway this month,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. “This expansive project will modernize the buildings and amenities, provide diverse and healthy food options with new restaurants and Taste NY products, and enhance the amenities for the commercial trucking industry. This is an exciting era for the Thruway Authority and we can’t wait for our customers to experience these new modern facilities.”
“We are delighted to be selected by the New York State Thruway Authority as their partner for this prestigious project,” Bob Etchingham of Empire State Thruway Partners said. “We look forward to providing enhanced facilities and services to New York State Thruway customers over the life of this project.”
Most buildings at the new service areas will be configured to provide entrances from both the parking lot and fuel station facilities. New amenities and services at select service areas will also include:
- Exterior seating with access to Taste NY farm markets, picnic areas, play areas, and pet walking areas with comfort stations
- EV charging stations to further Governor Cuomo’s goals of reducing emissions and expanding electric vehicle infrastructure across the state
- Commercial driver services including increased truck parking, showers, laundry facilities and fitness centers
The Thruway Authority announced the new food concepts which will be available to customers as part of the redevelopment project. Customers will have diverse food options at all 27 service areas, offering a range of healthy products and meals from nationally recognized restaurants.
The expanded food concepts include:
- Shake Shack
- Burger King
- Panda Express
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Taste NY
- Applegreen Convenience Store
Specific locations for the food concepts will be announced at a later date. There are currently either McDonald’s or Burger King restaurants at most NY rest areas.
The Thruway Authority has launched a new webpage dedicated to the project and its developments. Patrons can view a project map, renderings and find more information about the planned amenities and services. In 2018, a customer survey was distributed to gather information from patrons and gain fresh insight into consumer preferences, best practices and appropriate business models. Patrons responded they would like to have more drive-thru and take out options, as well as local artisan food and beverage offerings. The new selection of restaurants, Taste NY products and freshly made, healthy meals and snacks offered at Applegreen Convenience Stores, will provide customers with options they prioritized to meet their travel needs.
In 2022, work will continue on six additional service areas. Phase two includes 11 service areas with renovations expected to begin in 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.
The following service areas will close on July 29 for redevelopment:
- Ardsley (I-87 northbound, mile marker 6)
- Plattekill (I-87 northbound, mile marker 65)
- New Baltimore (I-87 northbound and southbound, mile marker 127)
- Indian Castle (I-90 eastbound, mile marker 210)
- Iroquois (I-90 westbound, mile marker 210)
- Chittenango (I-90 westbound, mile marker 266)
- Junius Ponds (I-90 westbound, mile marker 324)
- Clifton Springs (I-90 eastbound, mile marker 337)
- Clarence (I-90 westbound, mile marker 412)
- Pembroke (I-90 eastbound, mile marker 397)
Construction is expected to begin in 2022 at the following service areas:
- Sloatsburg (I-87 northbound, mile marker 33)
- Ulster (I-87 southbound, mile marker 96)
- Pattersonville (I-90 westbound, mile marker 168)
- Oneida (I-90 eastbound, mile marker 244)
- Seneca (I-90 westbound, mile marker 350)
- Scottsville (I-90 eastbound, mile marker 366)
Variable Message Signs and roadway signage will alert motorists of the construction at the service areas and the location of the next service area on the Thruway.
The Thruway Authority’s 27 Service Areas are accessible to the 250 million vehicles that travel on the Thruway system every year. Thruway Service Areas are open 24 hours a day and offer motorists unique food and retail options, restroom facilities and fueling for passenger and commercial vehicles. Taste NY Farm Markets and Tourism Information Centers are also available at select locations.
Empire State Thruway Partners is operated by Applegreen Limited, the premier operator of motorway service areas in the US, UK and Ireland. Applegreen is owned by its founders and Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.