ALBANY — More than two dozen rest stops on New York’s 570-mile Thruway are on track to getting a $450 million facelift, as the state highway system approved the roadway’s first major redevelopment plan in 30 years.
The New York State Thruway Authority’s board of directors voted Tuesday to approve a 33-year contract with a private consortium — Empire State Thruway Partners — led by the infrastructure investment firm John Laing Group.
The association will provide the funds for the work, investing $300 million to build 23 new rest stops, plus putting in another $103 million to upgrade another four stops, according to agreed upon documents between the state and consortium.
Construction is scheduled to begin in two phases, the first set to start in 2021 including 16 service areas.
“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 Authority said in a statement.
The group will also be required to pay a minimum total $51 million in rental fees over the course of the three decade-long lease, and will have to turn over .84 percent of gross sales annual to the Thruway Authority. They will be permitted to keep the remainder of yearly earnings from operating the rest stops.
Work on the additional 11 will commence in 2023.
Terms of the agreement were negotiated through a procurement process with the state, which began in 2018, and have yet to be finalized.
The deal will be effective following sign offs from State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and State Attorney General Letita James.
It’s also the first longterm improvement plan approved since the 1990s for the highway system.