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August 30, 2017

Major capital investment coming to N.J. Turnpike, GSP rest stops

Sixteen aging service areas along the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway are on tap receive more than $250 million in capital improvements over the next 25 years, Gov. Chris Christie announced at Wednesday afternoon press conference.

In a public-private partnership, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) will team up with HMSHost and Sunoco to overhaul rest stops and fueling stations at no cost to the state. In exchange, the two private companies will receive new contracts to continue operating food and fuel stations on the toll roads.

"Most of these facilities look old and outdated, and they look and outdated because they are," Christie said. "Most of them were constructed back in the 1950s, particularly the ones on the Turnpike, and quite frankly for a long time they needed to be modernized to present day standards."

HMSHost will replace the buildings at the Vince Lombardi, Thomas Edison, Joyce Kilmer, Walt Whitman, Clara Barton, and John Fenwick service areas on the Turnpike and the Forked River and Monmouth service areas on the Parkway. Each new building will be constructed at a cost of between $10 million and $15 million apiece, led by the Thomas Edison and Monmouth facilities. They are expected to be completed in 2019.

Another $26.4 million from HMSHost will go toward remodeling the Woodrow Wilson, Richard Stockton, Molly Pitcher, and James Fenimore Cooper service areas on the Turnpike and the Cheesequake and Montvale service areas on the Parkway.

Sunoco will commit $90 million to capital improvements at 21 fuel service stations and convenience stores on the Turnpike and Parkway, including new shops at the Brookdale North Service Area on the Parkway and the Alexander Hamilton Service Area on the Turnpike.

“Having bright, modern facilities at every service area on two of the busiest toll roads in the U.S. will put the State of New Jersey and the NJTA in a better light to all who visit,” said NJTA Commissioner Richard Hammer. “And the new facilities are likely to draw more business, which would mean an increase in NJTA’s non-toll revenue. These improvements are not being made with public dollars, but they will have real public benefits.”