New Jersey

Gov. Christie: Aging Turnpike, Parkway Rest Stops Getting Makeovers

Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that New Jersey's aging rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway are getting a makeover.

The Republican governor made the announcement at the Monmouth travel plaza in Wall. It's the latest in a recent series of projects that will continue after the two-term, term-limited Republican leaves office in January, along with a new riverfront park in Trenton and the renovation of the Statehouse.

Christie said the state has agreed to give Sunoco and food service firm HMS Host a 25-year contract at the turnpike and parkway in exchange for $250 million in renovations.

Christie said many of the plazas date back to the 1950s, shortly after the toll roads opened to the public, and need newer facilities. He said the work would be done by 2024 and that there could be some closures, though he didn't specify. 

“It represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enlist our proven partners in the cause of replacing service area facilities as old as the toll roads themselves with pleasant, state-of-the-art facilities for tens of millions of people,” Christie said.

Christie's office said rest stops due for makeovers include 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 plazas on the parkway.

The new buildings will total between $10 million and $15 million apiece. The Thomas Edison and Monmouth facilities are the first scheduled to be replaced, according to Christie's office. Construction on those is set to begin next year and be completed in 2019.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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