Service Area Project FAQs
Why is the Thruway rebuilding or redeveloping all 27 service areas?
The service areas were originally built in the 1950s, with the last significant redevelopment taking place in the 1990s. This project is just one step to reimagine and modernize New York's transportation network so that it can continue to support our growing economy.
Who was awarded the project?
Empire State Thruway Partners was awarded the project through a competitive bidding process.
Are toll dollars or state taxes being used to fund this project?
No, the redevelopment of all 27 service areas on the New York State Thruway is being funded through a public-private partnership. Empire State Thruway Partners submitted the winning $450 million investment plan to rebuild 23 of the 27 service area restaurant buildings and provide significant renovations and upgrades to the remaining four.
Will all service areas be rebuilt at the same time?
No. 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.
What is the timeline for the project?
Empire State Thruway Partners has proposed two phases of construction. Phase one includes 16 service areas with staged reconstruction began in 2021. Phase two includes 11 service areas with renovations expected to begin in January 2023.
Will gas continue to be sold during construction?
Yes, only fuel services will remain available at all service areas during construction. Restrooms and other amenities will not.
What amenities will be offered at the new service areas?
The new service areas will continue to provide 24/7 access to food and fuel options and also offer an opportunity to showcase New York products and attractions while providing customers with modern conveniences and services they expect while traveling our roads.
Additional amenities include:
- Exterior seating with access to Taste NY farm markets, picnic areas, play areas, and pet walking areas with comfort stations
- Technology-forward building maintenance systems to monitor facilities, alert maintenance to issues and schedule predictive maintenance
- Enhanced services such as call ahead ordering, kiosks and drive-thru service at most locations
What restaurants or food options will be available?
Empire State Thruway Partners detailed a commitment to promoting the I Love NY program and local tourism by showcasing Taste NY products through self-branded convenience stores and gift shops. The tenant plan features a variety of options for travelers, expanded hours of operation, multiple food concepts, and various seating options for travelers.
Will there be any amenities directed toward the commercial trucking industry?
Yes, the Thruway is a vital connector for interstate commerce and service areas provide motorists and commercial truckers with essential travel amenities that allow them to reach their destinations safely. A number of the new service areas include plans for increased truck parking and high speed diesel at select locations, as well as shower and laundry facilities at select locations, and healthy snacks.
What environmentally friendly features will be included?
As part of the Thruway’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, the service area redevelopment plans include LEED Silver rating principles at all locations, solar arrays integrated into roofing systems and parking areas, rainwater harvesting, retention ponds, irrigation free landscaping and use of non-invasive landscaping that is drought resistant and requires low maintenance and reduced light pollution and glare through building materials, design and light fixture selection and placement.
Additionally, under direct guidance and consultation with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), Empire plans to implement a passenger vehicle electric charging program at all Service Areas to further New York’s goals of reducing emissions and expanding electric vehicle infrastructure across the State.