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FOR RELEASE: November 19, 2009
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065

Governor Rell Announces Concession Agreement

To Transform Highway Service Plazas

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced the state has entered into a sweeping, long-term concession agreement to transform all 23 service plazas along the major highways with more restaurant choices and stores and upgraded comfort facilities. Including projected revenues, initial construction and reinvestments, the benefit to the State of Connecticut is estimated to be almost $500 million over the term of the agreement.

“This is an unprecedented commitment to economic development, jobs and meeting the needs of the traveling public,” Governor Rell said. “We are changing the face of our service plazas to make them as inviting, safe and convenient as possible to the hundreds of thousands of daily travelers on our most heavily used highways.”

The 23 service plazas are along the Connecticut Turnpike (Interstate 95), the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways and I-395 in eastern Connecticut.

About 750 people are currently employed at the various service plazas. It is expected that 100 construction jobs will be created during the first five years, and that once all the service plazas have undergone transition approximately 1,000 people are expected to be employed.  Equally as important, the majority of the companies involved are Connecticut-based.

          The 35-year agreement is the result of two years of intense effort, including nearly seven months of negotiations between the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and preferred developer Doctors Associates/Paul Landino (DAI), which represents Subway, and global private equity firm The Carlyle Group.

For over two decades, the major food provider on the Connecticut Turnpike has been McDonald’s (since 1985) and the fuel provider at all 23 service plazas has been ExxonMobil (since 1982).  Under the new agreement, all 23 service plazas will include a Subway, a Dunkin’ Donuts and a convenience store.  Additionally, McDonald’s will be one of the food providers at eight of the turnpike locations and the larger service plazas on the turnpike will have a variety of additional food offerings. Alliance Energy, a large New England petroleum-marketing distributor, will provide fuel and operate the convenience stores.

          The State had to be innovative in its effort to transform these service plazas, and has developed a significant public-private partnership that is unique in a number of ways.  The two most significant are:

  • A single “Prime Contractor” that will be responsible for all aspects of the project, including operations, maintenance, design, construction and all subcontracts.   DOT will manage and hold the Prime Contractor accountable for performance of all services. 
  • This partnership effort includes a modernization investment using private capital of approximately $178 million.  Three of the existing service plazas will be entirely replaced and the remaining 20 will undergo an array of renovations.  In most cases the arrangement of fuel islands will be changed to accommodate more drivers and offer greater convenience and safety.

DOT Commissioner Joseph F. Marie said the agreement "marks the beginning of a new era of convenience and service for the millions of travelers on these major highways every year” and praised the team that brought the package to fruition. He said the new operator will formally take over on December 7, 2009, and that the transition should be "seamless and transparent" to the public.

          The service plazas are at the following locations:

Connecticut Turnpike (northbound and southbound)






Merritt Parkway (northbound and southbound)


New Canaan


Wilbur Cross Parkway (northbound and southbound)


North Haven


Montville (southbound)

Plainfield (northbound and southbound)