NEW BALTIMORE — The New Baltimore service area on the New York State Thruway will temporarily close July 29 to make way for renovations.

The construction is part of a $450 million project to redevelop 27 service areas on the thoroughfare.

“A new travel experience is on the horizon for customers as this long-awaited project to redevelop the Thruway’s 27 service areas gets underway this month,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew Driscoll said in a statement.

The New Baltimore service area is on the southbound side of the Thruway, but is accessible to northbound travelers by an exit ramp and bridge.

The Welcome Center on the northbound side of the highway, which was completed about a year ago, will not be impacted by the renovations, a Thruway spokesman said Wednesday.

The renovation project will be completed by Empire State Thruway Partners, which was awarded the contract in a competitive bidding process.

“We are delighted to be selected by the New York State Thruway Authority as their partner for this prestigious project,” Bob Etchingham of Empire State Thruway Partners said in a statement. “We look forward to providing enhanced facilities and services to New York State Thruway customers over the life of the project.”

The project is funded through a public-private partnership and will not be paid for through state tax dollars or toll revenue, according to the Thruway Authority.

Among the changes to the 27 service areas are the addition of exterior seating with access to Taste NY farm markets, picnic and play areas, and pet walking areas. Electric-vehicle charging stations will be added to the service areas, along with services for commercial drivers such as additional truck parking, showers, laundry facilities and fitness centers.

Dining options will also expand. It has not yet been determined which restaurants will be located at specific service areas, but restaurants could include Shake Shack, Panera, Popeye’s, Burger King, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taste NY and Applegreen Convenience Store.

“This expansive project will modernize the buildings and amenities, provide diverse and healthy food options with new restaurants and Taste NY products, and enhance the amenities for the commercial trucking industry,” Driscoll said. “This is an exciting era for the Thruway Authority and we can’t wait for our customers to experience these new modern facilities.”

The New Baltimore service area is included in the first phase of construction, along with nine other sites. An additional six service areas will see construction beginning in 2022, and 11 more will close for renovations beginning in 2023.

“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,” according to the New York State Thruway Authority.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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