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    Maryland Transportation Authority OKs Redeveloping I-95 Travel Plazas

    Areas USA and 10 Maryland-based companies will design, build and operate new state-owned travel plazas on the interstate.

    MIAMI -- The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Board unanimously approved a proposal by Miami-based Areas USA to partner with 10 in-state companies to design, build and operate new state-owned travel plazas on Interstate 95 in northeastern Maryland.

    The food, beverages and retail-services provider will invest $56 million to redevelop the Maryland House and Chesapeake House plazas, pending approval by the Maryland Board of Public Works and a 30-day review by the state’s General Assembly.

    "We're thrilled to collaborate with a number of exceptional Maryland companies in developing world-class facilities that deliver outstanding amenities and customer service for travelers," said Areas USA CEO Xavier Rabell. "We anticipate this public-private partnership will generate some 400 construction jobs and deliver roughly $400 million to the state over the duration of the 35-year contract."

    Baltimore-based architectural firm Ayers Saint Gross designed the LEED Silver facilities for the proposal. Clark Construction of Bethesda, in conjunction with Cain Contracting of Columbia, will build the facilities. Sunoco will operate the fuel facilities and convenience stores at both plazas. "The designs for the new Chesapeake House and Maryland House draw their inspiration from the spirit and uniqueness of our region," said Ayers Saint Gross principal Adam Gross. "The Chesapeake House's shape and siting takes its cues from the forms of boats and the natural features of the Chesapeake Bay, while the Maryland House builds from a contemporary reinterpretation of Maryland's historic architecture."

    The redeveloped facilities will each be designed to save water and energy, and include large, naturally lit public spaces, Wi-fi, bus parking and a staffed Welcome Center.

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