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Project Profile: Connecticut Service Plazas, Connecticut Service Plazas

Image of retail stores.

The Service Plazas provide retail gasoline sales, restaurant service (at those on Interstate I-95), and food and beverage retail sales. The renovations will provide additional restaurant service, food and beverage sales, and other retail and tourism services. Gasoline sales will continue at all twenty-three Service Plazas.

Source: Credit to BL Companies

Project Name

Connecticut Service Plazas


1-95 and Merritt Parkway in Connecticut

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT)
The Carlyle Group, John Laing Infrastructure Fund

Program Areas

Public-Private PartnershipAlternative Project DeliveryProject FinanceValue Capture

Value Capture Techniques

Advertising/Naming Rights/Sponsorships


Other: Highway Service Plazas


For years, Connecticut’s 23 highway gas stations and concessions were run by ExxonMobil and McDonald’s. The service plazas (10 on I-95, three on I-395 and 10 on Route 15) were built in the 1940s and 1950s and had no significant capital investment in 25 years. After a study revealed the State could earn up to $11 million more per year by renovating its rest stops, Connecticut held a competition among private parties for the funding, management, and design of its service plazas along I-95 and the Merritt Parkway.

As part of the 2009 request for proposals, the State asked for cleaner, safer, LEED-certified buildings that would provide travelers with healthier food choices. In December 2009, Carlyle Group entered into a joint venture called Project Service LLC with Doctor’s Associates, Inc., the parent company of SUBWAY Restaurants. They formed a 35-year public-private partnership with the State of Connecticut to redevelop, operate, and maintain Connecticut’s highway service areas. The partnership took over operations on December 7, 2009, beginning a five-year redevelopment process. The first to be redeveloped was the service area on Route 15 in North Haven, Connecticut.

The project created 375 construction and permanent jobs. Enhancements to the service plazas increased facility use, adding expanded gas pumps and state-of-the-art diesel fuel services, and providing motorists more food options, a comfortable dining room, wireless Internet, new bathrooms, more parking, and a convenience store. Three of the existing service plazas were entirely replaced and the remaining 20 underwent an array of renovations. In most cases, the arrangement of fuel islands was changed to accommodate more drivers and offer greater convenience and safety. The project has also led to more payroll and sales taxes for the State.

In 2016, the Carlyle Group sold the operating company and remainder of the contract rights to the John Laing Infrastructure Fund.


$178 million

Funding Sources Carlyle Infrastructure Partners (CIP) & Doctor's Associates Inc. are Equity Providers
Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) Concession. The Connecticut Service Plazas P3 is a 35-year redevelop, operate and maintain contract for the operation of 23 highway service areas in the Connecticut, USA. JLIF acquired the asset in June 2016.

Private Partner Project Service LLC
Project Advisors / Consultants

Halloran & Sage, Legal
Hunton & Williams, Legal
Whys Solutions, Technical


JLIF Project Investor

Duration / Status

In December 2009, Carlyle Group entered into a joint venture called Project Service LLC with Doctor’s Associates, Inc., the parent company of SUBWAY Restaurants. Construction for the service plazas finished five years later in 2014.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

JLIFThe 35-year concession required the private operators to fund an estimated $178 million in upgrades, including replacing most of the underground fuel tanks, during the first five and a half years.

The Carlyle Group sold the operating company and contract rights to the John Laing Infrastructure Fund for $105 million.

  • Total renovation of the structure, interior, and exterior of the 23 plazas.
  • Created 375 jobs in Connecticut (100 construction jobs; 200 permanent jobs; 75 union custodial jobs)
  • $500 million in economic benefit - over the life of the concession - to the state of Connecticut structure
  • Innovative structure saved Connecticut more than $150 million in construction costs.
  • Enhance Safety by provided Offer free Wi-Fi and safe places to talk and text
  • Reduced energy usage and emissions associated with trucks through implementation of new environmental technologies that include silver LEED design elements and truck-idle reduction technology.
  • Installation of police substations in select service areas in order to provide increased public safety.
  • DBFOM delivery method allowed for a single “Prime Contractor” to be responsible for all aspects of the project, including operations, maintenance, design, construction, and all subcontracts.
Related Links / Articles

Image of rest area.

Connecticut Turnpike Rest Area renovations and new construction designed by BL Companies

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