Skip to content

Project Profile: Maryland I-95 Travel Plazas Redevelopment

Purple Line Project

photo credit: Maryland Transportation Authority


Cecil County and Harford County, Maryland

Project Borrower / Sponsor

Maryland Department of Transportation / Maryland Transportation Authority

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryValue Capture

Value Capture Techniques Joint Development



In 2012, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) entered into a bundled long-term P3 lease concession agreement with Areas USA, a subsidiary of Areas S.A., a Spanish food and beverage service provider to the travel industry, to redesign and rebuild two Maryland Travel Plazas along I-95 (John F. Kennedy Highway) and operate and maintain them over a 35-year lease term.

The concessionaire has invested $56 million in the reconstruction of the two travel plazas. Originally constructed in 1963, the Maryland House Travel Plaza in Harford County closed shortly after the lease was finalized in September 2012 and reopened on January 16, 2014. Chesapeake House Travel Plaza in Cecil County remained open during that time. Originally completed in 1975, the construction of the new Chesapeake House began construction in spring 2013, and the new facility opened August 5, 2014. The projects supported an estimated 400 construction jobs, and the new facilities employ approximately 575 people.

The new travel plazas feature expanded, modern facilities with different food options, a convenience store, free Wi-Fi, natural lighting, a staffed welcome center, and high-speed fueling. Recently, electric vehicle charging stations have been added.

In addition to reconstructing the travel plazas, the concessionaire is responsible for all operations and maintenance activities, and additional capital investments to be made on a specified schedule. The State of Maryland benefits from the lease through these savings, as well as a revenue sharing agreement that includes specified percentages and thresholds of gross sales from primary facilities, gross sales from the convenience stores, and fuel sales. The lease agreement also includes performance targets for custodial service, grounds maintenance, landscaping, snow and ice removal, and emergency maintenance.

The overall value to the State, including avoided capital, operations, and maintenance costs, as well as revenue sharing, is estimated to be $577 to $662 million in year-of-expenditure dollars over the 35-year term. By avoiding capital expenditures on the two facilities, MDTA preserves available debt capacity - which cannot exceed $3.0 billion on June 30 of any year - for its core business responsibilities of preserving and maintaining transportation facilities, and it remains better positioned to respond to emergency and/or unforeseen capital expenses.

The project is also an excellent example of the joint development value capture technique, as it is beneficial to both MDTA and Areas USA, decreases MDTA's operating costs, involves cost sharing, provides complementary infrastructure, and enhances amenities for motorists.


$577 - $662 million - Estimated revenue and benefits accruing to the State over the 35-year lease term

  • $56 million - Capital investment in the two travel plaza facilities
  • $442 - $488 million - Revenue payments to the state over 35 years
  • $2.5 million - Transition investment (Year 1)
  • $41.5 - $45.5 million - Long-run capital reinvestment in facilities
  • $35 - $70 million - Maintenance of facilities no longer the state's responsibility (landscaping, pavement, snow removal, etc.)
Funding Sources

Concessionaire's financing

  • Not available
Project Delivery / Contract Method

Long-term Lease Concession (35 years)

Private Partner


  • Sunoco, Inc. - Fuel and Convenience Store Operations
Project Advisors / Consultants

To Maryland Transportation Authority

  • Laurie Mahon - Financial Advisor
  • Jacobs Engineering - Technical Advisor

To the concessionaire

  • Ayers Saint Gross - Lead Designer
  • Clark Construction - Contractor
  • Cain Contracting, Inc. - Subcontractor
  • WBCM - Civil and Traffic Engineer
  • Fitch - Interior Design and Architecture
  • Aria Environmental, Inc. - Environmental Design
  • Cagley & Associates - Structural Engineer
  • The Lighting Practice - Lighting Designer
  • NMP Engineering Consultants, Inc. - Water Resources Engineering


Duration / Status

Preferred bidder selected January 22, 2012

Maryland Board of Public Works approval March 7, 2012

Concession conclusion 2047

Financial Status

Financial close September 16, 2012

  • The lease agreement required the concessionaire to provide sufficient LEED elements in the planning, design, construction, and operations of each travel plaza to result in a silver LEED certification.
  • The lease agreement required the concessionaire to establish an Annual Maintenance Escrow Account into which it deposits monthly an amount equal to 1) 1% of gross revenues for the preceding month and 2) $0.0075 per gallon of fuel sold for the preceding month. Any remaining balance at the end of the lease agreement will be paid to MDTA. In addition, a specified capital upgrade schedule dictates certain commitments by the concessionaire to make capital investments in the travel plazas beginning in year 8.
Related Links / Articles

Maryland Transportation Authority I-95 Travel Plazas

Areas USA

Lisa Webb, CEcD
Manager, P3 Office
Maryland Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary

back to top