BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two well-known travel plazas along I-95 will soon get major facelifts.
Weijia Jiang has a sneak peek at what they will look like.
State transportation leaders say rebuilding the travel plazas will not only bring new money into Maryland but also hundreds of new jobs.
For decades, the Maryland and Chesapeake Houses have offered drivers along I-95 some much needed R&R.
“Most people traveling make this stop one of their major stops,” said traveler Toni Moore.
But plans are in the works to knock down and completely rebuild both travel plazas.
“It is time they were replaced and the facilities we are going to get are modern, clean, airy, very open and more functional facilities because of the way they’re designed,” said Harold Bartlett, Maryland Transportation Authority.
The company tapped to run the new plazas, Areas USA, will invest $56 million to redesign and rebuild at both locations. They also boast 400 construction jobs and over 35 years, Areas USA will pay the state more than $400 million.
All the current restaurants and retailers will shut down. Artist renderings show they’ll be replaced with a host of new ones like Jamba Juice, Cosi and Qdoba. There will also be new shopping areas, a full-sized convenience store and more room to walk around.
“Instead of getting something to go and get in the car, I’ll probably stick around for a while,” said traveler Shelton Mitchell.
Both buildings could also be better for the environment. They’ll have green roofs, solar power lights and solar water heaters.
The project is still pending approval from the Board of Public Works and a review by the Maryland General Assembly.
Construction on Maryland House is scheduled for September with a December 2013 finish date. The Chesapeake House will remain open until then.