PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation’s 14 rest areas will now be managed under one contract under the agency’s first active public-private partnership. The contract, which takes effect Oct. 1, will mean a better experience for travelers at the rest areas, and will generate additional revenue for ADOT that will help fund highway projects.
Under the five-year agreement, Infrastructure Corporation of America, a private company, will take over the maintenance and operations of all 14 rest areas and will also implement a sponsorship and advertising program to generate revenue. ADOT will continue to own all 14 rest areas.
Previously, ADOT managed and maintained all of the rest areas under 14 separate contracts with a private company. ADOT’s new contract with Infrastructure Corporation of America streamlines the process and provides travelers with quality service from a company well versed in rest area facilities and upkeep.
“I am pleased to see ADOT’s first public-private partnership get underway,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “This project shows that it’s possible to fund transportation projects with non-traditional funding sources. This partnership is an innovative approach to both business and transportation in which everyone benefits, especially those who use Arizona’s rest areas. Public-private partnerships are becoming more common in moving transportation projects forward as transportation funding decreases, both in Arizona and on a national level.”
The current rest area caretakers will be retained as part of this public-private partnership.
As part of the contract, Infrastructure Corporation of America will be able to pursue new amenities at the rest areas to provide a more comfortable experience for travelers. New features could include Wi-Fi access, dog-walking areas, charging stations for electric vehicles and ATM machines. The contract also calls for on-site staff at the rest areas for 16 hours a day.
Travelers will notice advertising signs in the rest areas and sponsorship signs along the highways leading up to the rest areas, which will generate revenue for both ADOT and Infrastructure Corporation of America. The vending machines will remain. The contract does not include adding food and beverage shops within the rest areas. Under federal law, ADOT is prohibited from adding restaurants and stores to rest area facilities.
Under the rest area contract, ADOT is guaranteed at least $1 million over the next 10 years from revenues generated from advertising and sponsorships. That money will go into the State Highway Fund for other transportation projects. This new contract will allow ADOT to better track and manage costs at the rest areas, and will enable the agency to focus on its core business of building and maintaining highways.
For more information about ADOT’s P3 program, go to azdot.gov/P3