The Pembroke service area on the Thruway is slated to close for renovations on July 29.

The construction is part of a $450 million project to redevelop 27 service areas across the nearly 500-mile long mainline of the highway during the next three years.

“A new travel experience is on the horizon for customers as this long-awaited project to redevelop the Thruway’s service areas gets underway this month,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew Driscoll said in a statement.

The project is designed to modernize buildings and amenities – significant development hasn’t taken place since the 1990s – while providing diverse and healthy food options and enhancing amenities for the commercial trucking industry.

The Pembroke and Clarence service areas are both included in the first phase of construction along with eight other sites. Work is scheduled to last more than a year with Clarence reopening in August 2022 and Pembroke in October 2022.

Fuel service will remain available at all locations during the construction and two ensure continuity of services to Thruway travelers, no two consecutive service areas in the same direction of travel will be closed for renovations at the same time, according to the state Thruway Authority.

The Scottsville Service Area east of Le Roy is scheduled to close in September 2022 and reopen in June 2023.

An additional six service areas will see construction beginning in 2022, and 11 more will close for renovations beginning in 2023. The Ontario Service Area is part of the second phase of construction in 2023.

Among the changes to the 27 service areas are the addition of exterior seating with access to Taste NY farm markets, picnic and play areas, and pet walking areas. Electric-vehicle charging stations will be added to the service areas, along with services for commercial drivers such as additional truck parking, showers, laundry facilities and fitness centers.

Dining options will also expand. It has not yet been determined which restaurants will be located at specific service areas, but restaurants could include Shake Shack, Panera, Popeye’s, Burger King, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taste NY and Applegreen Convenience Store.

The project website indicates that Applegreen Market Store, Burger King and Dunkin Donuts with drive-thru are likely at Pembroke, Clarence and Scottsville, while Ontario would substitute Starbucks with a drive-thru for Dunkin Donuts and add Panera Bread in addition to Burger King and the Applegreen Market Store.

“This expansive project will modernize the buildings and amenities, provide diverse and healthy food options with new restaurants and Taste NY products, and enhance the amenities for the commercial trucking industry,” Driscoll said. “This is an exciting era for the Thruway Authority and we can’t wait for our customers to experience these new modern facilities.”

The renovation project will be completed by Empire State Thruway Partners, which was awarded the contract in a competitive bidding process. The company will rebuild 23 of the 27 service area restaurant buildings and provide significant upgrades to the remaining four.

The project is funded through a public-private partnership and will not be paid for through state tax dollars or toll revenue, according to the Thruway Authority.

“We are delighted to be selected by the New York State Thruway Authority as their partner for this prestigious project,” Bob Etchingham of Empire State Thruway Partners said in a statement. “We look forward to providing enhanced facilities and services to New York State Thruway customers over the life of the project.”

Empire State Thruway Partners is operated by Applegreen Limited, which operates motorway service areas in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland. Applegreen is owned by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.

The changes to the service areas are the result of a 2018 customer survey intended to gather information from patrons. The results showed a desire for more drive-thru and take-out options, local artisan food and beverage offerings.

Service areas slated for renovation

Four nearby Thruway Service Areas are scheduled for renovation in the next two years. Here’s a capsule look at the construction timeline and projected changes:

Pembroke

  • Construction Start: July 29, 2021.
  • Construction End: October 2022.
  • Projected Restaurants: Applegreen Market Store, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts (Drive-Thru), Panera Bread.
  • Projected Services: E-ZPass On-the-go, Farm Market (seasonal), Public/Family Assist Restrooms, Gas Station with Diesel Fuel, Free Wireless Internet Service (Wi-Fi), Taste NY Food and Drink Products, Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

Clarence

  • Construction Start: July 29, 2021.
  • Construction End: August 2022.
  • Projected Restaurants: Applegreen Market Store, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts (Drive-Thru).
  • Projected Services: E-ZPass On-the-go, Farm Market (seasonal), Public/Family Assist Restrooms, Gas Station with Diesel Fuel, Free Wireless Internet Service (Wi-Fi), Taste NY Food and Drink Products, Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

Scottsville

  • Construction Start: September 2022.
  • Construction End: June 2023.
  • Projected Restaurants: Applegreen Market Store, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts (Drive-Thru).
  • Projected Services: E-ZPass On-the-go, Farm Market (seasonal), Public/Family Assist Restrooms, Gas Station with Diesel Fuel, Free Wireless Internet Service (Wi-Fi), Taste NY Food and Drink Products, Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

Ontario

  • Construction Start: January 2023.
  • Construction End: August 2023.
  • Projected Restaurants: Applegreen Market Store, Burger King, Starbucks (Drive-Thru), Panera Bread.
  • Projected Services: E-ZPass On-the-go, Farm Market (seasonal), Public/Family Assist Restrooms, Gas Station with Diesel Fuel, Free Wireless Internet Service (Wi-Fi), Taste NY Food and Drink Products, Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Level 3 Electric Vehicle Charging Station.

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SOURCE: New York State Thruway Authority.

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