Most of the buildings at the rest areas date to 1952. In addition to more modern décor, authorities plan to add nicer bathrooms, freshly paved parking lots, modern food courts, better lighting and services such as fax and copy machines.
An agreement with Host Marriott Service is expected next month. The Marriott division would contribute $25 million toward the three-year project.
The turnpike authority wants to begin with the following rest areas: Vince Lombardi in Ridgefield, Joyce Kilmer in East Brunswick, and Clara Barton and John Fenwick in Salem County.
Each year, more than 20 million people visit the service areas along the 148-mile turnpike. That number could go up following Gov. Christie Whitman's ban on large trucks on many of the state's alternative routes.