Reconstruction of the service plazas entails complete demolition of the existing structure, substantial site work because the facilities house underground fuel tanks, building a new structure almost twice as large as the former and adding new amenities such as a trucker's lounge, laundry facilities and even a business center.
To complete the project, each site must be closed to the public. The scheduled closure will occur at midnight March 6, 2000 at the Portage and Brady's Leap plazas located at milepost 197 in Portage County. To close the plazas, the driveway entering either plaza will be blocked at midnight, preventing vehicles from entering the facility.
For eastbound travelers on the Turnpike, the Towpath plaza located at milepost 170 will be the last plaza open until the Glacier Hills Plaza at milepost 237. And westbound travelers will be able to stop at the Mahoning Valley plaza at milepost 237 or travel to the Great Lakes Plaza at milepost 170. In the event of an emergency, patrons can use off-Turnpike facilities for fueling, food concessions and restrooms.
The two service plazas are expected to be reopened in April 2001.