The Georgia Department of Transportation issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) yesterday for the maintenance and operation of 17 rest areas and nine welcome centres along its highways.
“We are looking for private partners to develop an innovative management program for these roadside facilities, a program that will pay for itself,” Vance Smith, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, said in a statement.
According to the RFQ documents, the project plans to fully fund maintenance and operation costs through the revenues obtained from the leasing of advertising space along the rest areas and welcome centres.
The rest centres are the third public-private partnership opportunity to come to market in the southeast state so far this year. In March, Georgia began procurement on a $2.3 billion highway improvement project in Atlanta known as the West by Northwest, and last week it disclosed its intent to build a new train and bus terminal in downtown Atlanta with the help of the private sector.
Georgia isn’t the only US state to consider privatising a portion of its highway rest stop maintenance. California has previously considered a similar idea. And in December 2009, Connecticut signed a contract with Project Service, a Carlyle Infrastructure Partners-backed company, to upgrade and maintain 23 of its highway rest stops for 35 years.
To read the RFQ, please click here.