The Georgia Department of Transportation will seek a private partner to “develop a comprehensive programme” for managing 17 rest areas and nine welcome centres along its highways, the agency said in a statement.
“Our goal is to mitigate the cost of janitorial, landscaping and maintenance services through advertising and sponsorship,” Vance Smith, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, said in the statement.
A request for qualifications for the management and maintenance of the rest areas and welcome centres will be issued 30 August. A shortlist of qualified bidders will be determined by the end of December, Georgia said.
Interest in the project could be strong. The state previously issued a request for information on the project, a common way for project sponsors to take the temperature of the market before seeking bidders, and received seven responses.
Georgia isn’t the only 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.