CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The possible removing of the tolls from the West Virginia Turnpike when the current bonds are paid off in 2019 is beginning to impact parts of the operation.
The state Parkways Authority is considering a holdover agreement with the company that currently oversees the restaurants at the Turnpike’s three travel plazas.
The deal with HMS Host expires at the end of 2014 but West Virginia Parkways Authority General Manager Greg Barr said the authority probably wouldn’t get many bidders for a new contract that would possibly only be in effect until early 2019 when the tolls may come off.
“We’re looking at doing shorter holdover periods with HMS Host to maybe get us to 2019,” Barr said.
The Parkways Authority has been reviewing language for the new agreement as has HMS Host. Final approval could come next year.
Barr said the restaurant leases on toll roads in other states are going out for up to 30 years in some cases.
“So it would be very, very unusual to bid one for four years and five months,” he said.
Barr said the authority is also seeking information from the federal Highway Administration on whether the restaurants at the travel plazas would be allowed to remain open when and if the tolls come off the highway.