Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

    C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E

   Contact: Lowman S. Henry (717) 939-9551 Ext. # 2934                       October 21, 1996


        HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike's proposed Tomorrow Center is taking center stage at the annual meeting of the International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA) which is currently underway in Rome, Italy.
        John T. Durbin, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, is one of four transportation executives worldwide who will participate in an "Ideas that Work" session. A peer selection committee choose the Pennsylvania Turnpike's project to be included in the session from hundreds of proposals submitted.
        "The peer selection process tends to give us presentations that the agencies want to hear," said Neil D. Schuster, Executive Director of the IBTTA. "Agencies from around the world submit abstracts of their projects and ultimately end up hearing about the projects which hold the most interest for our members."
        The proposed Tomorrow Center would be built where the Turnpike's Sideling Hill Service Plaza now stands. Still in conceptual form, the Tomorrow Center would be a combination museum of Turnpike history and showcase for the highway of tomorrow.
        Sideling Hill was selected as the site for the proposed Tomorrow Center since the service plaza is accessible from both the Turnpike's eastbound and westbound lanes. There is also plenty of land available at that location for the proposed new structure and parking to accommodate the Turnpike travelers who are expected to utilize the facility.
        The proposed Tomorrow Center will be a first-of-its-kind combination service plaza and visitor attraction center. It will feature a lifetime of Pennsylvania memories, including a trademark Pennsylvania Turnpike 1940's hexagon-shaped toll booth and replicas of an original stone service plaza and a 1950's truck stop. As the name implies, the proposed Tomorrow Center will look toward the future with exhibitions on new toll collection technology, a "cyber cafe" and a "Partners in Progress" pavilion.
        In planning for the Tomorrow Center, the Turnpike hopes to "partner" with private enterprise to develop and fund the proposed $9 million project. Turnpike planners have already identified some 600 potential partners, some of whom may be recruited to share in both the financing and operation of the facility. Partners could come from the trucking, automotive, communications, engineering/design and financial communities, among others.
        "Today the Tomorrow Center is still a vision," said Durbin. "When it becomes a reality it will create new opportunities and experiences for travelers. The center will remember the past, recognize the present and envision the future."
        Delegates to the IBTTA gathering will be discussing a wide range of toll industry issues. They will also hear an address by former United States Congressman Norman Y. Mineta, watch the presentation of the Association's 1996 Innovation Awards and participate in a technical tour to Autostrade's Earth Laboratory.


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649