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Contact: Lowman S. Henry (717) 939-9551 Ext. # 2934
October 21, 1996
TURNPIKE'S 'TOMORROW CENTER' TAKES CENTER
STAGE AT IBTTA CONFAB
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