Media & Public Relations

Contact: Tom Fox
Phone: 724.755.5260
Cell: 412.841.5184
May 4, 2012
Pa. Turnpike's New South Somerset Service Plaza to Open May 7

Plaza was shut down last year for a nine-month reconstruction.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) will open the newly constructed South Somerset Service Plaza to travelers at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, May 7. The plaza — along with the Cumberland Valley (formerly Plainfield) and Blue Mountain Plazas in Cumberland County — was closed just after Labor Day 2011 to facilitate complete reconstruction. All three plazas will be open next week in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
The South Somerset Service Plaza, located at milepost 112 in Somerset Township, serves eastbound traffic on the Interstate-76 mainline. The new plaza, constructed at a cost of $10.6 million, is larger with a spacious food-court, more food selections and contemporary restroom facilities.
The plaza’s concessions include Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut Express, and Popeyes. The plaza will feature a Sunoco A-Plus Mini-Mart under the same roof and all-new fueling areas.
“We are excited to unveil yet another modernized service plaza for our customers,” said Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey. “Since we opened the first new Turnpike plaza at Oakmont-Plum five years ago, we’ve heard rave reviews from customers, and we’re confident visitors will appreciate this expansive, well-designed facility too.”
The plaza overhauls were made possible by a 30-year, public-private redevelopment initiative launched in 2006 when the Turnpike finalized agreements with Bethesda, Md.-based HMSHost Corp. and Sunoco Inc. of Philadelphia. Under the contracts, HMSHost Corp. committed $100 million to rebuild 17 plazas, and Sunoco is investing $70 million to redevelop the service stations and convenience stores.
“HMSHost is proud of our role in transforming the travel plazas across America’s First Superhighway into a first-class, new generation of travel plazas,” said HMSHost Vice President Michael Jones. “What used to be just a rest stop is now a ‘must stop’ for Pennsylvania Turnpike travelers, with inviting architecture and a diverse blend of quality food choices.”
With the completion of South Somerset, Cumberland Valley and Blue Mountain, 12 of 17 service plazas have been reconstructed so far including Allentown (Lehigh County), Bowmansville (Lancaster County), Hickory Run (Carbon County), King of Prussia (Montgomery County), Lawn (Dauphin County), New Stanton (Westmoreland County), North Somerset (Somerset County), Oakmont-Plum (Allegheny County) and Sideling Hill (Fulton County).
“We are excited to be a part of this brand new service plaza,” said Joe McGinn, Sunoco’s manager of public affairs. “This newly rebuilt location gives Sunoco customers an additional Sunoco APlus location to purchase their fuel and snack needs.”
Two additional service plazas — South Midway in Bedford County and Highspire in Dauphin County — are scheduled to be closed for reconstruction in September 2012 with reopening planned in May 2013.
The PTC will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the South Somerset Plaza to mark the official opening on May 7 at 1 p.m.
Customers can download a free Service Plaza reference booklet from the Pa. Turnpike's website at