Youngstown area plazas to open on the Ohio Turnpike

May 17, 2013 by  

It has recently been revealed that the plazas at Mahoning County are set to reopen on May 22, after a $37.5m facelift.

The plazas were set to reopen in July 2012, but construction delays moved the opening back nearly 10 months. However, the opening will take place before the huge Memorial Day weekend, one of the year’s heaviest travel days, and the unofficial start of the summer season.

Anyone who has driven the Ohio Turnpike will knows it is not the quickest way across the state, with drivers having long been able to stop and rest, get a bite to eat, and gas up at service plazas along the turnpike. However, Ohio began modernizing the rest stops in the 1990s, and in 2011, closed the Mahoning County plazas, near Youngstown. The closure left a stretch of almost 100 miles between full-service rest stops, forcing drivers to leave and reenter the toll road if they needed to find food or gas.

The plazas are dedicated to the toll road, meaning there is no outside access to them, and they service only the drivers on the turnpike. The plaza for westbound travelers is named Mahoning Valley, while eastbound drivers stop at Glacier Hills. Featured eateries will be Dairy Queen Grill & Chill/Orange Julius and Panera Bread, and at least one restaurant will always be open. In addition, Sunoco, Inc., will provide gas and diesel fuel, as well as running a service mart.

Turnpike officials might work with brochure printers to create a hand-out for drivers entering the turnpike from any point. The brochure could call attention to the fact the plazas are open, and list the amenities found there.