After newly renovated service plazas reopened on Interstate 95 in Darien, Milford, and Branford, it’s time for Madison’s plazas to also close for a makeover.
While signs warned travelers that the Madison Southbound Service Plaza was closing Jan. 31, some travelers trickled in that evening to see the leftover signs from a clearance sale for Faber gift shops, which along with LaVazza, Sandella’s and Original Pizza of Boston had already closed for business. The four vendors officially said goodbye to Interstate 95 travelers for the last time. Vending machines and newspaper boxes were empty and toilet paper dispensers were nearly empty in the restrooms.
State police closed the right lane of I-95 South past exit 62 around 12 a.m. on Feb. 1 to setup concrete barricades and placing “closed” on highway signs officially sealing off access to the Madison Southbound Service Plaza, the last I-95 service plaza to begin renovation work.
It joins its sister plaza in the northbound direction which closed for renovations Sept. 25, 2013.
Eastern CT Open Rest Stops
While the two easternmost service plazas of Interstate 95 are closed, travelers can still visit rest areas on I-95 North in Westbrook between exits 65 and 66 and I-95 South in North Stonington between exits 93 and 92. Both rest areas provide restrooms and tourism information services but do not provide fuel, food, or retail services. While the North Stonington center is open 24 hours, the Westbrook center is only open Thursday thru Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Portable restrooms are available during other times. Neither rest area will be renovated.
Madison Plaza’s Future
After renovations are completed, both Madison plazas will feature Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Alltown Convenience Store, and Mobil gasoline and air.
The northbound plaza is expected to reopen at the end of 2014, said Mike Modine, Director of Operations for Project Service, LLC, the contractor responsible for renovating the state’s 23 service plazas.
The Madison Southbound plaza, which will also house a McDonald’s, is anticipated to reopen around April 2015.
Additionally, Modine said “we are currently working on possibly another tenant in both (Madison plazas).”
Some of the tenants in other Interstate 95 service plazas include Statement USA, Best Buy Express, Sbarro’s, Robek’s, Cheeseboy, Applegate Organics, Moe’s Mexican, Panda Express, Mac-n-Out, Wilson’s BBQ, and Cinnabon.
Fairfield Plaza’s Future
The Fairfield Service Plazas are also anticipated to open at the end of 2014 which closed in September 2013. Modine said that they will have the same tenants as the Madison Southbound plaza.
Branford Plaza Services
Signs advise I-95 southbound travelers to visit the newly opened Branford plaza 14 miles away. It reopened Jan. 31 with Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Alltown Convenience Store, Mobil gas and air, a family restroom, ATM, phone, free Wi-Fi, and a dog walk. An Auntie Anne’s is coming soon.
Right across the highway, the Branford northbound plaza reopened in September 2013, which originally closed for renovations in April 2012.
It now features a Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Alltown Convenience Store, Mobil gas and air, McDonald’s, family restroom, dog walk, ATM, TTY phone, free Wi-Fi, picnic tables, and truck idle reduction technology.
Paul Landino, president and CEO of Project Service, stated in a press release that “Our Connecticut Service Plazas team is excited to provide great food choices, clean restrooms, fuel and convenience to the large number of travelers who pass through the Branford area. We have completed more than half of the service plazas so far, and look forward to continuing to service those traveling on Connecticut’s highways as we work to renovate the remaining service plazas in the state.”
Signs inform I-95 northbound travelers that the Branford plaza is the last open service plaza on I-95.