PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey wants the federal government to allow Arizona to partner with private businesses to build new facilities at highway rest areas, a move that could lead to new gas stations and fast-food restaurants at lonely roadside stops.
Ducey asked U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a letter released Friday to give it an exemption to a 1950s-era law barring private activities at rest stops in all but 14 states. That would allow Arizona to start a pilot project with private companies that could build businesses at existing interstate rest stops or put in new ones.
The Republican governor points to several other states using public-private partnerships to provide “better, safer, more modern rest stop facilities.” A partnership also could bring revenue to the state. Ducey pointed to a Connecticut deal expected to net $100 million in revenue over 35 years.