Two people sit at a booth under dim light in a rest stop on Interstate 87, fiddling with their phones and nibbling on Roy Rogers burgers before stopping at the bathroom on the way out the door.
Soon, that scene — a constant along the 570-mile New York Thruway system — could play out differently.
The booth may be a couch or plush chairs. The burger could be an artisanal sandwich or salad from a local vendor in a food hall. Sunlight could be pouring in from the window-filled walls. The bathrooms? There will brand new toilets, stalls and sinks.
For the first time in three decades, the state Thruway Authority is on the verge of overhauling the 27 service plazas that line the superhighway connecting Buffalo to Albany to New York City, with work tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-2020.