Firms’ challenges on travel plazas contract denied

The Maryland Transportation Authority has denied challenges from the two losing bidders over the awarding of a 35-year contract to build and manage the state's two travel plazas on Interstate 95 north of Baltimore.

In a seven-page letter dated Tuesday, the authority's executive secretary said an evaluation committee had reviewed plans from HMSHost, Airport Plazas/Tichman Construction Corp. and Areas USA and determined that the Florida-based Areas USA best addressed the goals outlined in the request for proposals.

"The Areas proposal was superior in all three of the evaluation principal goals," Harold Bartlett wrote.

An analyst for the Department of Legislative Services told state lawmakers last week that the deal "provides a good value for the state."

The Board of Public Works is scheduled to vote on the contract on Feb. 22.

Candy.thomson@baltsun.com

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