Maryland cancels RFP for travel service plaza concessionaire
Maryland (Toll) Transportation Authority (MdTA) has cancelled a longrunning effort to procure a new concessionaire for the two traveler service plazas on I-95 Kennedy Highway.
In a copybook case of what-not-to-do in a procurement MdTA kept making amendments to their RFP, and provided a bewildering array of answers to questions, such that at least one of the potential bidders said they "ended up without the foggiest idea what we were supposed to be bidding on."
State transportations secretary Beverly Swaim Staley is quoted: "After you've patched so many times over, then maybe it would be better to start from whole cloth."
The two traveler service plazas in question - known as Maryland House and Chesapeake House - are located on natural raised areas in a widened median of the highway among attractive mature trees, part of the original design of the state tollroad in the 1960s. They are well-patronized, although like everything else their business has suffered in the recent housing finance recession.
Present concessionaire is HMSHost.
State officials describe the plazas as "aging" but they looked pretty darned good to us on a recent visit to each on a trip to New Jersey and back. Some perfectionist has been making stuff complicated that is really quite simple.