It’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week! As we thank the 3.5 million men and women who are always on the go, let’s take a look at where they stop.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has nearly 400 locations in 40 states and takes seriously its commitment to serve the professional driving community. SCJ Alliance has acted as Engineer on Record for a number of those stops across the western United States and understands the value of this important group.
“Love’s goes the extra mile to provide clean and safe places for drivers to stop, rest, and refuel,” said SCJ Civil Engineering Manager Brandon Johnson. “Truck drivers make up a significant portion of their customer base, and we keep that specialized group in mind on all our Love’s projects.”
In Washington state, SCJ has provided engineering, site development, and transportation planning and design services for Love’s Travel Stops in Napavine, Ritzville and now Prosser. Each project boasts its own unique wins and challenges.
The Napavine Love’s is a travel center which includes auto and truck refueling stations, overnight truck parking, a convenience market, and restaurants on a 10-acre parcel.
SCJ provided SEPA permitting, site layout, grading, drainage and utility design, roadway improvements, parking lot, water, sewer, stormwater, illumination and a traffic signal.
The project was a large scale development for Napavine located at the gateway to the city. City staff were particularly concerned that the project be designed in a way to spur additional development in the area. Since Love’s has opened, applications for Starbucks, Wendy’s, a hotel chain and a car dealership have been submitted for properties adjacent to the site.
“Across the state, the Ritzville Love’s didn’t even start out in Ritzville,” Brandon explained.
When SCJ began working on that project, the site was located in Adam’s County. SCJ was able to work with the city and the county to successfully annex approximately 60 acres of land, including the Love’s parcel, into the city of Ritzville.
“A condition of the annexation was the ability to provide water and sewer services to the newly-annexed property,” he explained. This required extending a 12-inch sewer main and 20-inch water main approximately 1,800 linear feet to and through the new project site, including two 400-foot bores underneath I-90. SCJ worked closely with the city, the county and WSDOT to obtain the permits for all of the necessary improvements.
Now on 12.4 acres in town, the travel center includes auto and diesel fueling, a Country Store, a drive-through fast food restaurant and a tire care facility. SCJ also improved traffic capacity in the area by widening State Route 261.
Two hours south on SR 261 sits the city of Prosser in the heart of Washington’s wine country. Here, SCJ is helping get a new Love’s and an accompanying Holiday Inn Express in place.
“This project also consists of a new Love’s facility with auto and diesel fueling, a Country Store, a drive-through fast food restaurant and a tire care facility, but also includes a 72-unit hotel,” Brandon said.
It also includes widening of Wine Country Road and installing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Wine Country Road and Gap Road. Review and permitting of these offsite improvements was completed as part of an interlocal agreement between the city and WSDOT.
“SCJ has had the opportunity to work on a number of Love’s projects in Washington and Oregon,” Brandon said. “However, this was SCJ’s first opportunity to work with Love’s hospitality group to provide a new hotel on one of their projects, and it has gone well.”
SCJ worked closely with multiple architects and design and construction teams to prepare a set of phased construction documents allowing the construction and opening of the travel stop ahead of the hotel. The 10,000-square-foot travel center will open in early 2017, and the hotel will follow mid-year.
“For wine enthusiasts, road-trippers and professional drivers, getting off the highway is a chance to recharge,” Brandon said. “At SCJ, we’re proud to work with Love’s to make it happen.”