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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2007
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Falkville to gain travel center

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com 340-2438

FALKVILLE — Come April 1, travelers on Interstate 65 should have another choice for food and fuel at Falkville.

That's the target date Bill Gleason, real estate project manager for Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, gave Tuesday. His comment came during groundbreaking for the opening of a travel stop at Douglas Road and Morgan County 55 east, just off I-65.

Mayor Jimmie Walker welcomed about 40 people to the ceremony, including state Rep. Ronald Grantland, D-Hartselle.

Start of construction

Gleason said construction will begin Oct. 1 at the 14.5-acre site, a project estimated to cost between $5 million and $7 million. He said the 24-hour service will employ about 80 people, plus eight management positions.

The lone obstacle is the former brick residence of Harold and Gloria Singleton, from whom Love's bought the property. Gleason said workers will strip the brick and move the structure.

The travel stop, which will feature a Subway and McDonald's, will face Morgan County 55. In contrast to an architect's rendering, the McDonald's will be at the end of the building nearest I-65.

In addition to increasing the tax base and revenues for the town, Love's will pay for roadwork and the upgrade of sewer and water lines along Douglas Road. The company will, in effect, extend Buster Road, which runs alongside Falkville Chevron, to cross Morgan County 55 and into the travel stop.

Layout

There will be eight gas/auto diesel pumps for cars and seven diesel fueling lanes for tractor-trailers, Gleason said, and 60 car parks, 98 truck parks and slots for six recreational vehicles.

"The layout is about the same as our travel stop in Chandler, Ariz.," he said. "Falkville is our third location in Alabama. We're opening in Clanton on Thursday, and we have one on the coast, at Loxley."

Nationwide, Love's has more than 150 travel stops and more than 50 convenience stores.

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