Is Love’s truck stop coming to Coffee County?

When Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores announced a planned location in Coffee County, at the corner of I-24 and the Wattendorf Highway, off Exit 117, construction was expected to start in the spring of 2018.

The $20 million project, including a truck stop, restaurant, store and a tire-maintenance facility, was expected to create more than 40 full-time jobs for locals, in addition to bringing tax revenues to the county.

The truck stop was expected to be located on a 20-acre area off Exit 117 on I-24.

Work on construction has not begun yet, and it’s not clear when the company plans to open the doors of the travel stop in Coffee County.

The Times has reached out to representatives of Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores several times, but they didn’t respond.

Commissioner Dennis Hunt, who represents District 6, where the truck stop would be located, said he last spoke with Love’s representatives in February; however, they didn’t offer any details or timeline regarding the project.

Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell said he talked with company officials earlier this week. According to Cordell, the delay was due in part to wetlands issues. Representatives of Love’s Travel Stop didn’t share with the mayor any information about expected date for beginning construction.

The company has already received all necessary approvals from the county, according to Cordell.

The process of approving the site plans lasted several months, and at that time, local residents expressed concerns about “illegal activities, such as human trafficking, prostitution and drug-related crimes at truck stops.”

The privately-held company is headquartered in Oklahoma City. Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores have more than 430 locations in 41 states, providing truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to places where they can purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), travel items, electronics and snacks.

Love’s visitors can also take advantage of having a meal at a restaurant.

In 2008, Love’s started offering roadside assistance and tire care at select locations.

The Love’s companies create thousands of jobs, including more than 17,000 employees in the travel stops and country stores and the corporate offices.

The annual revenues of the company are about $14.2 billion.