County and state officials met with representatives of Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores to discuss construction of the proposed truck stop in Coffee County. The project hit a hurdle last year and developers with the Love’s Travel Stops submitted an application with the US Army Corps of Engineers concerning construction of the proposed store near Interstate-24 exit 117 on the AEDC Road. The application proposed compensatory mitigation for wetlands impact in the affected construction zone. According to Army Corps of Engineers’ public notice, the applicants intended to discharge fill material into 10.48-acres of wetlands south of Manchester to allow the preparation of the 17-acre track for use as a commercial business.
Company representatives are still waiting on a determination from the US Corps of Engineers, and if they receive an approval, they will proceed with construction of Love’s in Coffee County.
Among the attendees at the meeting were State Representative Rush Bricken, Senator Janice Bowling, Commissioner Dennis Hunt and Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell. The meeting was held June 17 at the Coffee County Administrative Plaza in Manchester.
Love’s representatives believed they had satisfied all the requirements and were ready to start construction, but it turned out, the Corps of Engineers required an additional study to be completed, according to Bricken.
The purpose of the meeting, which was called by Love’s, was to seek support from the local and state leaders.
“From what I understand, Love’s had the green light from the Corps of Engineers and all the federal agencies to start moving with the project,” Bricken said. “But the last minute, the Corps of Engineers said, ‘No, you don’t have the final approval of the wetland remediation issue.’…Love’s felt like they selected the appropriate remediation and that they had the green light to proceed with the project. It turns out, the Corps of Engineers had not signed off on the project and still waiting on a study.”
When the final survey is approved, Love’s can continue with the project, said Bricken.
“At the meeting, we called (a representative of Corps of Engineers) in Nashville and he said they need that study, and once they get it, they will review it and hopefully sign off on it,” Bricken said.
Last year, developers with Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores submitted an application with the US Army Corps of Engineers concerning construction of the proposed store.
The application proposed compensatory mitigation for wetlands impact in the affected construction zone.
According to Army Corps of Engineers’ public notice, the applicants intended to discharge fill material into 10.48-acres of wetlands south of Manchester to allow the preparation of the 17-acre track for use as a commercial business.
The applicants proposed to the government compensatory mitigation for the 10.48-acres of wetlands. A baseline wetland assessment was performed by Tennessee Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands and scored 39. The mitigation land received a TRAM score of 58.
The mitigation plan submitted Oct. 22, called for measures to be performed at a site eight miles southeast of the site, adjacent to Beans Creek, near Dickerson and Prairie Plains roads. The farmland is 22.5-acres of former pastureland. Drainage swales were used to route water around the fields into Beans Creek. The proposed mitigation would affect the area over time by providing a functional lift of resources by creating a high-quality forested wetland.
To address the probable impacts of the actions on public interest and the best protection of resources, the government was seeking comments from the public concerning the proposed mitigation.
The Army Corps of Engineers accepted public comments in writing through Jan. 6.
The Times has reached out to Love’s and to the Corps of Engineers, and this story will be updated when they reply.
The Love's Travel Stops store is $20 million project, including a truck stop, restaurant, store and a tire-maintenance facility. It is expected to create more than 40 full-time jobs for locals, in addition to bringing tax revenues to the county. Construction was planned to start in 2018.