Tornado-devastated truck stop opens in Oklahoma

| 7/1/2005

An Oklahoma truck stop, once destroyed by a tornado, has been reborn.

Later this month, Hartland Travel Plaza – formerly known as Bruce’s Tulsa Truck Stop – will reopen along Interstate 44 in east Tulsa, OK.

In 1993, the stop was destroyed by a tornado that swept through the area and killed seven people, some of whom were parked at Bruce’s. The truck stop was rebuilt, but closed again in 2003 after it changed ownership several times and reached a state of disrepair.

The new 24-hour travel plaza has received a $2 million renovation. The new 16,000-square-foot facility will include a convenience store, six diesel pumps and eight gasoline pumps, a 135-seat restaurant, a tire and repair shop and a chiropractor’s office, according to

“It was such a vibrant place (before the tornado),” Jerry Rhea, one of the project’s financiers, told “It will look like a brand new location.”

Additionally, the seven-acre stop will feature a new parking lot and truck parking space for 75 trucks.

Oklahoma ranks eighth in the nation for the number of commercial parking spots, according to a 2002 study by the Federal Highway Administration.