TravelCenters of America location closes after VDOT land grab

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 11/7/2014

TravelCenters of America will be closing its location off of I-81 in Troutville, Va., on the week of Nov. 12. The closure is due to efforts by the Virginia Department of Transportation to redesign and improve highway ramps at the interchange, according to TravelCenters of America Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Tom Liutkus. Troutville will lose 129 truck parking spaces as a result.

“TA preferred not to lose the location, but eminent domain procedures were enacted,” Liutkus told Land Line.

VDOT offered TA several alternatives. As of press time, no deal has been reached between the two.

“VDOT purchased the property and as part the relocation assistance we worked with the owners of the property to try to identify some additional locations where they might want to re-establish their business along the 81 corridor,” VDOT Spokesperson Jason Bond told Land Line. “The company has not communicated to VDOT what their plans are, if they are planning to re-establish their business.”

With construction slated to begin in spring 2015, the I-81 Exit 150 Access Management project, which will cost $46.75 million, includes:

  • Relocating the northbound I-81 entrance ramp (from northbound Route 220 onto northbound I-81) to a new location adjacent to the Exit 150B off-ramp.
  • Constructing a roundabout at the Exit150B/Route 11 intersection to improve traffic flow, enhance safety and increase capacity.
  • Building a new loop road, Gateway Crossing, to extend from the new Route 11 roundabout to Route 220 Alternate.
  • Providing better access management on Route 11 by installing a raised median and reducing the number of entrances.
  • Modifying the entrances onto Route 11 as right-in/right-out only.
  • Acquiring the TravelCenters America property as well as that of another business.

With 129 parking spaces being eliminated, many truck drivers are not too happy with the plans.

“The truckers are pretty upset about it, because the I-81 major corridor already has truck parking issues on it,” said OOIDA Senior Member Bryan Spoon, owner-operator from Grandy, N.C.

Liutkus pointed out that there are other TA locations located along I-81 in Virginia.

“TA locations exist at Wytheville, Va., (I-81, Exit 72/I-77, Exit 41) to the south and Lexington, Va., (I-81/I-64, Exit 195) to the north that professional truck drivers and fleets can utilize as a replacement,” Liutkus said. “In addition, we have a Petro location at Raphine, Va., north on I-81 at Exit 205 for our customers.”

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