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Local News

Truck stop business in Joliet is expanding

JOLIET – Len McEnery is moving a truck stop into new territory again.

McEnery has plans to open a second Route 66 Food N Fuel inside CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Joliet.

It would be the first truck stop inside the intermodal park.

“I think the west side (of the intermodal park) is underserved,” McEnery said Friday. “A lot of those drivers don’t come out to Route 53.”

Route 53 and Laraway Road is where McEnery opened Route 66 Food N Fuel in 2013, when it was the first travel center with fast-food restaurants and a convenience store built for the growing trucking business developing in that section of Joliet.

A Pilot Travel Center followed in 2015.

Now McEnery’s plan is one of three new travel centers in the works for Joliet.

Speedway plans to build at Route 53 and Emerald Drive. Love’s Travel Stops wants to build at Interstate 80 and Briggs Road.

McEnery’s second Route 66 Food N Fuel Center would be built on the northeast corner of CenterPoint Way and Vetter Road.

The plan includes three fast-food restaurants – a Dunkin’ Donuts, a sandwich shop yet to be named, and a barbecue place yet to be named. It also would include a convenience store and the potential for video gambling.

The Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals last week approved a special use permit for the new Route 66 Food N Fuel. The permit next goes to the city council for approval, probably on Aug. 1.

The new Route 66 Food N Fuel would also be in a good location to get future business if a planned toll bridge is built, connecting the CenterPoint Intermodal Center with the Houbolt Road interchange at Interstate 80.

But McEnery said the bridge may not leave enough business for the three travel centers that would be located on Route 53 once Speedway is built.

“If the traffic gets moved over to that bridge, there’s not traffic to support three travel centers,” he said. “Route 53 will quiet down.”

JOLIET TRUCK STOPS

• Route 66 Food N Fuel: opened in 2013 at Route 53 and Laraway Road.
• Pilot Travel Center: opened in 2015 at Route 53 and Laraway Road.
* Speedway: city council may vote in August on annexation agreement for site at Route 53 and Emerald Drive.
• Route 66 Food N Fuel: a second location at CenterPoint Way and Vetter Road awaits permit approval from the city council in August.
• Love’s Travel Stops: presented plans last week for a travel center at Interstate 80 and Briggs Street to the Joliet City Council Land Use and Legislative Committee.

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