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New truck stop enters the race

LEAMINGTON, Ont. - Truckers running Hwy. 401 in southwestern Ontario will soon have a new place to park their rigs, fuel up and stock up on supplies.Construction on a new truck stop and travel plaza i...


LEAMINGTON, Ont. – Truckers running Hwy. 401 in southwestern Ontario will soon have a new place to park their rigs, fuel up and stock up on supplies.

Construction on a new truck stop and travel plaza is slated to take place in the spring, providing truckers with all the amenities they need in a convenient location, 30 minutes from the Ambassador Bridge. Raceway Travel Plaza will be built on the southeast quadrant of the Hwy. 401/ Hwy. 77 intersection, with access available from the highway.

Raceway Travel Plaza Inc. corporate secretary, Ross Clarke, says the project is beginning to gain momentum.

“The site is ready for construction,” says Clarke. “It’s zoned, serviced and we have approval for direct access off the 401.”

Roughly 10,000 trucks pass through the site each day on Canada’s busiest highway, so the location seems like an ideal place for a truck stop and travel plaza, says Clarke. Also adding to the appeal is a proposed racetrack that is slated to be built on 250 acres right across the highway.

“It’s going to be a while before that happens,” admits Clarke, noting the developer has just completed his official plan amendment approval.

While the shovels won’t break the dirt until May, there is still a lot happening in the development stages of the project.

“We are in the process right now of doing two things,” says Clarke. “We are negotiating with the money people for financing and secondly we are negotiating with the fuel supplier.”

The travel plaza will be built on 25 acres of land, and Clarke says it will be able to accommodate up to 200 rigs at any given time.

There is an additional 36 acres adjacent to the site that is zoned to accommodate other trucker services, such as a fast lube, tire shop, inspection station – or whatever else investors would like to see there.

“If anybody’s interested in investing, we haven’t finalized that yet so we’re still looking for more equity investment,” says Clarke. Raceway Travel Plaza will be modeled after the Lodge family truck stops in southern Ontario, a family that Clarke’s group is associated with.

“It’s going to be a full-blown, U.S.-style travel plaza just like what the Lodge family have in Woodstock,” says Clarke.

And with Hwy. 401 in the pre-engineering stage of reconstruction to six lanes from Windsor to Tilbury, Clarke says there’s little doubt that Raceway will be bustling when it comes time to open the doors for business.


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