Dirt work has started for a new travel plaza in west Emporia, but other phases of the project are some time down the road.
Paperwork provided by the city of Emporia says the almost 35-acre travel plaza near the roundabout connecting US Highway 50 to Interstate 35 and the Kansas Turnpike will see a pause in the current process perhaps by mid- to late February, thus allowing the permit process for water and sanitary sewer lines to move forward. Other permitting and underground utility movement is also needed before above-ground construction can start. The tentative plan also includes a new access point to the roundabout’s south side as the development’s main entrance.
Brown Stone 3 Development, the project organizers, have not returned calls from KVOE News seeking updates.
The progress report from the city comes a year after development plans were announced. Plans have included several nationally-known restaurants and hotels, an RV park, pool and strip mall as part of a $35 million to $40 million project that would create at least 100 jobs if initial plans come together. The original timetable had the project opening late this year, but coronavirus has helped to slow down the initial stages. The city has also required a feasibility study so it can look at potential impacts on other developments serving the trucking industry, like the longstanding Flying J truck stop nearby.