The state has filed paperwork to initiate a forced sale of the 45-year-old Troutville truck stop on Interstate 81 for a planned reconstruction of the Exit 150 interchange and adjacent intersection in about two years.
The state has placed $6.28 million on deposit for the 12.2-acre site, according a three-page “certificate of take” that the Virginia Department of Transportation filed in Botetourt County Circuit Court on Aug. 13.
The sum is what VDOT believes the property is worth, but the final compensation won’t be determined until an eminent domain hearing at a later date, according to VDOT spokeswoman Jamie Smith.
VDOT and the property’s private owner, the HPT TA Properties Trust, could not come to a voluntary agreement, Smith said. VDOT now owns the property and plans to begin construction of the project in spring 2015, according to Smith.
Such details as when the busy travel center and its 129 tractor-trailer parking spaces will close are under negotiation, she said.
The company that operates the truck stop, TravelCenters of America of Westlake, Ohio, did not respond to a request for comment. TravelCenters of America’s website says there are 165 TravelCenters of America locations in the United States, 145 of them owned by Hospitality Properties Trust and operated by TA like the Troutville location. The rest have either a franchise operator or a franchise owner-operator, the website said.
The truck stop was open for business Thursday, with trucks lined up for diesel fuel, motorists pumping gasoline, a few patrons shopping in its convenience store and several people seated in its restaurant. Manager Isaac Lee said he did not know of any changes. The travel center dates to 1968, Lee said.
VDOT eventually plans to shut down the travel center and spend nearly $46.8 million for safety and capacity improvements at the intersection of Virginia 11 and Alternate U.S. 220 in conjunction with the interchange work.