MANKATO — Like many big projects, the Freyberg family’s truck travel center took a lot longer to put together than the family hoped.
“You have no idea how excited we are. It’s been a lifelong dream of ours,” said Corey Freyberg, who along with brother Tyler and their dad, Steven, broke ground on the project Monday.
The sprawling new truck stop, complete with a spacious lounge, 70 initial truck stalls, eight diesel fueling stations and a truck scale, is on the east edge of Mankato at the County Road 12/Adams Street intersection. The project, slated to open late fall, also includes a car wash and eight gas pumps for cars.
Tyler said the travel center will be a Shell station that will accept the Hy-Vee fuel-saver cards.
“We need truck parking, that’s obvious,” Tyler said.
A state study found the Mankato area has a shortage of places for over-the-road truckers to rest.
Corey said the location, near Highway 14 and several large semi truck-dependent businesses, is ideal.
“It will help with access for the Walmart distribution center and Johnson (Outdoors) and others around here.”
A two-story building will have space for a 2,700-square-foot restaurant and a 3,100-square-foot convenience store on the first level. On the second story is 3,000-square-foot lounge with large windows overlooking the truck-parking area, plus four individual restrooms with showers, and a laundry area with a pair of washing machines and pair of dryers.
Dirt Merchants Inc. is doing the dirt work for the truck travel center while WEB Construction is constructing the building and related infrastructure. Pioneer Bank financed the 10-acre project.
Since the early 1900s, there have been Freybergs involved in the oil, tire and service business in Mankato.
While Steve Freyberg and family run Freyberg Petroleum, Steve’s cousins Bob, Jim and Lynn long ran Mankato Oil & Tire, which they sold last year before retiring.
By the time the travel center opens, a new roundabout should also be in place at the intersection, which currently has no left turn onto or from County Road 12.
Mankato Community Development Director Paul Vogel said bids on the roundabout project should be put out in May and the project is slated to be finished this year. He said the project will be mostly surface work as underground utilities are already in place in the area.
Another big truck-related business is also expected to soon begin construction nearby.
Truck Center Companies, now on Fourth Avenue, is building a new semi truck sales and service building along Adams Street, not far from the new truck stop.
Family-owned Truck Center Companies is one of the largest Freightliner dealers in the U.S. Founded in 1975, the dealership is in 18 cities throughout Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota.