Travelers headed across Snoqualmie Pass may have a new place to rest and refuel in the coming future.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is planning to construct a new facility on West Sparks Road in Easton. According to planning documents submitted to Kittitas County Community Development Services, the project will be located off exit 70 on Interstate 90 on an undeveloped 16.6-acre site adjacent to the existing Shell gas station. The project plans to begin construction in summer 2020, with completion by spring 2021. The documents state the travel center will employ approximately 50 people when completed.

The planned project consists of a 14,500-square foot country store containing a convenience market with walk-up food service and a drive-through fast food restaurant. The property plans to feature a 9-pump diesel fueling island and 16 conventional gasoline pumps, as well as a three-bay tire shop offering tire replacement and light service to trucks. Overnight parking for 117 trucks is included in the plans, along with 80 passenger vehicle stalls and 3 RV parking stalls.

According to a traffic impact analysis submitted to CDS, access to the property will be accessed by two driveways on West Sparks Road. The north drive will complete a new fourth leg at the existing Lake Easton Road/ West Sparks Road intersection, while the south driveway is planned to be located on West Sparks Road approximately 500 feet south of Lake Easton Road. All traffic is expected to enter the property using the north driveway, with passenger vehicles exiting from the same driveway and trucks using the south driveway when exiting from the fueling area.

The traffic impact analysis conducted a study of the existing traffic conditions at three locations near the proposed project. The analysis took counts at the intersection of West Sparks Road and Lake Easton Road, as well as the westbound and eastbound ramps at the Lake Easton Road exit. While the counts were conducted between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., a common peak hour identified by the study was between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. The count showed 250 trips at the eastbound ramp, 94 occurring at the peak hour.

The westbound ramp count showed 309 trips, with 113 occurring at the peak hour, and the West Sparks Road and Lake Easton Road showed 317 trips, with 114 occurring at the peak hour.

The analysis provided crash data for the years 2014 to 2018 obtained from the Washington Department of Transportation for the three areas studied. Crashes involving property damage only with no apparent injury made up 100 percent of the data, with five reported crashes involving a single vehicle striking a guard rail.

At full occupancy and operation, the traffic analysis projects the new facility will generate approximately 360 trip ends during the p.m. peak hour, with approximately 78-percent of the trips being drawn from traffic already traveling on Interstate 90. The analysis projects delays at the three study points to stay within the level of service parameters of the Kittitas County comprehensive plan for the year 2020, which means transportation improvements to the affected areas will not be necessary.

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