A construction project will soon add new options and change the landscape travelers see when they enter Ellensburg from exit 106 on Interstate 90.

Construction of the new Pilot Flying J truck stop is underway and progressing at a rapid pace. The site, located at the roundabout on Dolarway Road is where the Flying “B” 27 and 76 gas station were previously located. The property is owned by husband and wife Gary and Reena Bains.

For over 15 years, the Bains have owned and managed the Flying “B” 27 convenience store. They originally bought the property in the early 2000s from the previous owners. When the Blue Grouse restaurant next to the Flying “B” shut down, the Bains bought that property as well.

Reena said that Pilot Flying J contacted them with plans to rent the property and build a new Pilot truck stop on their property.

“The opportunity came, Pilot came, they wanted to put a (new) station there and we took it,” Reena said. “They tore the other building down because it was much smaller and older. Now it is going to be completely brand new.”

Pilot Flying J owns 750 truck stops in the U.S. and Canada. It is one of the largest truck stop companies in the nation.

Reena said that the new truck stop is going to be close to twice the size of the Flying “B,” and that it will have a convenience store and a fast food restaurant of some kind, although the specific restaurant is not yet decided. She did say that the fast food was likely going to be some kind of burger joint.

“It’s wonderful. I mean, I think it is just going to change that whole face of that exit,” Reena said. “It is going to bring a big name into town and a lot of other things will come after them. It will be a good development.”

According to Reena construction is more than halfway completed, and that it should be open by the end of the year. Construction of the truck stop started around the beginning of August. About half of the building is currently constructed, and the project should be finished soon.

Reena said that they are not sure if she and her husband are going to continue running the property on site.

“Basically, in a nutshell it is going to be a brand-new Pilot truck stop with some fast food in it with a drive through,” Reena said. “There will be a huge convenience store.”

According to Pilot representatives, the travel centeris expected to open in early 2020 and will feature many amenities, including:

• Five gasoline fueling positions and eight diesel lanes with high-speed pumps for quicker refueling

• Pilot’s Best Gourmet Coffees, including bean-to-cup selections and cold brew

• Arby’s

• Cinnabon

• Public seating area

• Public laundry

• Five showers

• 52 overnight truck parking spaces

• Everyday products for quick shopping needs

Editor's note: This story has been modified to reflect information provided by Pilot representatives regarding amenities at the travel center. The original story contained a statement from the property owner who said the facility would not have overnight parking. Pilot officials said there will be overnight parking.

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