Gov. Ivey breaks ground on multi-million dollar project

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EUTAW, Ala. (WTOK) - Truck stops might appear to be a common business in most areas, but not in rural Alabama.

The nearest travel center in east and west of Eutaw can take at least 20 minutes. That's why Love's Travel Stop is building a new center that will accommodate drivers, plus create revenue in a struggling community. Governor Kay Ivey shared her excitement.

"They're going to hire 40, at least 43 more people in this area and that's great for our families and it's good for Alabama. I'm proud to be a part of growing jobs and putting our people to work," said Governor Ivey.

This $12 million dollar investment will create 40 plus jobs and give Eutaw a much needed economic shot in the arm.

Governor Ivey announced last month that funding for the project will come from different levels across the state. A grant for nearly $375,000 will come from the Delta Regional Authority. The DRA funds will be combined with a $400,000 community development block grant awarded by Ivey in July to provide sewer services at the intersection by extending lines from the City of Eutaw.

"Enthusiasm of the folks here is just really palpable," said Jenny Love-Meyer, Vice President of Communications for Love’s Travel Stop.

Meyer says Eutaw is a perfect location to expand her family's business.

"And to be able to know in a little bit, we're going to have a full travel stop and be able to be a part of this community is awesome," said Meyer.

Representative Terri Sewell was also in attendance. As a Black Belt native, Sewell says it's often difficult to attract new businesses to low-profit areas.

"Often rural America, like rural Alabama, are forgotten," said Sewell.

But today, Sewell says they were not forgotten.

"Having a truck stop like this, to have a major truck stop off the interstate, right here in Eutaw, will be a gateway to many other economic opportunities for the folks here," said Sewell.

Governor Ivey says you can see the excitement of the community.

"Everybody's proud to be here, the public, individuals, citizens support this project and support Love's expansion in getting another location. So this is great news," said Governor Ivey.

The truck stop will be located at Exit 40, off Interstate 20/59 in Eutaw. Construction is expected to take at least a year to complete.