Pilot Travel Center coming to Woodhull

Sherrie Taylor

The economic forecast in Woodhull underwent a significant improvement this week with the announcement and details of the proposal for a Pilot Travel Center, to be constructed on the site of the former Woodhull Plaza.

The Plaza business, part of the village for more than 30 years, has been closed for several months. The site is west of Woodhull on Illinois 17, adjacent to exit 32 off Interstate 74.

Catherine A. Adkins, senior project manager for Pilot, met with Mayor Dave Holmes, Trustee and Economic Development Chairman Mary Engholm and Trustee and Public Works Chairman, Lloyd Carlson, Tuesday afternoon at the municipal building in Woodhull.

“We’re really excited about the property here and want to know what we need to get done to start (construction) in April,” Adkins told the mayor and trustees.

The 10,000-square-foot business will include a McDonald’s restaurant, with drive-through facility as well as dining room seating, a gas bay for trucks and another for vehicles, restrooms and convenience store.

The business building at the site will be demolished and a completely new building constructed, Adkins said.

“I’m ninety-nine percent sure the restaurant will be a McDonald’s,” she said.

The construction can be completed in 130 days for an opening in September, village officials learned, though a proposed off-site road will need approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Adkins and engineer Kevan Cooper said the additional roadway will be constructed on the east side of the business, to separate the truck travel from other vehicles.

“Will you use the existing roadway if IDOT permits aren’t ready?” Holmes asked.

The business will open when construction is complete and prior to the new roadway, if necessary, Adkins said.

Cooper said a traffic study has been done and preliminary findings have been submitted to IDOT.

The existing Illinois 17 will include a left turn lane, with truck parking on the west side of the business, cars on the east.

Adkins shared tax revenue information, listing estimated sales tax for Illinois of $463,925. Fuel tax was estimated at $2,335,500 for Illinois with property tax for Henry County of $106,230.26.

A detailed listing of property tax, based on current rates, projected revenue for the following taxing bodies:

- Henry County — $12,861

- Black Hawk College — $6,523

- Clover Fire District — $5,707

- Oxford/Clover Multi-AS — $446

- Oxford Road District — $5,499

- Village of Woodhull — $5,430

- AlWood School District — $65,186

- Clover Library — $2,137

- Oxford Township — $2,442

The 24-hour, seven-day-per-week business will employ 75 people, with an annual payroll of $1,050,000, according to Adkins.

Officials discussed permits, water and sewer service, lift stations, easements and other details as well.

Adkins said the estimated investment in the project is $5.7 million, not including the cost of the land.

The Register-Mail