photo courtesy Iowa 80 Truck Stop

An eastern Iowa business, billed as “the world’s largest truck stop,” is getting even larger. A $10 million dollar project is underway to expand the Iowa 80 Truck Stop at Walcott.

Iowa 80 marketing manager Heather DeBaillie says the truck stop industry is very competitive. “We need to offer something that’s going to attract people. This is going to be bigger and better and more beautiful than our competition at the corner,” DeBaillie said.

The project, which will expand the Iowa 80 food court and add more retail space, is partially in response to rule changes for truck drivers. Beginning in December, truckers will be required to take a 30 minute break after driving eight hours.

“When drivers are on their break, they’re not going to have a long time to sit and rest and have a big, sit down meal in the middle of the day,” DeBaillie said. “They need to be able to

grab something quick, something healthy.” Part of the Iowa 80 project involves remodeling and expanding the convenience store’s kitchen.

The Iowa 80 Truck Stop‘s main building now covers 100,000 square feet. It will grow to 123,000 when the project is completed by the end of next year.

The truck stop first opened in 1964. Since then, DeBaillie estimates it’s been expanded or remodeled more than 35 times. Iowa 80 currently employs nearly 500 people.

Thanks to Herb Trix, WVIK, Rock Island