Truck stop opens amid pushback from locals

November 3, 2023

Ryan Witkowski


Following more than a year of pushback by local residents, Love’s has opened a new truck stop in a small Missouri town.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, the Oklahoma City-based chain of travel stops announced the grand opening of its location in Herculaneum, Mo. The new store, located off Interstate 55 at Exit 178, features 80 truck parking spaces along with other amenities.

While the additional truck parking is a welcome sight for truckers, some residents of the small town – located roughly 30 miles south of St. Louis – didn’t share their enthusiasm. In fact, some have been fighting the incoming truck stop for over a year.

In October 2022, residents of the Providence subdivision in Herculaneum organized a petition to keep Love’s from developing at the 28-acre site located near the entrance to the community. That petition generated nearly 1,200 signatures – an impressive total for a town with a population of 4,912.

“The type of environment travel stops like theirs bring with drugs, prostitution, crime and noise are an unwelcome addition to this area,” the petition read.

While residents voiced their concerns, the need for truck parking in the area was evident.

A 2023 study conducted by the Missouri Department of Transportation to determine truck parking investments for the state identified a 10- to 50-space lack in available truck parking along that stretch of I-55, with areas farther south seeing a lack of 50 or more spaces.

In January, the city’s Board of Alderman met to vote on the proposed truck stop. Anticipating large crowds due to the growing pushback, they moved the meeting to the local high school. However, only about 20 people – not all opposed to the development – reportedly attended.

Despite the opposition, the board unanimously voted to approve Love’s request to build at the site.

The approval was contingent upon a few conditions. Most notably, Love’s would be required to use buffering that would shield the nearby subdivision from air, noise and light pollution – something the company agreed to do.

Even with the city’s approval, the grumbling about the truck stop from locals didn’t end.

In June, residents of the subdivision complained that blasting at the construction site caused damage to the foundation, drywall and windows of their homes, something contractors at the location vehemently denied.

Brian Bowman, safety director with Bloomsdale Excavating – the company in charge of the blasting – told KSDK News that in his 27 years with the company, its insurance provider had never paid out for damages due to vibrations, “especially with concrete.”

Bowman added that his company uses seismographs and decibel readers to maintain safe levels while blasting and that fresh concrete was actively being poured less than 100 yards from the blast site.

“If they’re doing that, then there’s no chance it’s going to crack that,” Bowman said, referring to the complaints of cracked foundations.

It does appear that Love’s is trying to smooth things over as it cuts the ribbon on its newest truck stop.

To mark the opening, the company is donating $2,000 each to two Herculaneum charities – Jeffco Shop with a Cop and Kade’s Playground – for a total donation of $4,000.

Making a $2,000 donation to the community when opening a store is a tradition at all new Love’s locations. However, of the 19 truck stops the company has opened in 2023, only Herculaneum received a larger donation. In fact, four of the locations opened this year split the $2,000 between two local groups.

“Occasionally, Love’s gives additional funds to local nonprofits as it sees fit, and this was one of those situations,” Caitlin Jensen, corporate communications manager for Love’s, told Land Line. “We look forward to continuing to support Herculaneum with an annual donation budget and by providing jobs into the future.”

Jensen said the grand opening occurred without incident or protest from those opposed, adding that “key members of the community visited the location and had positive feedback.”

Love’s adds location in Louisiana

On top of the new travel stop in Missouri, the company also announced the opening of a location in Shreveport, La.

Situated off Interstate 49 at Exit 215 in Caddo Parish, this new Love’s adds 109 truck parking spaces to the Bayou State.

“Love’s is excited to add two new locations across the nation’s highways to cater to customers in Shreveport and Herculaneum,” Shane Wharton, president of Love’s, said in a statement.

To commemorate the Shreveport grand opening, Love’s is donating $2,000 that will be divided between the community’s Northwood High School and Green Oaks High School.

Both of the new travel stops are open 24/7 and offer drivers a number of amenities, including:


  • 109 truck parking spaces
  • Seven diesel bays
  • Seven showers
  • Laundry facilities
  • CAT Scale


  • 80 truck parking spaces
  • Eight diesel bays
  • Seven showers
  • Laundry facilities
  • CAT scale

With the addition of the two new locations, Love’s reports to operate 647 locations in 42 states. LL