Demolition has been completed for the old M&M Truck stop south of Cortez to make room for a new Love’s Travel Stop.
Envirotech Inc., of Farmington, was contracted by Love’s to knock down and remove the abandoned building that had become a graffiti-scarred eyesore at the south entrance to Cortez.
Envirotech Field Operations Manager Mike Detrick said the demolition and cleanup took about three days. Asbestos removal from the building was done the week before.
“Everything went according to plan,” he said.
A few homeless people trespassing in the building had to be instructed to leave the premises before work began in late March.
Steel and tin from the demolition were taken to a recycling center, and the asbestos was disposed of at a certified facility in Utah, Detrick said. The rest of the debris went to a landfill.
The clean slate at the corner of U.S. Highway 491-160 and County Road G will now evolve into the Love’s Travel Stop, which will be adjacent to the Colorado port of entry used by truckers.
Love’s development plan includes a convenience store and at least one eatery. Plans also envision five passenger fuel islands and four to six diesel fueling bays, a truck scale, dog park, RV dump and water and a small propane tank filling station. Parking is planned for 55 to 60 passenger vehicles and 25 to 30 trucks.
Redevelopment of the property hinged on the required cleanup of a 1994 diesel spill of 1,500 gallons from a storage tank. The M&M Truck Stop closed in 2001. Underground and above-ground fuel tanks had been removed, but the soil contamination problem remained.
In an effort to solve the blight at Cortez’s doorstep, Montezuma County officials have been urging various owners and the state to negotiate a cleanup for redevelopment. The property changed hands several times, and state enforcement attempts were not successful.
In February 2020, the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety took over clean up of the property in partnership with then owner Jovian Petroleum.
The agency completed the environmental cleanup of fuel-contaminated soils in November.
The reclaimed property received a green light for redevelopment from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. It has since been purchased by Love’s.
Love’s, based in Oklahoma City, has more than 530 stores in 41 states, according to its website. The 24-hour fuel station targets high travel areas and truck routes, and caters to professional drivers.