News

Flying J rolls out

By PAT JENKINS

The Mirror

The steady arrival of long-haul trucks at the Broadway Flying J’s Travel Plaza in Federal Way ended Wednesday with the truck stop’s closing.

The property where the stop has operated at South 348th Street and Enchanted Parkway will be turned into a retail center called Federal Way Crossings, a name that fits the location’s history.

Almost as long as many can remember, a truck stop where drivers can pull in for gas, food and a rest has occupied the site near the junction of Interstate 5 and State Route 18. Broadway Flying J’s was the operator the last 15 years until its lease ran out.

Wednesday’s closing was “a sad day for us,” said Kama Alsaker, an official with Spokane-based Broadway. “We’re sorry to be saying goodbye to our customers in Federal Way.”

One trucker who called the Mirror was angry about the closure, blaming Federal Way’s changing business scene for the loss of what he said was a convenient, popular respite from the road.

“I’m fed up with Federal Way. We were here a long time before all these stores and everything else,” he said.

If the lease hadn’t expired, “we would have happily continued supplying the I-5 corridor,” said Alsaker.

Broadway, a Flying J’s franchise, still has seven other stops. Three are in Washington (Spokane, Ellensburg and Pasco) and the others are in Montana, Nevada and Iowa. In addition to fuel and food, they give truckers a place to park their rigs and cool their heels during mandatory non-drive times.

Officials of Washington Trucking Association, which is based in Federal Way, have said that one less place for drivers to hang their hats, especially overnight, has an impact on truckers.

Opus Northwest plans to demolish the closed stop’s buildings and develop the 21 acres into the 224,000-square-foot Federal Way Crossings with shops, banks and restaurants. Tenants haven’t been announced.

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