WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Progress is underway on the Clear Creek Welcome Center in West Terre Haute on I-70 Eastbound at the 2-mile marker.
In May, state and local leaders broke ground on the for a total reconstruction project. It’s part of INDOT’s 10-year plan to improve interstate rest stops and welcome centers. It’s an investment of over 600 million dollars in improvements to 21 rest areas by the end of 2030.
Seth Porter, Vice President of Hannig Construction said new plans will relocate the Welcome Center building to the front of the property. “As you see behind us, I-70 is much clearer. You’ll be able to see the project much clearer from the road.”
The property is already more visible from the interstate as trees are cleared. The foundation just started on the new Welcome Center.
Meg Steward, Marketing and Business Development Director for Hannig Construction said they are about a quarter of the way done with the project.
The center will be roughly 15,000 square feet.
“It’s a cutting-edge building,” Porter said. “The building has Dacron glass which is a very neat prismatic glass. All types of Indy 500 memorabilia in the building. A very unique shape to the building as well, looks kind of slanted, like as you’re going past a flag.”
WTWO’s Jen Thompson was impressed with all that the rest stop is going to offer, “Most of the time when we think of rest stops, we think of people traveling through. And this is the first place when you get into Indiana from Illinois. But what will this mean to local people, because this sounds like a park?” Thompson asked.
“It does. It sounds very much like a park. It’s great,” Porter replied. “I believe it will bring in a lot of the locals to the area. It’s going to be a very large ‘park’ if you will.”
Outside the park, or rest stop, will feature benches and covered seating for visitors to take a break and will also include a walking path made of crushed granite for people to stretch their legs.
And as a highlight for families, Porter said, “There is a playground. Even including a zip line.”
In addition, the property will address safety along I-70 with more truck parking available. There will be a specific area centered toward truck drivers and will include auxiliary restrooms, separate from the welcome center.
As for the welcome center, Steward said, “A few fun features that the Clear Creek Welcome Center will have is a replica of the Borg-Warner Indy 500 trophy. There will also be a replica of the scoring pylon from the Indy 500.”
Hannig Construction is the general contractor on the project and Steward said 60% of the work will be completed by local Wabash Valley contractors including Dennison Trucking, Milestone, B&S Plumbing Heating & Cooling, and Crown Electric. Hannig will also self-perform concrete work and a large portion of other requirements.
“We’re very excited to keep dollars locally, you know, just economic development for our community,” Steward said. “Every time there is a project of this caliber, getting to do it in our backyard is best.”
Hannig Construction expects the entire project to be completed by the end of May 2025.