Richfield accepts road, rail payments from Kwik Trip
Money one portion of promised funds for infrastructure work on new store

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

June 21, 2019

RICHFIELD — The Village Board has accepted two checks, totaling about $375,000, as partial payment for some road and rail infrastructure work that will take place due to the upcoming construction of a new Kwik Trip convenience store at the site of a former truck stop.

As part of a developer’s agreement with the village, Kwik Trip has promised to pay $1.3 million for infrastructure improvements near the new store site. Those improvements include the changes at the railroad crossing, which had an estimated cost of about $300,000. The check for $75,000 was to pay for engineering work completed by the state related to the highway work. Other infrastructure improvements along Highway 167 to be part of the project include closing a median on the highway so no left turns can be made from the right-in only access point, the realignment of the access point to the Thrifty Car Rental site (directly south) and a lighted intersection on Highway 167 that will include stop lights.

The state commissioner of railroads has also given the go-ahead for improvements needed to the rail crossing on Holy Hill Road because the road will be widened as part of work required to improve traffic around the new store and at Highway 41/45 and Holy Hill Road.

“The (railroad commissioner’s office) required an additional pavement improvement that Kwik Trip agreed to, which basically replaced the pavement between the rails,” said Village Administrator Jim Healy.

All of the former truck stop’s structures were demolished earlier this year. The Village Board approved accepting the payments during Thursday’s regular meeting. Kwik Trip officials have told the Daily News that construction is still set to begin on July 15.

“The first shovels are supposed to go in the ground then,” John McHugh, Kwik Trip’s director of public relations, said. “The store is projected to open the first week of December.”

The proposed convenience store was projected to be 8,847 square feet with an attached dumpster enclosure, gas fueling canopy, detached storage shed and a separate diesel fueling area.

McHugh said Kwik Trip normally averages around 30-40 employees at each store.

Kwik Trip Director of Real Estate Hans Zietlow said the company will end up investing about $10 million in the Richfield project. That includes the purchase of 8 acres of land, construction, store equipment and highway and site improvements. The $10 million also includes the amount promised to the village and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the infrastructure work. Kwik Trip is giving the village a financial guarantee with a letter of credit in a greater amount than what they estimated the cost to be.

The project also calls for a 66-foot-wide easement on the south side of the property, which will be vacated for construction of a new public road on the property’s west side to allow access to other land for future development near the Kwik Trip. That is an issue the village has been struggling to find an answer for over the last few years.

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