Popular highway servo close to re-opening

IT has been a long "battle" to overhaul a beloved servo on the Warrego Highway but Rusty's is close to opening its doors once again.

Owner Ross McPhee has owned the service station for close to four years and admitted it has been a struggle to refresh the site.

He said he did not anticipate how long it would take to re-open but expects to finally welcome motorists back within the next two months.

Rusty's service station at Plainland.
Rusty's service station at Plainland. Cordell Richardson

Rusty's closed in August 2017 after an application was lodged to revamp the Hatton Vale site in late 2016.

The overhaul has been hamstrung by asbestos, unexpected delays, disruptive weather, theft and issues with the old building.

"It's a long story... everything we touched was no good," Mr McPhee said.

"There was a new problem at every turn. It's cost a lot of money."

He would not reveal how much the refurb has cost.

A key part of the revamp included creating a new exit from the servo to push vehicles on to the adjacent Niemeyer Rd, instead of straight back on to the highway.

The road is currently closed for works to allow for the increased traffic volume.

Although not stipulated by the development application, Mr McPhee said a history of accidents involving exiting vehicles at the site made safety and the new exit a priority.

He has covered most of the costs of the road works, withLockyer Valley Regional Council chipping in as well.

Shell will supply the fuel with four multi-fuel pumps at the front of the site and four diesel pumps at the back.

Mr McPhee said there would be no business impact from the recently opened Shell service station up the road.

He hopes the lure of Rusty's as a pit stop for food and refreshments would make the servo an attractive place for drivers and truckies.

The toilets and kitchens have also been overhauled.

Mr McPhee said he was bemused by the amount of interest in the project.

"I hope they all come when it opens," he laughed.

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