FERNLEY, Nev. (AP) ¿ Construction has begun on a new casino and truck stop complex along U.S. Interstate 80 in Fernley, where 45 construction jobs will be created over the next seven months to build the facility with 240 slots and gaming tables.

Site work for the Big Wheel Casino & Truck Stop began about three weeks ago, said Paul Morabito, president of the Reno-based developer Big Wheel Properties LLC.

The 20,000-square-foot building covering seven acres will feature a casino, trucker's service area, bar, convenience store and a travel center with Texaco-branded retail gasoline. The developers also are trying to secure a franchise for an International House of Pancakes restaurant in the building.

"The traffic on I-80 more than justifies an additional truck stop in the area and I can assure you that Big Wheel will be as trucker-friendly a facility as exists in the Western United States," Morabito said.

Miles Construction Inc. of Carson City is the general contractor for the project expected to open next spring with 60 full-time jobs.

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