The Madera County Planning Commission recently approved Vulcan Materials Company’s development of the Austin Quarry, which will be located near the intersection of State Route 41 and State Route 145.
The Planning Commission’s vote is dangerous because Austin Quarry will impact not only the residents in the Madera Ranchos, Bonadelle Ranchos and Rolling Hills, but the residents of the city of Madera.
At a presentation given on Aug. 3, the crowd was informed by a traffic engineer that the roads in Madera County are not built for 25 ton trucks. Austin Quarry will be using 25-ton trucks to transport their gravel. According to his traffic study, up to 1,600 truck trips a day will be made. Approximately 8 percent of them will head west on SR 145 to access SR 99.
This means that up to 128 truck trips will be made right through the city of Madera each day. This will add more traffic congestion, more air pollution, and more wear and tear on city streets.
Another impact to the residents of the city of Madera will be an increase of air pollution caused by the blasting that will be done to mine the gravel. The wind blows in all directions. Dust and the chemicals used to do the blasting will be blown within the Madera city limits.
According to a comment from the California Department of Water Resources, the Austin Quarry is within the Madera groundwater sub-basin. Madera’s groundwater basin is critically over drafted. It will waste 1.8 million gallons of Madera’s water every day!
On Sept. 12, at 1 p.m., the Board of Supervisors will meet in their chambers at 200 W. 4th Street. At that meeting, the supervisors will vote on the Austin Quarry development.
Please attend that meeting, wear red and join the concerned residents of Madera. We need our voice to be heard. Despite the Planning Commission’s vote, “It Ain’t Over Yet”!
— Paige Sanders,