Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Runaway gravel trucks could come with a quarry

“At least three killed when gravel truck careens off highway in Santa Barbara and into a house.” (Source: Los Angeles Times, 8/24/10)

The brakes on a truck loaded with 26 tons of quarry gravel failed going downhill on Highway 154. Speeding at 50 mph, the truck hit two vehicles before destroying a house and killing the three people inside.

The mountaintop site chosen by Granite Construction for their proposed Liberty Quarry would be a perfect setting for a similar accident. According to Granite’s DEIR, the quarry access road would include grades up to 18 percent and a steep switchback. There would be 1600 truck trips from the quarry daily, entering and exiting Interstate 15 at the Rainbow exit.

Rocks analyzed at the site were found to be inferior. “There is a certain probability that the rocks at the proposed site will be damaged (fractured and weak) to considerable depths, and that they may contain significant porosity and permeability.” (San Diego State University) This porosity would lead to pollution of the underground water table and the Santa Margarita River.

The quarry would require 472 gallons of clean water per operating minute. Granite’s own DEIR states that the quarry may not have an adequate water source and a guaranteed water source must be identified before the project can be approved.

Now we have another possibility to think about: fully loaded runaway aggregate trucks careening down the mountainside into traffic – all for porous rock not worth mining and using water we don’t have.

Laurenn Barker

 

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