Local/State

Quarry wants to blast through more land

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A north Raleigh neighborhood may soon have to deal with dynamite blasts and roaring trucks in their backyard as quarry officials plan to expand.

The Hanson-Crabtree Creek Quarry off Duraleigh Road in Raleigh was established by the North Carolina Department of Transportation in 1946 and has been excavating granite for decades.

Now, there's a zoning request to expand the quarry at Crabtree Creek closer to residents' homes.

Owners of the quarry say the expansion is not only about growth, but also about flooding.

"The use of the quarry here has been the number one solution to alleviating that issue," Hanson attorney Greg Steyers said.

Rising water along Crabtree Creek might be a thing of the past if the expansion plan moves forward. According to the quarry's attorney, additional space would hold two billion gallons of flood water if needed.

"If the pit is flooded, if water is diverted from Crabtree Creek, there needs to be another area that can be quarried, while that water would be pumped back out after the flood was over," Hanson said.

Hanson officials say the expansion also comes with promise of a new parking lot for nearby Umstead Park and a new greenway.

"We knew that the quarry was operating, we knew that," resident Matthew Alvarez said. "We certainly didn't know they wanted to expand operations."

Residents say if they had known, they never would have moved to the neighborhood. They say they believe the expansion plan is about profit not flood prevention.

"We would hate for them to do a 180-degree turn on a whim because a large company gets to profit from this and some developers are profiting from it," Alvarez said.

Meanwhile, Hanson officials say they'd like to create a neighborhood advisory council.

"We would welcome anyone with a concern to come talk to us and we haven't heard from folks," Steyers said.

In the meantime, a protest petition is circulating in an effort to stop the plan.

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