Expanded mining operation planned

A mining operation off State Road 37 in the Center Grove area is looking to expand.

Martin-Marietta, a North Carolina-based construction materials company, wants to expand its existing mining operations to another 185 acres of land on the west side of State Road 37, just south of Fairview Road. The company would be mining for sand and gravel, according to a filing with the Johnson County Planning Department.

The company has asked for a special exception to do the work on the property, which is zoned for agriculture, according to the filing.

Martin-Marietta already has a mining operation south of the property proposed for the expansion. If approved, sand and gravel would be mined from the new property and then processed at the property further south, and then could be used for construction around Johnson County, according to the filing. Workers will need to excavate to get to the sand and gravel in the ground, and will use equipment that can dig up to 70 feet deep, the filing said.

A 4-foot-tall fence will be constructed around the property, and gates will be locked.

Work will be done between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. During peak construction, work could go from dawn until dusk, the filing said.

The area around the property is mostly agricultural. The mining area will be about 1,900 feet away from State Road 37 and about 1,300 feet away from the nearest home, the filing said.

Lighting will be aimed down toward the mining operations, and work will be done behind trees and a buffer, the filing said. Workers will also have to take steps to keep dirt and dust down, the filing said. The company is also required to take steps to protect wetlands in the area and to have wells to test ground water for any chemicals, the filing said.

The proposal to allow the special exception on the property, which is owned by Rob Richards Investments, is set to go to the planning commission for approval after being reviewed by the county’s technical review committee.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.