Midtown Raleigh News

City OKs quarry expansion in northwest Raleigh

Residents of a northwest Raleigh neighborhood left City Hall fuming last week after they failed in their effort to stop a quarry from expanding near their community.

Before the 5-to-2 vote, City Council members said Martin Marietta had agreed to several concessions intended to control noise and truck traffic at the site on Westgate Road near Interstate 540.

The company would limit blasting to an 8-acre area, with the remaining 89 acres used for storage of dirt and low-quality rock known as overburden. Earthen berms of up to 80 feet would shield the activity.

Neighbors in the Wyngate subdivision remain worried about noise.

“It’s like an earthquake and now they’re going to be nearer,” said Michelle Dacanay, joined by about 20 residents clad in red T-shirts as a show of unity.

“I believe it’s big business politics in Raleigh,” neighborhood opponent David Debesis said.

Councilman Russ Stephenson suggested delaying the vote to allow more time for Martin Marietta officials to work with the Wyngate neighborhood on compromises. Thomas Crowder sided with Stephenson, and Bonner Gaylord recused himself because one of his relatives works for the company.

During eight months of negotiations, Martin Marietta pledged to put berms around the perimeter, use a water truck to control dust and limit blasting to weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“I’m not sure how much further they can go,” said Councilman Randy Stagner.

Martin Marietta has operated the Raleigh-Durham Quarry since the early 1980s and owns the land that will be used for the expansion.

Quarries provide crushed stone, sand and gravel for roads and buildings. By locating near high-growth areas, quarries can offer lower fuel and hauling costs.

Based in Raleigh, Martin Marietta operates more than 285 quarries and distribution facilities. The company has more than 270 employees in the Raleigh area.

Staff writer Kelli Straka contributed to this report.