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Concrete Firm Seeking to Mine Reserves

According to Maine’s Kennebec Journal, a concrete plant is seeking a zoning change so it can blast and extract rock, a prospect which has many neighbors up in arms.

Auburn Concrete, which built a concrete plant in a former quarry just off Civic Center Drive in 2011, across from the Central Maine Commerce Center, is seeking a change to allow it to seek a mineral extraction permit from the city.

Joel Cummings, an owner of the company, said the company wants to blast rock at the site to level the area to make more space and, at the same time, produce aggregate for concrete.

He told city councilors the company sees an opportunity in making concrete bridges used in the logging industry, but it doesn’t have space to make the 80-ft.-long concrete beams in its confined space.

Ken Smith, technical supervisor for Maine Drilling and Blasting, the company that would do the blasting for the project, said they would do pre-blast inspections of area structures, and the blast would be designed so it would not damage structures or exceed the city’s allowed limits.

The company’s plan, Cummings said, would be to blast rock from the quarry to create space – as well as enough raw materials to make the bridge sections for three to five years. After that occurs, and the blasting has brought much of the land involved down to near road level, the company would hope to sell or develop the land it anticipates would be desirable.