Construction company Graniterock is using over 100 trucks daily to haul dirt from Gilroy to its Southside Road sand and gravel quarry as part of a reclamation plan approved by the San Benito County Board of Supervisors in 2000. The dirt is being used as infill in its effort to bring back the topography of the mined areas. The company is continuing to mine on the other side of the quarry.
Keith Severson, Graniterock marketing communications manager, said there are about 120 trucks making five roundtrips per day from Upper Llagas Creek just west of Gilroy to the Southside quarry. Up to 380,000 cubic yards of dirt will be transferred to the quarry site; each standard truck can carry about 12 cubic yards.
There’s a high volume of trucks because the company is taking advantage of lighter traffic during the statewide stay-at-home order.
The infill is a small piece of the reclamation project that began two weeks ago and is likely to last through October, but involving fewer trucks.
Since 1975, the state has required reclamation plans for any agency or person operating, leasing or owning mined lands prior to commencing mining. The reclamation project includes grading, erosion control and revegetation plans, and also states Graniterock agreed to stop mining at the Tres Pinos Creek site.
According to Severson, Graniterock hired commercial California Highway Patrol officers for truck inspection requirements and to ensure trucks only travel on Highway 25 when in San Benito County. He said Graniterock employees are also travelling the route to ensure trucks stay on the highway, and to ensure dirt and debris aren’t spilled on the road.
The company has sweeper trucks ready in case they are needed, Severson said. Additionally, hauling trucks are entering and exiting through rocked points and rumble strips, with workers brooming down trucks to minimize roadway debris.
Supervisor Jim Gillio said he reached out to Graniterock, local law enforcement and Caltrans to “ensure that everyone is working together to mitigate the increased traffic safety concern.” In regards to who is responsible for any damage to Highway 25 caused by the increase in truck traffic, he referred BenitoLink to Caltrans because it’s a state highway. Caltrans was not immediately available for comment.
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