Concrete plant in Snowmass Village?
June 15, 2005
A concrete plant could open in Snowmass Village by fall to generate the material needed for structures in the massive Base Village project.If approved by the town, the plant would be in place for a year to 18 months to help build the development at Fanny Hill. Placing it in town near the construction sites would alleviate traffic and wear and tear on Brush Creek Road, officials said, by taking heavy cement trucks off the road.But a president of a Snowmass Village homeowners association said the community should be able to weigh in on the impacts from noise and dust generated by a concrete plant.Joe Maglicic, director of land development for Intrawest Place Making, conceded that the idea is a double-edged one.”I think you can very easily argue both sides of it: That having a plant there for 18 months to keep the trucks off the road would be great,” he said. “At the same time, you’ve got a plant up there. There’s certainly noise and that stuff going on.”The most common causes of complaints about cement plants are noise, dust, traffic and vibration, according to a website for Hanson, an international construction firm.Maglicic hopes Intrawest officials can start discussing the issue with town planners over the next month or so. The large cement pouring projects will likely not start until late September.”We’re [talking] to the concrete plant operators to try to figure out how to make [a plant] work,” Maglicic said.The plant could be built at the new Town Hall site across the street from the Base Village project. The area would be graded, and the plant would operate there until the larger structures have been completed.Obtaining the requisite permits, environmental concerns, site constraints and other factors still need to be addressed, Maglicic said. Intrawest is also conducting an analysis to see how many truck trips a cement plant could eliminate.Constructing Base Village will require about 22,000 cubic yards of cement, mostly for the underground parking structure that is planned.Mel Blumenthal, president of the Enclave Condominiums homeowners association in Snowmass Village, was cautious when asked what he thought about the plan. But he did say residents should be involved.”I don’t know what kind of noise or dust that kind of operation generates. I think it’s going to depend on how much,” he said. “It’s conceivable that it could have noise and dust impacts. I think it would probably be something that should and would need community input.”Snowmass Village Mayor Doug Mercatoris said the town is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to minimize construction impacts.”I don’t think that the town would have a problem with having a [cement] batch plant within [Intrawest’s] own property,” he said. “I think if it’s less impactive construction-wise than having trucks coming up and down the valley, that’s why we would do it.”Brian Pettet, Pitkin County’s director of public works, said a concrete plant would benefit Brush Creek Road in two ways.”One is we can alleviate the increased traffic during commuter rush hour on the road. They can haul in all the raw [building] material in the evening or when traffic levels aren’t high,” he said. “The other thing it does is it reduces the impact to the road.”Concrete trucks have one of the worst wheel configurations of any vehicle, and when you load those vehicles, it provides dramatic stress to any road.”Even if a plant is built in town, innumerable construction trips on Brush Creek Road will still be needed for other building material, and for the concrete itself, Intrawest’s Maglicic said.”The material for all this concrete doesn’t show up magically out of the air,” he said. “You still have to truck it up the hill at some point.”At any rate, Intrawest has agreed to repave the entire road from town to Highway 82 after the bulk of the heavy construction is complete.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org