Hundreds of residents from southwest Calgary communities gathered at a public meeting at the Glenmore Christian Academy on Thursday to voice their concern over a gravel pit being built for the southwest ring road.
The gravel pit is being constructed west of the community of West Springs, north of Bow Trail. It will run seven days a week, 12 hours a day.
The contractor says millions of dollars will be saved by crushing the gravel at the site, but people living nearby are concerned about noise and dust.
“My kids – all three are asthmatic. You have a gravel pit and a crusher 400 metres away,” resident Andres Valencia said during Thursday’s meeting. “How can I let my kids go outside and play when there’s dust accumulating on my deck, on my walls, on my windows?”
There are also plans to build an asphalt plant nearby.
“I wasn’t told there was a gravel pit, I wasn’t told there was going to be a crush operation less than a kilometre from my house, or an asphalt plant,” Valencia added.
“It’s a concern. It’s a huge concern.”
Area-MLA Dave Rodney says the gravel pit is an “absolute monster.” He said his constituents want the asphalt plant to be moved.
Jim McEvoy, who lives in West Springs, is concerned for the health and safety of those who reside nearby.
“We have two schools that are within 700 metres of the gravel quarry, so I’m concerned about the health of the residents and also the people who send their children to school there.”
Alberta Transportation says an environmental health assessment was done to ensure there are no negative health issues.
“We are doing everything possible to mitigate any impact to the public,” Rizwan Hussain, urban construction manager with Alberta Transportation, said. “This includes air [quality] monitoring, which will be done throughout the project, and noise monitoring.”
Gravel crushing is expected to start in May.
The southwest portion of the ring road is scheduled to be completed by 2021. The 31-kilometre highway will connect Highway 22X in the south to Highway 8.
With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo