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15-ton weight limit will prohibit quarry trucks

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — If Rogers Group follows through with building a rock quarry at Tanner, it will have to use its product to build its own road.

On Monday, Limestone County Commissioner Bill Latimer asked the commission to set a 15-ton weight limit for Laughmiller Road. Rogers Group is in the process of buying acreage on Laughmiller Road to move its rock quarry from northern Limestone County to Tanner.

County Engineer Richard Sanders said the weight limit will prohibit Rogers Group dump trucks loaded with rock from using Laughmiller Road to get to U.S. 31.

Some Tanner residents asked for a stricter weight limit, but Sanders said 15 tons is the minimum that would be considered reasonable, if someone wanted to carry the county to court. Sanders said a school bus weighs between 11 and 13 tons.

The 15-ton limit still will allow local deliveries, which means garbage trucks can service residents and farmers can use the road.

Laughmiller Road resident Traci McLin said the road would not be wide enough for a car and dump truck to meet.

"We would have to get over in the ditch if we met one," she said. "I pray we don't get (the quarry), but if we do, let them make their own road."

The commission voted unanimously to set the 15-ton limit.

During an October meeting with state and local officials, about 100 residents from Tanner and Athens said they are concerned about the structural safety of their homes should the quarry relocate near them. Residents also said the quarry could have a negative impact on Swan Creek Wildlife Refuge and Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.

Since the county does not have home rule authority, it cannot prevent the quarry from relocating.

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