Reroute the big rigs

Ralph Dolgovin and the neighbors along Table Mountain Boulevard, north of Garden Drive, south of Shirmer Ravine Road

We have just received word that the trucks—80 10-wheel diesels—will begin transporting 2,000 tons of silica sand daily past our 15 homes. These trucks will weigh 60,000 pounds each when loaded. Some also will tow trailers—add another 30,000 pounds.

They will go west on Shirmer Ravine Road to Table Mountain Boulevard, then south to Garden Drive, then west to the south on-ramp to Highway 70. Then they will proceed to Oroville, where they will unload and return empty to the off-ramp on Garden Drive, past our homes again on Table Mountain Boulevard to Shirmer Ravine Road, back to Mineral Resources Mine, reload and repeat.

We will have one of these trucks pass within 40 feet of our homes every five minutes from both directions, 12 hours per day, five days a week, with a permit for 50 years!

Garden Drive is a very important part of Mineral Resources Mining Company’s route. Garden Drive is the only connection to a fabulous park called “The North Forebay Park.” Garden Drive is a narrow two-lane road with no shoulders and no bike path for most of its length. Those who want to enter or leave North Forebay Park on bicycles, skateboards, small scooters or just plain walking have only the pavement to use!

With this proposed addition of the diesels and their trailers, Garden Drive becomes a dreadfully dangerous road to share with Mineral Resources Mining trucks. We predict several tragic accidents on Table Mountain Boulevard as well as on Garden Drive.

When the mine trucks come down Shirmer Ravine Road to Table Mountain Boulevard, they should turn right onto Highway 70, where they will go south to Oroville, empty their loads and return to the mine the same way to reload. This saves 15 homes from total destruction and protects our children and the adults who use Garden Drive.

There was no communication with Table Mountain folks about the “secret meeting” of Jan. 13, 1994, that would so seriously affect our homes. Why were we not notified? The Butte County counsel told us that in those days it wasn’t necessary to notify people by mail. We find that extremely hard to believe.

At that meeting, what did the chairman think when he looked around the room and noted only Mineral Resources Mine personnel, planning personnel and staff and no opposition in the chamber? Did he think, “Well, I guess these folks don’t care that we are going to permit the destruction of their homes, so let’s do it to them now"? And they did.

The brigade could have gone on Table Mountain Boulevard to Highway 70, past only three homes that are well back off the road. This would be five more miles, but compare that to the total ruination of 15 homes. But the planners chose to select the destruction of our domestic tranquility.

We hope to avoid future litigation, but if we have to we will go down or up swinging! Let’s not have to go to court over this display of county government at its very worst! We are praying some action will be taken immediately. They plan to start the trucks within a few weeks.