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Lehigh Cement Company Conveyor
The Lehigh Cement Co. LLC’s Union Bridge Quarry - New Windsor Quarry Project involved the building of a 4.5 mile overland belt conveyor that connects the newly developed limestone quarry located in New Windsor, Maryland, with the Union Bridge cement manufacturing plant. An over view of the project can be seen at the link below.
The cement plant mines over 3.5 million tons of limestone annually or about 12,000 tons per day of usage at the on-site Union Bridge site. In the near future, the Union Bridge quarry will be approaching the end of its limestone reserves. This project provides an estimated 70 years of limestone supply for the Lehigh Cement Company cement plant, which is the second largest of its kind in North America. The plant produces over two million metric tons of cement each year to supply the Northeast USA and Eastern Canada. Many other options were considered for the transportation of the limestone from the New Windsor quarry to the Union Bridge plant, including truck and rail, but the conveyor system proved to be the most ecologically- and community- friendly choice. The decision to pass under all road and stream crossings was in support of the community’s concerns related to the visual impact of an elevator conveyor system. The conveyor is designed to be underground at five of six road crossings, three streams and at some agricultural areas. The aboveground sections are completely covered with a continuous jumbo cover to reduce noise, nuisance lighting and completely eliminate dust, while preventing any un-authorized access. Areas where the conveyor is underground will remain agricultural lands for the life of the conveyor.
In order to mitigate the wetland and stream impacts from the project, Lehigh Cement permanently restored over three acres of wetlands and more than two miles of perennial stream in the Haines Branch Valley. The mitigation project started at Marble Quarry Road and travelled south, ending at Fountain School Road. The design of the mitigations, planted stream buffer, and stream channel will provide cleaner water into Haines Branch by significantly reducing nutrient and sediment loadings. The restorations include seasonal ox-bow wetlands, buffers of warm seasonal grasses and mixed forest types that are capable of sustainment in karst topography. Selection of plant species and hydraulic manipulations are designed to achieve habitat for host insects, passerine birds, waterfowl, small mammals, furbearers and herptiles. The restoration includes plant species and vegetative communities correlated to their respective hydrologic tolerances.
Shallmar Road Landslide
A recent landslide occurred near the tiny town of Shallmar in the southwestern part of Garrett County, immediately adjacent to the North Branch of the Potomac River. A landslide that closed the only access road into Shallmar was determined, by MDE personnel, to be a result of drainage from an abandoned deep mine. The Maryland Mining Program went to work taking water samples, did onsite engineering analysis and began preparations to stabilize the slide. In conjunction with Garret county road crews all debris was removed from the road allowing access back into town. With an unstable slope above the road and drainage from a nearby abandoned deep mine, the likelihood for another landslide is very probable.
Maryland does not have the estimated $750,000 needed to complete the work to make the access road safe again and is partnering with the Federal Office of Surface Mining to obtain the emergency funds and expertise. With funding secured, the process of plan development and then construction can begin. Every effort will be made to have the site secured before the freeze/ thaw of winter sets in and working conditions will become too dangerous to proceed.
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230