Kiewit Withdraws Application for Mega-Quarry!

Kiewit Infrastructure West proposed a massive quarry in the upper Sixes River watershed for jetty stone, of the grade required by the Army Corps of Engineers. The jetty stone was targeted for the repairs of South Jetty on the Columbia River in the spring of 2020. Stone below the Corps’ size requirements (about 80% of the quarried amount) would have been slated for riprap, ormorgan crushed stone for construction projects.

The quarry area – for the mining and stockpiling, and also processing and support facilities – would have encompassed 60 acres. For the Columbia River jetty repair project, Kiewit proposed to mine at least 440,000 tons (!) of stone. That is right: 440,000 tons, quarried over an approximately 25-year life of the mine.

They would have begun with site clearing (i.e., cutting all the trees), grading about 40 acres, preparation and building a 4,200-foot access road, plus widening and paving 3.8 miles of logging road. They proposed to “relocate” a tributary of Edson Creek to an adjacent tributary. Then Kiewit would have created mining areas and “establishing support facilities.” This phase included bringing in portable office structures and heavy equipment, setting up a parking area, fueling station, maintenance shops and storage facilities.

The actual mining would have been a “top down” approach, beginning with a 20-acre quarry created by blasting benches – up to two blasts a day. Kiewit would take the jetty stone thus blasted out, but also stockpile “undersized” rock, to be screened and crushed for other uses. They planned a maximum of 40 loaded trucks leaving the site per day, and, presumably, an equal number of unloaded trucks and other vehicles.

Kiewit did not win the Army Corps of Engineers’ $35 million contract for South Jetty repairs, and withdrew the quarry application in September 2019. Residents of the Sixes River watershed area, and ORCA as well, are greatly relieved not to have to fight such a damaging industrial project in a highly rural area that would have severely impacted the environment, rural communities, and local transportation networks.

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