Thanks for your recent article on the proposed Highway 58 quarry (“Quarry quandary,” April 7). It’s only fitting that Benchmark has brought in a PR firm that specializes in working with “entrenched opposition,” since the quarry project is receiving nothing but negative response from the community. The proposed project is a clear example of development that will benefit (and enrich) only a few people, while causing a range of potentially disastrous consequences to the area as a whole.
Aside from the major concerns of environmental impact and noise, the project’s promoters have yet to address the substantial issues that will arise as a result of more than 200 additional truck trips daily. By necessity, trucks will be routed directly through central Santa Margarita. Once these double trailers have barreled through the stretch of El Camino Real that contains virtually all of the town’s business and pedestrian traffic, they’ll then have to negotiate a turn across a railroad crossing, followed immediately by a busy school crossing. Past that, the road travels directly through residential neighborhoods. Once out of Santa Margarita, trucks will then continue for several miles on winding, shoulderless roads heavily traveled by bicycle traffic.
Caltrans has blithely signed off on their responsibilities under the California Environmental Quality Act, saying all they’re concerned with is the “left-turn channelization” at the entrance to the quarry.
There hasn’t been much in the way of local media coverage about this process, except for here in New Times. Folks who are interested in staying informed about the progress on the quarry can visit a new website, , or search for “Highway 58 Quarry” on Facebook.
Thank you, New Times, for your commitment to covering local news stories.