FAQ

North Gravel Site

1. Where is the north gravel site located?

  • The north gravel site is located in the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC) south of Old Banff Coach Road S.W., between 101 Street and the community of West Springs.
  • A haul road extends from the south end of the gravel site heading south between 101 Street and adjacent communities.
  • The haul road crosses 17 Avenue and Lower Springbank Road before meeting Highway 8.
  • All of the crossings are controlled by signalized intersections to ensure the safety of the travelling public.

NorthSite2

NorthGravelPit

2. Why was this site selected for the gravel operation?

  • This site contains over five million cubic metres of gravel, which will be used for the construction of the SWCRR.
  • This is equivalent to 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • The proximity of the resource improves safety by reducing haul distances compared to other sites and by removing trucks from public roads.
  • Gravel is also a costly, non-renewable resource and access to this gravel source is expected to reduce costs for both the Southwest Calgary Ring Road and the West Calgary Ring Road.
  • Should the gravel not be extracted before construction of the future West Calgary Ring Road, this extremely valuable resource would be lost.

3. What are the benefits of this operation to the community?

  • Excavation of gravel from this location will result in a lower elevation for the future West Calgary Ring Road, resulting in better sightlines and reduced noise for adjacent communities.
  • The lower profile also results in a safer and more efficient highway.

4. When did you decide to use the north gravel site?

  • The option to develop the north gravel site was included as an option in Alberta Transportation’s plan to build the SWCRR.
  • After the contract was formally awarded in the fall of 2016, outreach was initiated to impacted stakeholders in November and an info session was held in December.
  • A second info session for the north gravel site was held in June 2017.

5. What are the noise level restrictions at the gravel site?

  • The north gravel site is subject to a noise level restriction of an average 65 decibels over the operating hours.
  • Three noise monitors are located on the site to ensure compliance with these levels.
  • This noise level is more rigorous that the 65 decibel limit over 24 hours in place for the rest of the construction site.

6. What are the operating hours?

  • The hours for the north gravel site and haul road are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sundays and holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

7. How are you addressing concerns regarding dust?

  • A four metre-high earth berm was constructed between the gravel extraction area and adjacent residences to minimize dust impacts.
  • In addition, a 10-metre wide vegetation buffer was left between the berm and community.
  • Trees were planted in the buffer area where there previously weren’t any trees.
  • The berm and stockpile areas were seeded to prevent erosion.
  • Regular dust mitigation activities include watering and application of dust palliatives.
  • The crushing equipment makes use of a water system on material transfer points.
  • Dust is expected to be reduced as the gravel site excavation deepens.
  • Dust monitoring equipment has been installed on the site and all provincial and project thresholds are being followed.

8. How are you addressing concerns regarding silica?

  • Alberta Transportation completed a health impact assessment prior to the start of the gravel operation that reviewed silica dust and community proximity concerns.
  • This document was reviewed and approved by the Chief Medical Health Officer of Alberta.
  • Mining and crushing operations at the site will produce the different sizes of gravel needed for construction—road base, gravel fill and asphalt.
    • Less than 10 per cent of the gravel mined and crushed will be smaller than 80 microns.
    • An even smaller percentage will be 10 microns or less—the size that can be inhaled into human lungs and has the capacity to contribute to health issues.
    • Only a fraction of this fraction will be silica dust – approximately three per cent.
  • Because of this and with a consistent dust suppression program in place, the amount of fine particulates created by a gravel crushing operation should stay well within legislated limits.

9. What exposure limits are you following for silica?

  • According to the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code, the occupational exposure limit for workers is 25 micrograms per cubic metre of air over an eight-hour period.
  • For the purposes of this site, Alberta will be adopting Ontario’s guideline—a non-occupational exposure limit of 5 micrograms per cubic metre of air over a 24-hour period.
  • The non-occupational limit is lower than occupational because it errs on the side of protecting more vulnerable segments of society (e.g., children) and assumes 24-hour exposure.

MonitoringTable

10. How are you addressing concerns regarding noise?

  • A four metre-high earth berm was constructed between the gravel extraction area and adjacent residences to minimize noise levels.
  • In addition, a 10-metre wide vegetation buffer was left between the berm and community.
  • Noise levels are expected to decrease as the gravel site excavation deepens.
  • In response to public concerns, vehicles operating at the north gravel site do not use back-up alarms.
  • Noise is monitored at the gravel site by a third party and sensors are used to notify KGL if noise limits are exceeded.

11. Will a berm be built along the haul road?

  • No berm is planned along the haul road, because it is a temporary access route for the construction of the SWCRR and directly adjacent to the alternative route – 101 Street S.W.
  • Due to the elevation of The Slopes community, a berm would not be an effective dust or noise control measure.
  • The haul road has been treated with a dust palliative to seal the road surface and disturbed areas will be seeded to prevent erosion.

12. When are operations expected to conclude at this site?

  • The north gravel site is expected to complete operations in the spring of 2021.

13. What will be done to reclaim the north gravel site after operations are completed?

  • After the completion of operations the area will be contoured, topsoil will be replaced and disturbed areas will be seeded ahead of construction for the West Calgary Ring Road.