City moves forward with mining gravel

Published 10:03 am Friday, September 5, 2008

The city of Austin has found a contractor to mine gravel on a flood plain off Fifth Street and Third Avenue Southeast near the Roosevelt Bridge.

Ulland Bros. Inc. agreed to a set of conditions, approved by city council members Monday, that will place them entirely responsible for the removal of 25,000 cubic yards of material, as well as erosion control and site restoration.

The planning commission already approved approximately 20 conditions in July designed to preserve the character, value and geography of the property and to mitigate any adverse effects such as odor, dust, noise and hazards.

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Conditions also outline mining hours, which will be limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The project is scheduled to conclude by Dec. 31.

The outcome for the area, which runs north to south on the shore of the Cedar River, will be new grading and landscaping.

The granular material was found as the city cleared the property as part of flood mitigation acquisitions. City engineer Jon Erichson said the hope is to use about 4,000 cubic feet to fill the Oakland Avenue underpass, which is currently under construction, though a separate agreement must be established with Ulland first.

The Cloquet, Minn.,-based company has an office in Albert Lea, and it currently is completing a gravel pit project, known as the Johnson Pit, southwest of Ellis Middle School.

The city had contracted use of gravel material from that pit for use on the Oakland Avenue project and use of the alternative site will delay the closure of the Johnson property, named after Bud Johnson, a local landowner and businessman.

They expect construction to start within two weeks on the Johnson pit, a delay from the original plan. Ulland was forced to build fence around the site by the city, which argued it was important for safety reasons.