BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – People packed a meeting in Summit County on Tuesday to show their disapproval of a rock-crushing operation. But the county commissioners denied their appeal, meaning the project is full steam ahead.
The gravel milling is set to happen along the Swan River just outside Breckenridge where issues along the river date back more than 100 years. Mining operations have left giant piles of rock throughout an entire area in Summit County. Reclamation has already happened on the nearby Blue River, and now the goal is to do the same with the Swan River. But residents aren’t happy with the process.
The residents are upset over the plan to allow a company to mill gravel in their backyards.
“There shouldn’t be a large, heavy industrial plant with the truck traffic that comes with that — that shouldn’t happen two miles up Tiger Road,” Summit County resident Richard Becker said.
Becker loves calling his part of Colorado home, and along with many of his neighbors he’s furious about the project.
“I have never ever seen this level of opposition to a project whose sole purpose is to recreate a natural river corridor that is a tremendous improvement over what’s out there now. That has really surprised me,” County Planner Alan Hanson said.
Hanson defended the rock crushing. He says the temporary operation to remove rock and crush the giant piles left behind by miners decades ago will make things better for everyone in the long run.
“We’re talking thousands of 18-wheeler loads of gravel being hauled down a pretty skimpy Tiger Road,” Becker said.
“We just feel that people don’t fully understand how this is going to operate and the overall benefits — we don’t really feel they appreciate the overall benefits that the entire community will realize when the project is complete,” Hanson said.
The commissioners made a few changes. They will create a travel management plan making it harder for trucks to be on the roads at certain times, which is something residents had wanted.