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Blasting starts Wednesday on wind farm project

At Tuesday night's nearly two-hour informational meeting, about 70 people learned that blasting begins Wednesday morning on Record Hill Wind LLC's $120 million, 22-turbine wind farm project. It will be a single blast at 10:30 a.m. at a depth of 10 feet by a Maine Drilling and Blasting crew ...Foundation work will start Nov. 1 on the Turbine 22 site and progress northward until winter conditions stop work, said DeFilipp.

ROXBURY - At Tuesday night's nearly two-hour informational meeting, about 70 people learned that blasting begins Wednesday morning on Record Hill Wind LLC's $120 million, 22-turbine wind farm project.

It will be a single blast at 10:30 a.m. at a depth of 10 feet by a Maine Drilling and Blasting crew in what's locally called the Martin Point area of Mine Notch Road off Route 120 during a road-widening project, according to Maine Drilling and Blasting construction manager Steve Blaisdell.

He said any project blasting, which will occur daily Monday through Friday, will be one mile from any houses.

"We are at least 17 times farther away than typical pre-blast limits," Blaisdell said.

Wednesday morning's blasting area will be covered by heavy rubber mats to prevent damage to trees in the immediate area.

"Your houses and wells will not be affected by any blasting," Record Hill Wind principal Rob Gardiner said and Blaisdell acknowledged.

Blaisdell said that if people want to be called ahead of time about when blasting will occur, they can contact Record Hill Wind or Maine Drilling and Blasting and ask to be placed on a call list.

When asked if they were aware of fall hunting in the area, Blaisdell said hunters... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ROXBURY - At Tuesday night's nearly two-hour informational meeting, about 70 people learned that blasting begins Wednesday morning on Record Hill Wind LLC's $120 million, 22-turbine wind farm project.

It will be a single blast at 10:30 a.m. at a depth of 10 feet by a Maine Drilling and Blasting crew in what's locally called the Martin Point area of Mine Notch Road off Route 120 during a road-widening project, according to Maine Drilling and Blasting construction manager Steve Blaisdell.

He said any project blasting, which will occur daily Monday through Friday, will be one mile from any houses.

"We are at least 17 times farther away than typical pre-blast limits," Blaisdell said.

Wednesday morning's blasting area will be covered by heavy rubber mats to prevent damage to trees in the immediate area.

"Your houses and wells will not be affected by any blasting," Record Hill Wind principal Rob Gardiner said and Blaisdell acknowledged.

Blaisdell said that if people want to be called ahead of time about when blasting will occur, they can contact Record Hill Wind or Maine Drilling and Blasting and ask to be placed on a call list.

When asked if they were aware of fall hunting in the area, Blaisdell said hunters should also call ahead about blasting schedules.

He then explained their blast warning system, which consists of marine-like air-horn whistle signals that are audible up to a half mile away.

"When we blow three horn whistles, that means blasting will occur in three minutes," Blaisdell said. "Two signals are one minute and one long signal means 'All clear.'"

Blasting will only occur during daytime hours, not early in the morning or at night, Gardiner said.

After the first few weeks of mostly once-a-day blasting, remaining blasting will occur atop the ridgeline of Partridge and Flathead peaks and Record Hill.

"If you have traditionally hunted along the ridgeline, this is not the year to follow that tradition," Gardiner said to laughter. "Find another site to hunt. You can probably come back next year."

Blaisdell said blast depths will average 8 to 10 feet.

"We're not going to scar the mountains and take huge cuts out of it, we'll be doing surface blasts," Blaisdell said.

Blasting work for turbine foundations only goes down five feet.

To further alleviate concerns about Roxbury Pond (also called Ellis Pond and Silver Lake), Gardiner said, "There isn't going to be any effect on the lake or pond at all, I guarantee you."

"There isn't going to be any problem that gets to the lake," he said of possible erosion and blast materials. "We respect the fact that people love Roxbury Pond and we will not damage Roxbury Pond and we will have documentation that we didn't damage Roxbury Pond."

Patrick A. DeFilipp, senior project manager for general contractor Reed and Reed Wind Power Services of Woolwich, opened the meeting, providing an overview of the project.

There will be a company field office on the Mine Notch Road, which will be gated for security reasons. The road is being widened to 34 feet to accommodate 450-ton cranes which are 32-feet wide.

A road will also be built off Mine Notch Road atop the ridge to provide access to turbine sites.

Foundation work will start Nov. 1 on the Turbine 22 site and progress northward until winter conditions stop work, said DeFilipp, a Mexico High School graduate.

The turbines themselves will be shipped into Searsport harbor in mid July 2010.

The huge rotors and tower sections will then be trucked to Route 2 in Farmington and follow Route 2 through Dixfield and Mexico, up Route 17 to Frye Crossover Road and onto Route 120 to Mine Notch Road.

DeFilipp said they haven't yet decided whether Dragon Products Co. of Canton or Coleman Concrete of Bethel will be hired to provide an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 cubic yards of concrete for the project.

During a discussion about using local contractors, Gardiner and DeFilipp both said the possibility exists that area contractors might be hired, but only for smaller jobs.

That seemed to upset a handful of people who said had they known this, they would have voted against the project.

"We want to hire local when possible, but the big pieces (of money) will go to the big companies," Gardiner said. "We will try to have small pieces for local contractors when we can."

DeFilipp said heavy equipment earthmover Sargent Corp. of Bangor is handling all site work.

An operations and maintenance facility will also be built off Route 120, on which DeFilipp said local contractors could bid.


Source: http://www.sunjournal.com/n...

OCT 8 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/22556-blasting-starts-wednesday-on-wind-farm-project
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