The articles recently published in the Transcript Bulletin regarding the gravel pit and related operations on north Droubay Road have been informative. I would like to add to those articles my perspective as an Erda resident.
Although I did not grow up here, I have spent a lot of time in Erda throughout my life, as my grandparents and parents did live here. For five years now, I have lived in the home that was once my grandparents’ farmhouse.
Over the course of my life, I have seen many changes to this community, not all of them positive. The increase in traffic on Erda Way and Droubay Road is one of the negative changes, but that increase is an inevitable result of the transformation from a community of farms to a primarily residential area. I understand that and have more or less resigned myself to that traffic. But it does make it hard to find a safe place to walk, run or bike. Droubay Road going south toward Tooele is not safe for pedestrians most of the time, as it used to be. Many days I have headed north instead, going to the second railroad crossing and some days to the cell towers.
However, since the gravel and contaminated soil operations north of the tracks have started up over this last year, that route has been totally ruined. Where there used to be only occasional trucks going to the silos on Bates Canyon Road or to the chicken farm, there are now trucks constantly on Droubay Road coming from the new operations. Those roads were not designed to carry that kind of traffic, and the pavement is crumbling. The trucks bring with them a lot of mud, and the paved road just south of the tracks is thick with it. The dirt road north of the tracks is a mud soup on wet days, and several inches thick with dust on dry days. We can’t even walk that way any more. I feel very sorry for the residents of that area. Their quality of life has been ruined by the mud, dust, noise, and traffic.
One of the Transcript articles quoted an owner of one of the operations as saying that they “were in compliance with their conditional use permit.” If that is true, then whoever issued those permits was seriously lacking in understanding of the impact that those operations would have on that area and its residents, or they just didn’t care. The permits should never have been issued without stipulations that would have re-routed the truck traffic away from homes along Droubay and Bates Canyon roads, and away from roads not meant for that kind of traffic.
I think that the owners of the operations, and those who issued their permits, should have been required to live in the duplexes at the chicken farm for a month or so before the permits were approved. Maybe then they would not have been so callous to the impact that the businesses would have on the community. If it is possible now for the trucks to be routed directly to state Route 36, I’m not sure why it was not made a requirement when the permits were issued. A lot of damage, distress, and ill-feeling could have been avoided if that had been required in the first place.
Leanne Bryan Bedell