Pike Industries’ plan to build an access road and buffers at its quarry in Westbrook, as ordered by a judge in November, was approved by the city Thursday.

When it finishes the construction, Pike will be able to resume blasting rock at its quarry off Spring Street.

Work at the quarry has been on hold as Pike’s neighbors, including Idexx Laboratories, have challenged the company’s right to blast rock there.

After years of debate before local boards and in court, a Maine Business Court justice in November approved a consent agreement among Pike, Idexx and the city that allows Pike to blast with certain conditions, including the new access road and buffers.

The consent agreement limits Pike to eight blasts per year for rock production. Pike is allowed 10 additional blasts this year to build the access road. Those blasts must be done before June 9, according to the order. After that date, any blasts that Pike needs to build the road will count toward the eight production blasts.

“I would imagine they would do everything they could do to have the blasting completed before that deadline,” said City Engineer Eric Dudley, who approved the plan for the site improvements.

Pike’s attorney, Sigmund Schutz of Preti Flaherty, said he doesn’t know if the June deadline will be difficult for Pike to meet. Now that Pike has the city’s approval, he said, the company will start implementing the plan immediately — possibly today.

He said he doesn’t know when Pike will begin blasting the road or the quarry.

Pike initially submitted its plan for the access road and buffers in January. The city twice asked Pike to change the plan. Pike submitted the final plan Monday.

A group of residents who live near the quarry has been reviewing and commenting on Pike’s plans.

Tim Bachelder of Spring Street, the group’s interim chairman, said Thursday that he believes the approved plan, for the most part, meets the requirements of the consent agreement.

Pike still must take some minor steps before it can begin production blasts, including showing the city proof of insurance and having a blast plan approved by the city’s code enforcement officer, Schutz said.

The approval of the plan for the access road and buffers represents a major step toward putting Pike back in business on Spring Street. “The majority of what needs to be done for them to begin production quarrying on site is complete,” Dudley said.

 

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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