Pike Industries plans to resume blasting rock in its Westbrook quarry this month.

But the split-second explosions are no longer the most worrisome aspect of Pike’s operations on Spring Street — at least for one neighbor.

After the three blasts planned for the last week of June, Pike will have amassed enough loose rock — more than 50,000 tons — to make it worthwhile to bring in portable equipment for crushing it, said Tom Spellman, the company’s crushing manager for Maine and New Hampshire.

The plan is for the crushing equipment to move into the quarry in mid-July, Spellman said, and it will operate on an almost-daily basis throughout the summer.

“That was always the biggest concern to me,” said Tim Bachelder, who lives next to the quarry. Unlike the quick blasts, he said, “it’s continual.”

Restrictions on crushing operations are among the many requirements laid out in a consent agreement reached in the fall of 2010 among the city, Pike and Idexx Laboratories, which is based in a business park next to the quarry.

The two Westbrook companies — and later, other businesses and residents, including Bachelder — were engaged in a years-long dispute about Pike’s right to expand its quarrying operations on Spring Street.

Pike, whose operations had been on hold while the debate played out, set off three blasts in December — the first since the consent agreement was reached. Two of them violated the agreed-upon ground vibration limits, and the city fined Pike $4,500.

Bachelder, a leading advocate for the neighborhood protections from the quarry, didn’t view the violations as blatant.

“It was a bit of a learning process,” he said of Pike having to adjust to the new regulations.

He’s not concerned about the upcoming blasts, and trusts the city to keep a close eye on them. The effect of the crushing operations, however, has yet to be seen.

“We won’t know until it actually starts,” Bachelder said.

Spellman said he understands why neighbors would have some concerns. “That’s the part they haven’t seen yet,” he said.

He plans to invite neighbors into the quarry to check out the crushing equipment when it gets there.

“We’re not just going to jump right in there and start crushing,” Spellman said.

Like blasting, crushing is limited to certain times (7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays only) and noise levels.

The consent agreement also requires liners and screens on the crushers.

Spellman said Pike is committed to sticking within the regulations, and Bachelder is optimistic that will happen.

“We’re hopeful they will do what they have said they could do,” Bachelder said.

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

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