Local News

Raleigh Homeowners 'All Shook Up' Over Blasting At Quarry

Posted March 5, 2004 5:01 a.m. EST

— Homes and apartments are going up in the area of northwest Raleigh, but some residents believe blasting at the quarry is causing their homes to break apart.

Kevin Oliver said his home off Ebenezer Church Road is plagued with cracks, nails popping through sheet rock, broken glass and separating floors. He lives a half-mile from the Raleigh/Durham quarry operated by Martin Marietta and wonders if blasting at the quarry is to blame for the blemishes.

"There's something else going on, I'm afraid, beyond normal settling," he said.

Martin Marietta said its blasting levels are half of what is safely required by the state. As required by law, the company also monitors its blasts from the closest off-site structure.

Records dating back to 2002 show two people filed complaints with the state about the Raleigh/Durham quarry. Both times, the state Division of Land Resources found no blasting violations. Oliver said he has not filed a formal complaint with the company or the state.

"The damage that occurred at the house could be blasting, but I also have similar damage in a place where I live that is nowhere near a quarry," state geologist Tyler Clark said.

Oliver said he knew the quarry was in the area before he moved in. Still, his main concern is resale value for his home and others being built around the area.

"If these problems are being caused by the blast, someone needs to address the problem now, or we are just going to have more and more problems," he said.

WRAL talked to a builder in that area who said the company does not construct homes around a quarry any differently. The state said the builder does not have to because, by law, the quarry operator is responsible for the adjoining property.

WRAL recently heard similar complaints from homeowners who live by a Martin Marietta granite quarry in Pitt County.

Martin Marietta sent an outside structural engineer to check out the property. The company said the engineer found no connection between the damage and the blasts.

A company vice president will consider sending an engineer to Oliver's home if he files a complaint.