The first blasting was conducted at the Vulcan Minerals quarry off Hwy. 36 East March 3 with a handful of local officials and neighbors present.
Quarry manager Barry Lawson said 110 holes were drilled and filled with ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel. Zeke Harvey, who operates a tree farm adjacent to the nearly 600-acre quarry site, set off the explosion which was much more quiet than the visitors expected.
The blast fragmented the soil and lesser quality rock from atop the granite which is 25 feet down. The quarry entrance will soon be improved and about 4,000 feet of accelerationl/deceleration lanes will be installed along the highway. Blasting is expected to be a weekly occurrence at the the quarry once it is fully operational.