Set in Concrete
Arrowood Quarry was a standout, in more ways than one, during AGG1 this year.
By Kerry Clines, Senior Editor
Martin Marietta Materials’ Arrowood Quarry located in Charlotte, N.C., started out as a portable plant in 1965. The permanent plant was built soon after in 1968.
During AGG1, Arrowood Quarry opened its gates to interested show attendees. A bus tour took visitors through the entire operation, from the pit to the processing plant to the loadout, and everyone was treated to viewing a blast. Those who were unable to attend the tour missed getting a glimpse of what makes this operation unique.
Plant personnel spent many hours sprucing up the quarry for the AGG1 tour. “We started in September and painted about 80 percent of the process plant,” says John Smith, plant manager at Arrowood Quarry. “It took 3,000 gallons of paint and 10 tractor-trailer loads of sand-blasting sand. It hadn’t been painted in about 15 years.”
“The crew did a great job getting ready for the AGG1 tour,” adds Bill Podrazik, operations manager for the Carolina West Region, Martin Marietta Materials. “They’re as proud of this place as we are.”
Quarry visitors were greeted with some fairly unusual features. “The plant is kind of unique,” Podrazik says. “It’s a wet, fractionated plant. When the material hits the screen tower, it actually goes into the fractionated blending tunnel wet. Then we pull it back out and rewash it. It’s nice from the dust-control perspective.”
One of the most interesting and unique features of the plant is the loadout bin structure. It contains nine 250-ton bins — all concrete. “You probably won’t ever see concrete bins again,” Smith says. “It cost a lot of money back in 1968, and if you were to do something like that today, it would probably cost several million dollars. Steel is a whole lot easier to erect, but it won’t last. That concrete’s not going anywhere. They just don’t build structures like this anymore.”
Arrowood Quarry is located right along the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. The property covers a total of about 450 acres. Most of the acreage is in North Carolina, but part of the property is located across the border in South Carolina. “We don’t have our permit to mine there [South Carolina] yet,” Podrazik explains, “but we will have mine permits from two different states when it’s all said and done. We serve both DOTs.”
Arrowood’s pit is a little over 300 feet deep. It has been worked in benches with each bench averaging a height of 42 feet, but there’s still room to go down a couple more benches, if desired.
The geologic deposit is said to go 10,000 to 15,000 feet down and is mainly made up of a type of rock called gabbro. “The rock is somewhat unique,” Podrazik says. “Most of us call it granite, but it’s a little bit denser than granite. Specific gravity averages right at about 2.96, so it’s a pretty heavy material.”
Most of the quarry’s haul trucks have 4- to 6-inch-thick, heavy-duty rubber bedliners, which provide protection for the truck beds, extending their service life between 15,000 and 20,000 hours, Podrazik says. “We try to maintain an 80-foot-wide haul road,” he adds. “It takes up a bit of reserve space, but trucks are just getting bigger, and we don’t want the trucks held up because there’s not enough space.”
Material is hauled from the pit up to the primary crusher, which is a gyratory located above the pit. It consists of a single-sided dump hopper with a rock breaker on one side. “This is a pit gyratory,” Podrazik explains. “It’s buried in the ground. They shot around it. There’s a tunnel that comes up underneath. Housekeeping is a challenge because you have to take a spiral staircase or the tunnel to get in and out of it. Access to motors and lube systems is a bit tight, but they manage.”
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