AUGUSTA — A blast set for Wednesday at McGee Construction’s quarry site on West River Road that was to be observed by members of the Augusta Planning Board was canceled because of weather conditions.

Matt Nazar, the city’s development director, said he was told by Maine Drilling & Blasting personnel that the wind was unfavorable.

“They have a requirement in the blasting permit with the state that the wind not be blowing toward the neighborhood,” he noted.

The city’s Planning Board had planned to witness that blast to experience it for themselves as they consider a five-year renewal of McGee’s mineral extraction license. The pit is between West River Road and the Kennebec River.

In the meantime, the license will be extended indefinitely.

The Planning Board scheduled the site visit when they held a regular meeting Tuesday night. They also voted to consult with a blasting expert.


McGee’s site has been the subject of ongoing complaints from residents in the Grandview neighborhood.

Nazar said he was not told yet when the quarry blast might be rescheduled.

On Tuesday, board members also voted to delay consideration of McGee’s license renewal until they have time to hire an expert, at McGee’s expense, to study blasting at the site, for a cost estimated at $9,000.

McGee is one of only two mineral extraction license-holders who are allowed to use blasting to free up rock in Augusta. The other, Quirion Construction, already received a license renewal for another five years from the Planning Board on April 25.

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