Rock Crusher Produces 350 Ton Of Limestone An Hour

Post date: Aug 19, 2012 1:11:37 AM

Baxter County Road and Bridge employees work to ready a rock crusher for operation at the county's new quarry site. The crusher should be up and running by today, said County Judge Joe Bodenhamer. / Kevin Pieper/The Baxter Bulletin

Shawn Mead of Barlow Consulting in West Plains, Mo., wires up a 300-horsepower electric motor on a rock crusher at Baxter County's new quarry site. The crusher is capable of producing 350 tons per hour of limestone gravel. / Kevin Pieper/The Baxter Bulletin

A rock crusher capable of producing 350 tons per hour of limestone gravel in multiple diameters will begin service for the Baxter County Road and Bridge Department today.

Baxter County Judge Joe Bodenhamber said a portion of the the 80-acre quarry site off AR Highway 201 adjoining the Dilbeck Excavation quarry has been under construction for nearly a year.

It combines a new rock crusher, a conveyor system and a 1-kilovolt diesel-powered electric plant to replace aging equipment and a quarry south of Mountain Home that no longer provides a reliable supply of the clay-free limestone gravel needed to build county roads.

“We’re the envy of most Arkansas counties. I hear about it when I attend county judges’ meetings,” Bodenhamer told The Bulletin. Most Arkansas counties, particularly those in south Arkansas, purchase road base materials from commercial quarries.

Baxter County is situated in a region rich in subterranean limestone formations. The incoming quarry is next door to a commercial quarry that taps deep-running veins of high-quality limestone, the judge said.

The quarry is part of the road and bridge department’s five-year operating plan purchased in part with funds from the 2004 sale of a county-owned Baxter Manor Nursing Home, now Hiram Shaddox Geriatric Center.

Day-to-day funding for the venture comes from existing road and bridge department budget line items, the judge said.

Bodenhamer says the county consumes about 200,000 tons of road building material annually. The cost per ton — about $1.86 — is about one-third of the retail cost of most commonly used base materials.

Road and bridge department personnel provided all the labor to install the new crusher except for some electrical wiring.

The county's system of roadways involves about 350 miles of roadway surfaced with asphalt and another 350 surfaced with gravel, the judge said.

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