Madras basalt helping build Columbia jetty
Central Oregon Basalt Products has begun its second shipment of huge boulders from its quarry north of Madras as part of a project for the Army Corps of Engineers.
Semitrucks loaded with three or four of the king-sized stones were seen around Madras in October and November, when the first shipments were being sent.
"Due to logistics, we paused for a while, and are now filling our second order from the contractor. The rock is going to do work for the Corps of Engineers on the north jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River," said Ken Stout, assistant manager of Central Oregon Seeds Inc., which is affiliated with Central Oregon Basalt.
Stout said there are three jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River, where it meets the Pacific Ocean; one jetty is more inland, and the north and south jetties extend out into the ocean.
Several different carriers are being used to haul the rock, including several local truckers and one from Longview, Washington.
"The stones we are shipping weigh 7-17 tons each and there are usually three or four per truck," Stout said.
Asked why they were not shipping by train, he explained that would require access to a rail siding where they could load and unload the rocks, and there were challenges at the off-loading site. "We'd have to load it on a truck anyway at the end site, because there isn't a rail siding there," he said.
Central Oregon Basalt Products is only one of the quarries contracted to provide rock for the project, which is estimated to be completed by the end of 2019.
"We expect to be shipping rock for the next couple of months," Stout said.
Following that, he noted, "There is an additional that bid the Corps of Engineers has not released yet, which will be for the south jetty."