What impact will a proposed asphalt tank have on King Street neighborhood?
In late July, Erie Blacktop vice president Larren Wikel campaigned city officials to let him build a new asphalt tank on King Street, north of West Monroe Street.
He wants to install a 1.5 million-gallon tank with waterway access.
'We are looking to barge and ship in asphalt, or the glue that holds the blacktop together," Wikel said.
The company could ship in asphalt by barge or rail, then transport the material by truck to cut costs. It can then deliver asphalt to locations throughout northern Ohio.
Among the proposed project's benefits: a $2 million investment in private funds on a blighted area, up to 15 new full-time jobs created, street repairs and an increase in property and income taxes.
City officials, however, seemed concerned about several issues. Wikel answered those lingering inquiries at a recent public meeting:
Wikel: Our trucks are no different than any other semi truck operating on that road in terms of loading and unloading the trucks.
Concern: increase traffic flow
Wikel: There would probably be about five to six loads a day. That is not a whole lot of truck traffic.
Wikel: We are loading large stone on barges from this site. The size of the stones are 3 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 foot high. It's never happened where we lost a stone of that size. We are not bringing in small stone. We're bringing in large armor stone for shoreline protection.
Concern: hours of operation
Wikel: Loading liquid asphalt requires us to be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are times where we will be loading trucks earlier and later.
Among the other concerns Wikel previously addressed:
• The trucks will primarily use main roads to enter and exit Sandusky.
"King Street would be the entry and exit points," said Wikel, further explaining how vehicles would use main arteries, such as West Monroe Street, to access U.S. 6.
• The $2 million will pay for site cleanup, a tank and other on-site improvements.
• The addition could infringe upon public access, including if city officials follow through on plans to extend the Sandusky Bay Pathway — a walking and bicycle trail along the waterfront — at this area.
"I worry about bicycles and little kids near asphalt and trucks," Wikel said. "I'm not saying we can or can't accommodate this. It can be discussed."
City officials will continue to discuss this possible venture.