Special to The Ely Times
Road closed ahead. In a week the White Pine County Road 1146, also known as CR 44A, will be closed to public traffic starting April 15. The Robinson Nevada Mining Company says that is good thing, for a couple of reasons. Robinson approached the County Commissioners and regulatory agencies in the fall of 2014 to allow the road closure due to increased haul truck traffic at the mine and the safety concerns that traffic represents. The County Road is unique in that it actually crosses the mine’s haul road, bisecting the mine’s operations. Today, a security guard is posted at the crossing to open electronic gates to allow public traffic through when the haul traffic is clear. But the mine has added 5 new haul trucks to its fleet and the primary mining is now in the Ruth pit, only a short distance from the crossing. This means that a safe crossing of the haul road by the public is a risky situation. Loaded haul trucks weigh well over a million pounds making them hard to stop quickly. With the increased fleet, haul trucks are expected to pass through the crossing every 20-30 seconds. And many public vehicles each year do not heed the signage at the crossing, mistakenly turning onto the haul road, putting them at risk. To reduce that risk, Robinson will be closing the road to public traffic and making the road accessible to emergency vehicles only. In coordination with County Dispatch, Robinson will implement emergency procedures and continue to man the security post to open the road to emergency vehicles as needed. This will reduce the risk for a potentially disastrous collision while supporting the mine’s safe production.