The increase in demand for construction materials from the booming energy sector in south Texas and the growing Houston area has been challenging for Martin Marietta quarries near San Antonio. Expanding the traditional supplier of these areas, the Beckmann Quarry, has become increasingly difficult as new developments get closer to the plant. To keep the district competitive long-term, the Southwest Division decided to invest in the construction of a new quarry.
Creating a New Facility
After extensive research, the Southwest Division purchased 1,200 acres in Medina County, Texas, an area rich in high quality limestone. The new site, known as Medina Rock and Rail, will focus on providing large quantities of material (approximately 10 million tons per year) to south Texas and Houston by rail. Using rail transportation makes it feasible to provide for the huge quantities needed, while giving customers a more efficient and reliable delivery method than trucks. To make shipments by rail possible at the quarry, the Southwest Division will need to build seven miles of new rail line to connect to the nearest main rail – a significant investment for the new plant.
A Good Neighbor in Medina County
As Martin Marietta does with all of its locations, the Southwest Division will do their best to be good neighbors in Medina County. Rail transportation will benefit the community as well as Martin Marietta’s customers, as it keeps more than 400 trucks off the road, using less fuel and reducing emissions three fold. The new plant will also create about 50 new jobs for the county and be a significant source of tax revenue, estimated at $1 million per year.
Similarly, the state-of-the-art facility will utilize a high tech water recovery system like that seen at the Beckmann Quarry, which will conserve up to 60 percent of fresh water. It will also include a new scrubber plant, or a processing facility that uses trommel screens to wash and break apart rock, which pulls more usable material from waste overburden.
By focusing on high capacity rail transportation, the new Medina Rock and Rail facility will supply for the growing demand in south Texas and Houston, and help the entire district by extending the life of other plants in the area. It will also use new technology to minimize the impact on the community and environment, making Medina Rock and Rail a worthwhile investment for the Southwest Division.