Monday evening, Jan. 23, I spoke at the city public hearing on issues with frac sand activities in Winona. I raised the concern of road safety and asked that we not wait for a traffic incident before we respond to the increase in truck traffic due to frac sand hauling into Winona.
Tuesday, Jan. 24, we had our first collision involving a truck hauling frac sand with a vehicle on Hwy. 14. The truck was turning out of Seminary Drive, one of the entrances to the Biesanz quarry. Biesanz has been actively retrieving frac sand, including more than 100 blasts since July 2011.
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I have monitored frac sand truck traffic on Hwy. 14 and also the frac sand trucks coming across the Interstate Bridge downtown. There are frac sand trucks making loops to unload about every 15 minutes on Hwy. 14 and about every 30 minutes coming in from Wisconsin. If more mining activity is allowed, 60 additional trucks per day per mine will be added to our roads into Winona, mostly Hwys. 14 and 43. Doesn't it seem we have already reached our maximum for road safety?
The turn from Seminary Drive onto Hwy. 14 has extremely limited visibility for oncoming traffic. Why is this intersection the location for such an increase in truck traffic? Who is monitoring this increase in truck traffic for the health and safety of our citizens?