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Ask Matt ... for the dirt on the dump truck traffic

Dump trucks have hauled off 300,000 cubic yards of dirt from a site at N.C. 280 and South Mills River Road. Dump trucks have hauled off 300,000 cubic yards of dirt from a site at N.C. 280 and South Mills River Road.

Q. What is happening to the property on the corner of South Mills River Road and N.C. 280 across from Valley Ag Farm and Garden? It looks like they are taking down the entire hill.

 


Each day more than 27,000 vehicles pass by the prominent “Fill Dirt” (for sale) sign, yet few know that vast amounts of dirt are being removed from just beyond the narrow row of trees. But Donna Young, a 19-year Valley Ag employee and part of the family business, knows. “We’ve watched all the trucks hauling dirt pass in front of our store for several years now,” she said. “I hate to see hillsides and trees go away.”
The hill, which once stood some 80 feet high, is slowly being taken down to highway level. It will eventually become a 16-acre commercial development. The site is already zoned for business. The property was acquired three years ago by HRP Development Group. Marshall Hagan and Joe Robas are the business partners. “It’s been lucrative for us so far,” said Hagan. Before starting the project, HRP had soil borings on the property and found there were very few rocks, obviously a benefit for anyone selling dirt. “We have removed 300,000 cubic yards of dirt and have about that much left.” HRP sells the dirt in both small and large quantities. NCDOT has purchased fill dirt for a bridge project behind Broadpointe Industrial Park. HRP is now supplying fill for the new Hunter dealership across from the Asheville Regional Airport. They also provided dirt for the Airport’s recent runway expansion.
Both Hagan and Robas rotate shifts on the large excavator. Hagan was quick to point out that despite the large volume of dirt removed, his company is sensitive to the environment. “During the heaviest rains, absolutely zero water left our site.” The intake for the Hendersonville Water Treatment Plant is just downstream from the property. “We want to be good neighbors,” added Hagan who is also a Mills River resident.
There is a traffic light at South Mills River Road at the corner of the HRP property and directly across from Valley Ag. “South Mills River Road is narrow,” said Young. “If there is a development there, access may be a problem plus a possible safety issue.” Although NC280 is five lanes, the site only has a narrow 138 feet of frontage. Dump trucks access the excavation site from Old Turnpike Road hidden from highway view.
Although the end of the excavation and final grading is perhaps three years out, HRP is currently looking for other sites in Henderson County to similarly develop. They are banking on a continued robust economy and the belief that Mills River will continue to grow.

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