US-56 turns to gravel
Deputies and police responding to multiple 911 calls Saturday found an inch or more of gravel on US-56 near between Pawnee and Old Mill Rds.
Officers said is appeared to have spilled from a truck en route to the Diamond Vista wind farm site, but this could not be confirmed.
One officer termed it the second such incident in a month.
Initially, vehicles — even semi-trailer trucks — reported difficulty navigating through the gravel, which was up to an inch deep over a section of road about an eighth of a mile long.
Sheriff’s deputies and a Marion police officer stationed themselves at opposite ends of the spill to warn motorists to slow, and the gravel eventually become more compacted.
However, blinding dust often was created when large vehicles passed through, so Marion firefighters were summoned to spray down the gravel.
Kansas Department of Transportation workers then arrived to clean up the roadway.
According to monitored police broadcasts, deputies later located a truck in Hillsboro that they believed might have spilled the gravel. The driver reportedly was cited for expired registration, but Sheriff Rob Craft was not available to confirm this.
A spokesman for Enel Green Power North America, the company that owns Diamond Vista, said she was not aware of gravel being spilled.
“We are not able to comment at this time because we are unable to confirm if this was associated with the wind farm in any way,” spokesman Krista Barnaby said Tuesday. “We work hard to ensure that our construction activities have minimal impact on the local community and will share an update once we have one.”