Cowichan News Leader

Updated: Big-bang theory solved with south-end road blasting

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A big-bang theory about south-end road blasting has proven correct.

John Newton of Timberstone Roadbuilding said Tuesday blasting in the Mines Road area of Cobble Hill started about a month ago, and will continue for about the same timespan.

That news likely answers recent calls to the News Leader Pictorial, and to police, about where the vibrating blasts were coming from in recent weeks.

"We're putting some roads in for logging," Newton said yesterday of the job for Island Timberlands.

Roadwork is along Mines Road — off Riverside Road — and in the Mines 28 area.

Work will eventually reach the Howie Road area.

"It's toe rock and ditch rock," Newton explained, warning folks to obey danger signs posted, and be cautious of logging trucks hauling timber on public roads.

"We're not responsible (for injury)," he said, noting logging rigs had to stop recently after spooking horses ridden by two females.

Blasting sound obvious carried outside the work site borders.

Brian Kean, a retired explosives expert with Cobble Hill Blasting, said he'd heard booming sounds of the type reported.

"They're incredibly loud.

"My guess is someone's blasting flat holes into a (logging) road, and they're really noisy," he said, dismissing notions the sound may be coming from air force jets from Comox base busting the sound barrier.

"This is definitely blasting, not confined to a hole," the 31-year dynamite veteran said of the technique that's inside acceptable practices.

"It's a nuisance. It's rattled my windows on several occasions, and also those of some of my neighbours."

Department of Mines staff was also puzzled about the sound's source, he noted.

So was Shawnigan Lake's Janet Bell.

The Burnham Park resident was among several folks who reported the pounding heard once everyday, for six days in a row, between 2:30 and 4 p.m.

RCMP Const. Mike Furlong with Shawnigan Lake's office, said he'd heard the bangs too, but couldn't pinpoint where the noise — reported to his detachment — came from.

"I live on Renfrew Road, and when they do blasting on South Shawnigan Road, I can hear it.

"Its definitely not gunshots, though. When it vibrates, that's obviously a larger blast."

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