Residents in parts of Bridlewood and Evergreen in southwest Calgary say they were not informed that a major gravel operation would be built nearby.

Bruce Malcolm and Sharon Turner have enjoyed the peaceful view from the back decks of their homes in Bridal Estates, waking every morning to a herd of cows beyond the fence.

However, construction began recently on a 100-acre gravel operation where the cows used to roam, and the residents say the whole neighbourhood were taken by surprise.

“They provided a plan of their project which included a crushing plant, and it was just a shock to us, we didn’t know they were going to crush gravel on the site,” said Bruce Malcolm. “They did this without any consultation or input from the neighbourhood whatsoever.”

The gravel plant is part of the ring road construction project and will include an asphalt plant that is still to come.

Concerned residents said they knew the ring road construction was coming, but were never told about the gravel and asphalt plants, which run seven days a week from early morning to late in the evening.

“The sound is muted in the house, but on the back deck I doubt whether we would be using it over the period of the project which they say is going to be four years,” said Malcolm.

“Dust particles, wind, we are very concerned about that, and it’s all very well to say they are putting mitigation measures in place but what are they? We want noise mitigation and we want it done right away, we want mature trees put in place, we want a berm or a wall, we want some assurance from this company and this government that they care about the quality of life for residents in our communities,” said Turner.

Transportation spokesperson Aileen Machell told CTV that noise and dust are being monitored. It also commissioned a health impact study which found potential health risks from the pit to be very low and there is no indication that the proposed dust mitigation measures will fail to maintain ambient health quality.

But Malcolm said he believes neither the company nor the government are looking out for the community’s interests.

“I don’t trust them one bit, I don’t think they have any concern for us whatsoever," he said.

Those opposed to the gravel operation have turned to area-MLA Dave Rodney for help, and in a statement to the legislature he reiterated that there was no consultation about this project, which he said is fraught with damage to air quality, and asked that the minister intervene to have the company move the operation.

Rodney has organized a public meeting for Thursday, April 20 at Glenmore Christian Academy in Bridlewood starting at 7:30 p.m.

(-with files from Lea Williams-Doherty)