Trucking traffic problem leaves Conroe-area neighbors up in arms

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Neighbors in the Bennette Estates community are begging for change after a sand mining company began sending dozens of large trucks down their roads daily.

Around 100 semi and dump trucks rumble down the narrow Calhoun Road every day, according to Stacy Schultz, who lives in the neighborhood.

Calhoun Road is the only road into the community. When one of those trucks went off the road on Friday morning, the effort to get the truck back on the road blocked all neighbors from leaving the subdivision for several hours, according to neighbors who snapped photos of the long lines of traffic.

“People can’t get to work,” said Vicky Keeton, who lives in the neighborhood. “The buses can’t pick up our kids...since I’ve lived here for the five years, it’s like ongoing. There’s always a truck wreck.”

Neighbors snapped photos of another 18-wheeler that flipped onto its side on Monday, again blocking traffic for hours.

“The trucks are very belligerent about their speed and about letting traffic pass,” said Paul Ashford, who lives in the neighborhood. “You literally sometimes have to go off the edge of the road to keep from being hit by them when they’re coming around those corners.”

The truck traffic was so heavy that FOX 26 News counted around 20 to 30 trucks every half hour during a visit to Calhoun Road on Friday.

“We don’t feel safe,” said Schultz. “My kids do not ride their bikes in the streets because I don’t feel safe. We used to have horses. We don’t ride our horses anymore because it’s not safe.”

“They’re going 24/7, holidays,” said Keeton. “There’s just no stopping them. Harvey stopped them for one day.”

All of that truck traffic leads to a sand mining operation run by the company LMI Proppants. FOX 26 stopped by and spoke with an LMI representative who said he’d been advised by legal counsel not to say anything. He did tell FOX 26 that a separate road for truck traffic is being built and added the company could speak further with us on Monday. County Commissioner Jim Clark also told FOX 26 by phone that LMI is footing the bill for a new road for its trucks to use, but residents say they’ve heard that story for year. 

“They’ve been saying there’s been a road that was supposed to be built, but they haven’t put in a road in 30 years,” said Ashford. “I don’t think they’re going to.”
Workers at the Caney Creek Fire Rescue said they had to put up a barricade across the entrance to prevent the trucks from parking in the space where fire trucks pull out. Neighbors say before the barricade was up, truckers would pull over and take naps, blocking the fire department entrance.

 Now, one neighbor is working on a lawsuit while others have written petitions in hopes of returning some peace to these busy roads of Bennette Estates.