Troyer Brothers Florida, Inc.’s Lehigh Acres Farm extends from State Road (SR) 82 south to Corkscrew Road. Since the 1980s, the Troyer Brothers have used this land for cultivation and harvesting of potatoes.
The land is a resource area for high-quality limestone, a place-based limited resource used not only in Southwest Florida but also around the state for aggregate materials. Aggregate materials are the principal component of concrete and asphalt used in the construction of roads, bridges, foundations and buildings.
Troyer Brothers is in the process of finalizing the necessary permits to harvest the limestone in a planned 35-year excavation operation on 781 acres of its property.
Prior to the commencement of commercial mining activities, over 700 acres will be preserved, enhanced or restored. Ultimately, 1,016 acres of Troyer Brothers’ property will be reclaimed, restored and placed in permanent conservation at no cost to Lee County or its taxpayers.
The planned mine will create jobs and provide a local, cost-effective resource of high-quality limestone; Lee County also will benefit from environmental restoration and permanent conservation of the property when mining operations are completed.
- The Troyer Brothers parcel is contiguous to lands already purchased by Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 for permanent conservation.
- The project includes a 781-acre mine pit and 102 acres for mine processing.
- At the conclusion of mine operations, the excavation and processing areas will be fully reclaimed and placed under a permanent conservation easement. These conservation areas will tie into the existing Lee County conservation areas and help restore historic flowways.
- All pending improvements to SR 82 will be completed when active commercial excavation and off-site sale of material begins.
- The mine is expected to generate 35 full-time jobs at the time of the initial infrastructure work and up to 50 full-time jobs upon initial commercial excavation.
- All blasting permits and regulation enforcement are conducted by the Division of the State Fire Marshal. Ground vibrations, lasting an average of 3.5 seconds, are highly regulated and closely monitored by the state.
The mine has earned approvals from the following environmental review agencies:
- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection
- The South Florida Water Management District (water use permits).
Prior to commercial excavation, the following activities are required by the permit application:
- All agricultural operations will cease, resulting in the saving of approximately 100 millions of gallons of water used for growing potatoes.
- Exotic vegetation and agricultural berms will be removed.
- 594 acres of on-site wetlands will be interconnected with adjacent properties.
- A wildlife corridor on the southern end of the property will be created.
- 703 acres of enhancement and restoration areas will be placed under permanent conservation easement.
- An 8-acre pond to be located on the northeast area of the mining footprint will serve as the source for water needed to wash aggregate at the proposed processing area. Water from the Sandstone Aquifer will not be used for rock washing, an activity that accounts for 98 percent of all water used for mining.
- A small amount of water from the Sandstone Aquifer will be used for sanitary purposes and minor industrial uses (truck washing, dust control).
Upon the completion of mining activities:
- Mining berms, internal roads and the processing area will be removed and the land regraded to restore and promote historic flowways of surface water.
- Littoral shelves and marshes will be established and interconnected with on-site wetlands to provide feeding areas for avian wildlife and to restore and promote historic flowways.
- The southern wildlife corridor will be expanded and a northern wildlife corridor will be established.
- 1,016 restored and enhanced acres will be permanently preserved as open space.
- The mine will use singular access to SR82, identified by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as a Strategic Intermodal System Corridor
- SR 82 improvements will be completed by FDOT prior to off-site sale of limestone from the Troyer Brothers mine.
- There will be no access to Corkscrew Road. A preserve area will be placed between the mining activities and Corkscrew Road.
- The number and location of truck trips is a function of demand for material.
- Trucks from the mine will generally disperse in a pattern that includes 50 percent of daily trips traveling west on SR82 to the intersection of Gunnery and Daniels; 25 percent will travel east on SR82, and 25 percent will utilize local roadways to the north for delivery of materials for nearby projects.