After North Carolina Granite Corp. employees witnessed four incidents of people trying to breach its safety fence at the quarry, the observation area was closed permanently on Friday.
Carlos Goad, vice president of human resources at N.C. Granite Corp., said the company recently installed a new fence in the observation area to protect visitors’ safety. However, due to people crossing the fence, the observation area is closed, “forever,” he said Wednesday.
“Four different times people have gone around the fence and put themselves in a dangerous situation,” said Goad. “We don’t need the public going around the fence put up for their safety. The drop-offs are quite high. People are not observing the signs.”
At the popular tourist designation, a sign directs tour buses to go around the main office building at the quarry, however, Goad said he doesn’t want buses at the quarry. He went as far as calling the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History to tell them not to send tour buses to the quarry.
He hasn’t seen any buses come through in a while.
He said visitors are welcome to visit the largest open-faced quarry in an area just past the main building, but if that area becomes congested or people block the road, that area of the quarry could be closed to the public as well.
“If it becomes a problem we will stop that also. We have no problem when people come if they observe our rules,” said Goad.
He said government health and safety regulations have to be followed to protect the liability of the company.
According to drivers with Squad Car Tours, D.C. Rawley and Donald Bunn, no one on their tours has complained about the closure.
“If they haven’t been here before, they don’t know any different,” said Bunn.
Bunn said people on the tours enjoy seeing the quarry. Even with the overlook closure, they still get a great view of the quarry, he said.
“They love for people to come over there, but there’s some in every crowd that have to mess it up for everybody,” said Bunn.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.