Limestone could begin being extracted in October from quarrying and construction products group Tarmac’s latest development of its Holme Hall site near Maltby.
Contractors have been building a tunnel big enough for a four metre high dump truck under the busy B6094, between Wadworth and Conisbrough, so Tarmac can start excavating aggregate.
The tunnel has had to be designed to avoid disturbing a 15 inch high pressure pipe that takes water for Rotherham from a borehole at Austerfield to Clifton Reservoir.
Tarmac’s Luke Brooks said: “The construction of the tunnel has been very complex because of the water pipe and we have been very pleased at the progress we have made to ensure that disruption is at a minimum for the local community.”
Contractor Morgan Sindall used innovative techniques to avoid the need for drilling and rock bolting and minimise disturbance of the cast iron pipe.
Tarmac employs more than 70 people at the site, which was first quarried in the 1700s.
The firm expects to extract about 34 million tonnes of material from the site over the next 20 years.
The site is home to a variety of mammals and birds, including brown hares.
Future plans include the creation of a wildflower meadow, the restoration of agriculture land and the beginning of conservation planting.
“Biodiversity plans are integral to the work we do here, so it is important that we draw up sustainable proposals that support the longevity of the site,” added Mr Brooks.