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NuMI Project Construction - Letter to the Neighbors

May 21, 2001

Dear Neighbor,

I would like to provide you with an update on our NuMI underground construction project. In December, Fermilab started the excavation of a 350-foot-deep vertical shaft. Called the MINOS shaft, it is located on the Fermilab site near our Pine Street entrance. The S.A. Healy Company has used explosives to mine the shaft, and blasting in this shaft has occurred about twice a week between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Although we have carefully monitored the strength of the blasts, you may have heard an occasional rumbling noise from some of the 30 blasts.

Now, construction of the MINOS shaft is almost complete. Soon a new phase of the NuMI construction will begin. S.A. Healy will excavate a 300-foot-long tunnel with an underground laboratory, called the MINOS Hall, at its end (see graphic). Work for this underground excavation will take place 24 hours a day, six days a week, beginning around June 15. Since the tunnel and MINOS Hall are 350 feet underground, we expect you to hear or feel little of this work, even when blasting occurs. Nevertheless, we want you to know about it. We will continue to monitor the noise and vibration levels of all blasts.

Neighbors living in the Savannah neighborhood will be happy to learn that the S.A. Healy Company carried out the last blast at the southern end of the NuMI project. On May 16, it finished the excavation of the Carrier Tunnel (see graphic).

The final piece of the NuMI project is the Decay Tunnel. Construction began in early May, and mining proceeds from the central hall to the MINOS Shaft. The S.A. Healy Company uses a tunnel boring machine to excavate this 3,000-foot-long tunnel. Operating the machine creates no noise or vibrations above ground. Later, construction workers will enlarge portions of the Decay Tunnel by additional blasting, which may be noticed in the neighborhood.

Some of the blasting activities for the NuMI project, which has seen a total of 270 blasts so far, have created more noise than we expected or wished for. Your feedback in the past 12 months has been valuable for minimizing the impact of the construction on the community. Though we believe we are done with the loudest phase, please donít hesitate to contact me in the future if there is a problem. Please call the Fermilab Office of Public Affairs at 630-840-3351 to voice your questions and concerns with regard to this project.

Sincerely,

Kurt Riesselmann
Fermilab Office of Public Affairs

P.S. In case you missed my previous letter and would like to learn more about the NuMI project and its scientific goals, please visit us on the Web at www.fnal.gov/pub/about/community/letter.html or call me at 630-840-3351.

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last modified 5/21/2001   email Fermilab