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NuMI Project Construction - Letter to the Neighbors

December 17, 2001

Dear Neighbor,

As the year comes to an end, I would like to share with you the latest news on the two Fermilab topics that probably have affected you the most this year: the closing of our lab to the general public and the NuMI underground construction project.

We have received many phone calls from people voicing their disappointment about not being able to visit Fermilab. The events of September 11 have led the Department of Energy to heighten security measures at all their national laboratories, including labs like Fermilab that carry out no defense-related or other classified projects.

We understand the adverse effect of this decision on our neighbors who have in the past come to Fermilab to walk, fish or enjoy some other recreational activity. Let me assure you that, like you, we are looking forward to the day that we can lift the restrictions. At present, however, we have no indication when this will be. We are fortunate that we can continue some of our educational and cultural programs, such as tours for high school students and the performances of the popular Arts Series.

The Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) project has affected our neighbors more than we all had wished for. We know that the noise created by the construction has bothered many of our neighbors. We greatly appreciate the patience you have shown so far.

The excavation of the NuMI tunnels has progressed well. On December 8, the tunnel boring machine reached the end of its 3,000-foot-long drive underneath the Fermilab site. Since the project started in May 2000, the S.A. Healy construction company has completed more than 370 blasts. About 25 blasts, 350 feet deep in the ground, are still necessary to finish the excavation of the last underground hall.

Next year, the NuMI project team will begin the construction of two service buildings. We realize that it will be impossible to eliminate all noise associated with this construction. Our project leaders will work with the construction company to minimize the impact on the neighborhood. Your feedback is important. Please call our office at 630-840-3351 to report loud noise or construction activities that bother you.

We hope to be able to welcome you again at Fermilab in the near future. Please check the newspapers and our Web site (www.fnal.gov) for updates on access to Fermilab and to learn about various programs still open to the public. It would be nice to see you at one of those events.

Happy Holidays to you and your family,

Kurt Riesselmann
Fermilab Office of Public Affairs

P.S. P.S. In case you missed my previous letters 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/numi.html or call me at 630-840-3351. We have also opened a Web community forum where we post answers to questions from our neighbors. You may find it at www.fnal.gov/pub/about/community/.

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last modified 12/17/2001   email Fermilab