Crews dig in at NOvA site
A construction crew began clearing and leveling roads at the NOvA site earlier this month.
Construction crews began digging at the future site of the NOvA detector facility in Ash River, Minn., on June 1.
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act provided funds for the civil construction project.
Fifteen workers from Hoover Construction, a subcontractor of Adolfson & Peterson Construction, have been clearing the top layer of dirt and developing the roads at the site.
"It's pretty much earth work now," said Davin "Buddy" Juusola, senior project manager for Adolfson & Peterson. But once the dirt is cleared, the construction crew will face the Canadian Shield, a mass of 2.7 billion-year-old Precambrian rock that stretches 3 million square miles across Canada and dips into a small northern edge of the U.S.
Crews from Adolfson & Peterson often work with rock, but blasting at the NOvA site will present a unique challenge, said Juusola, who has worked with the construction company for nine years.
The crew will blast down 50 feet to accommodate the NuMI Off-Axis Electron Neutrino Appearance, NOvA, detector facility. The laboratory will house a 15,000-ton particle detector that physicists will use to study a beam of neutrinos originating at Fermilab.
Members of the crew have talked to local residents about the project, Juusola said. "They seem very excited. They're very receptive to it."
The appeal goes beyond an interest in the science. Local supplier Seppi Brothers Concrete Products, based in Virginia, Minn., will provide concrete for the site, and other businesses will likely become involved.
Juusola said this will be his first experience building a laboratory.
"There are not too many neutrino labs built," he said. "It's very unique, which makes it exciting. It's a nice project to have on your resume."
-- Kathryn Grim
The crew will blast through 50 feet of rock at the NOvA site to accommodate the detector facility.