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Dorfan Today: LCLS Civil Construction Begins

(Photo - Jonathan Dorfan)The topology of SLAC is changing. As of last week, LCLS civil construction moved out of the design and planning phase into the implementation phase as a team of earth moving and grading equipment began scraping down the overlook. The familiar lumps and hollows of the landscape are being transformed amid the dust and rumble of heavy machinery flattening a massive swath of land in preparation for the excavation spoils that will be removed as the tunnel is dug. SLAC has officially entered a new and exciting chapter in its history.

In the next few weeks tunneling will begin on the research yard side of the overlook hill. This activity can be observed from the comfort of your desk by logging on to the webcam mounted on building 121 specifically for this purpose (available here). Starting in October, the shape of the overlook hill will change noticeably as LCLS excavation proceeds. When excavation is complete, roughly 180,000 cubic yards of earth will have been removed and deposited at three sites. Two of the sites will be on the overlook, one to the north and one to the south of the LCLS beam path approximately 50 feet below and a third site that is just west of the PEP ring road near IR12.

Turner Construction Company is now directing the construction activities and has established safety zones that demarcate their job site for the protection of all non-essential traffic and personnel. All construction workers and vehicles will be using the Alpine gate entrance, and we have moved the Alpine gate guard house to accommodate portable buildings where construction workers will receive SLAC hazard-specific training and get badged. This area will also serve as a staging area for construction vehicles as they arrive.

First and foremost on everyone's mind during this new phase will be SLAC's strong commitment to safety. Steps have been taken around the laboratory to ensure that, while this project moves into full civil construction, we keep SLAC employees, contractors and subcontractors safe. Accordingly, I ask all SLAC employees not directly involved in the construction of LCLS to please avoid the construction zones. To maintain safety at the overlook area, the access road to the radio tower is now off limits to all but emergency vehicles. Also please take a moment to review the closures and access changes around the lab. (Available here and in the Access menu on the right side of the SLAC Today main page.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer my congratulations to all who have worked to bring the civil construction for LCLS to this implementation phase. I look forward to bringing you further news of this exciting project in the near future.

—Jonathan Dorfan, September 18, 2006