Newswise — All summer long, progress on preparing the Fermilab site for the construction of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility has been proceeding at a healthy clip. Now, as summer winds down, that site prep is nearing completion.

LBNF provides the infrastructure that houses and supports the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab. DUNE will comprise a giant neutrino detector a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota and a large one located on the Fermilab site in Illinois. The development of the latter, known as the “near site,” involves clearing an area currently dense with accelerator-related utilities and other infrastructure.

The site prep work included clearing the site of conflicting infrastructure, including relocating utilities such as power and communications; realigning a small stream called Indian Creek; and replacing an accelerator cooling pond with a cooling tower. The work started last winter, and most of it was completed during the annual summer maintenance shutdown of the Main Injector. The remainder of the prep work will be complete before the lab’s accelerator complex turns on again, and the entire prep work is on schedule to be finished before the end of the year.

View the photos for a sample of the busy summer the crews have had preparing Fermilab for LBNF.

The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility is supported by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

Kate Sienkiewicz is the LBNF Near Site Conventional Facilities project manager at Fermilab.

Fermilab is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.

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Newswise: In photos: Fermilab site preparation for LBNF nears completion

Credit: Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

Caption: Taken from the 15th floor of Wilson Hall, this photo provides a distant view of the site preparation for the construction of the Fermilab-based portion of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, beyond the Muon Campus (in foreground). The site prep work is visible in the center of the photo, just above the tree line, adjacent to the Main Injector ring.

Newswise: In photos: Fermilab site preparation for LBNF nears completion

Credit: Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

Caption: Excavators move earth to prepare the Fermilab site for new accelerator and beam infrastructure, part of the future Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility.

Newswise: In photos: Fermilab site preparation for LBNF nears completion

Credit: Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

Caption: The marked area in this aerial photo of the Main Injector accelerator ring, taken in 2016, marks the area where most of the site preparation work takes place. One of the tasks was to drain and fill in the cooling pond. The yellow arrow indicates the direction of the future LBNF/DUNE neutrino beam.

Newswise: In photos: Fermilab site preparation for LBNF nears completion

Credit: Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

Caption: Crews build a new roughly 500-foot-long box culvert for the new alignment of Indian Creek, a small stream on the Fermilab site, which will flow under one of the site’s main roads. The culvert includes a naturalized channel for fish.

Newswise: In photos: Fermilab site preparation for LBNF nears completion

Credit: Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

Caption: Workers prepare the site for the installation of electrical lines and a sump. Beneath the surface is a new culvert.

Newswise: In photos: Fermilab site preparation for LBNF nears completion

Credit: Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

Caption: These conduits will carry rerouted Main Injector and future LBNF electrical and communication cables. They have since been encased in concrete.

Newswise: In photos: Fermilab site preparation for LBNF nears completion

Credit: Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

Caption: This new cooling tower replaces the cooling capacity previously provided by a cooling pond that needed to be drained and infilled for the LBNF construction. The cooling is needed for the operation of the Main Injector particle accelerator and the future LBNF beamline.