Geotechnical Monitoring, Structural Reviews, and Third Party Testing in Support of the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility at SURF

Sweetwater County, WY

The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is home to several word-class science laboratories and is currently in the construction phase of the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF). The LBNF will host the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) which is one of the largest physics experiments being conducted throughout the world. Since 2019, RESPEC and its subcontractors have performed third-party testing of construction materials in support of the LBNF Construction Project. Testing of concrete, soil, shotcrete, and grout have been performed as a part of this project along with welding inspections to support the extensive rehabilitation of the Ross Shaft Headframe. RESPEC has provided inspection reports documenting rock bolt pull testing results as well as design reviews and installation supervision of the micropiles used to support the surface conveyor system which will be used to transport approximately 800,000 tons of rock to the open cut as part of this project. In 2020, RESPEC was awarded a contract to perform geotechnical monitoring which included the installation of seismographs on the 3650 and 4850 Levels to monitor ground vibrations and air pressure underground as new excavations were being developed in support of the LBNF Project. In 2021, RESPEC was awarded a nearly $2 million contract to install geotechnical monitoring equipment in support of the LBNF Project. This contract included air pressure and vibration monitoring on the 4850 Level as well as 64 Multiple Point Borehole Extensometers (MPBX) and inclinometers to monitoring the stability of the caverns which will eventually house the detectors for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). Over the course of this project RESPEC continues to support the LBNF project by providing the design of underground structures and performing lift reviews to transport equipment and materials underground. RESPEC continues to play an active role in the LBNF project at SURF and has also worked on several additional projects at the site including an underground structure on the 1700 Level and a design for rehabilitation of their 3650 Level Pump Room at SURF.