Crews stay busy with construction at SURF

As excavation of the underground facilities for DUNE nears completion, crews are now working on laying concrete floors and spraying shotcrete on the walls of the caverns. The next priority is to prepare the south cavern for cryostat erection by installing sprinklers, fire alarms, an elevator, and overhead cranes

The Fermilab hosted international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment experiment recently completed the excavation for the detector caverns located almost a mile underground. By the end of the decade, results from DUNE could illuminate why the Universe predominantly consists of matter.

North cavern

The excavation of the caverns that will house the gigantic particle detectors of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment in Lead, South Dakota is complete. Final outfitting of the colossal caverns will begin soon and make way for the start of the installation of the DUNE detectors later this year.

From Rapid City Journal-Our Northern Hills, November 4, 2021: Excavation crews at the underground site of DUNE reached an important milestone. They completed the careful excavation of the ventilation shaft with just one drill bit during the entire four-and-a-half-month process. Crews also uncovered a 1-1/2 foot thick chunk of quartz crystal during the process that miraculously was not damaged by the reamer head, nor by the 300-foot fall it sustained, marking it a gem of the milestone.

From the Black Hills Pioneer, Sept. 2, 2021: Fermilab design manager for DUNE Joshua Willhet takes readers 4,850 feet underground to view and describe the excavation of the tunnels that will make way to the caverns of the LBNF for DUNE.

Two crew members stand with the drill underground.

Construction crews will excavate around 800,000 tons of rock to make space for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. But first, teams must carve out a quarter-mile-high ventilation shaft.

From The Black Hills Pioneer, July 2, 2021: As excavation begins for the LBNF/DUNE, planning and communication are critical to lowering huge pieces of equipment underground. Read more about how Thyssen Mining and the Sanford Underground Research Facility crews are working together to ensure everyone understands the plan and the process.