2009 Winter Photos - Urban Renewal

digging history

Less than 2 weeks before sunset in March, a sudden decision was made to excavate and remove the access hatch to Old Pole...and the work started here with this preliminary excavation of the entrance. This picture was taken on 11 March (ED).

But first, jump back a bit. Not all the way, as a good portion of this site is devoted to the IGY station now known as Old Pole. That place has been nominally off limits since 1977...but in the mid 90s it was decided that it was worth recovering fuel and other stuff. Between 1996 and 1998 there was a project to recover fuel from the bladders in the fuel arches, as well as timbers used in construction of the new station, hazardous waste, and other items of value. At that time the top of the entrance shaft was still above the surface as seen in these 1995-96 photos:

something under foot
The entrance hatch in 1996 before it got buried.
the place was a hole in the ground
Looking down into it...

The entrance shaft had originally been furnished as one of several extensions to the dome emergency exit ladder; the design team presumed it would get buried more deeply than it ever did. It was installed atop the "Holy Stairs" main entrance vestibule at some point in the late 1980s, complete with a steel lid (more on that lid later). Okay, back to 14 March 2009...

getting wired
After more excavation and investigation, the winch cable from the D7 is hooked up to the entrance shaft...
tractor action
Here's the D7...
some Pole pull
Yanking the shaft out...(
let's go tubing
Hauling it off...
the deep
...leaving a rather big hole behind...
...to be filled in with the D7 Pearl driven by Boyd Brown.
that sinking feeling
But he found a soft spot as you see in these two pictures!
yo ho haulaway home
First approach, pull it out with another tractor; here the winch cable is being payed out.
digging deeper
First try was to pull it out backwards the way it went in.
switch around
Next. an attempt to pull it out from the front.
blade up
This didn't work either.
bucket up
What finally worked was to use one of the loaders to dig a ramp.
take a load off
Like so.
outa there
getting deep
Except for this deep hole which was left to drift in as much as it could during the winter.
(photo credits on next page)

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