First TA-21 Water Tower Demolished … Second Tower Goes Down Tuesday

A bird’s eye view from a drone of the water tower at the west end of TA-21 beginning to topple over at 1:58 p.m. today. Courtesy/Joe Martz

The drone captures the water tower falling at mid point at the west end of TA-21. Courtesy/Joe Martz

The drone captures the water tower hitting the ground and the ensuing cloud of dirt at the west end of TA-21. Courtesy/Joe Martz

STAFF REPORT

The Department of Energy’s Environmental Projects Office took down the water tower at the west end of Technical Area 21 (TA-21) at 1:58 p.m. today.

The tower to the east at TA-21 is scheduled to come down tomorrow.

The Lakeworth Group LLC of Los Alamos performed today’s demolition. Lakeworth is designated through the U.S. Small Business Administration as an 8(a) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business. The contract is valued at $482,467.

Demolition of the towers, one of them 66 years old and the other 38 years old, is one of several projects to remove remaining structures at TA-21.

“By bringing down these towers, we are making a noticeable difference in the skyline at TA-21,” said Pete Maggiore, Assistant Manager for Environmental Programs at the Los Alamos Field Office. “This is another positive step toward eventual transfer of this property to Los Alamos County.”

Technical Area 21 was one of the early sites of the Manhattan Project and Cold War-era work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). It was the location of the world’s first plutonium processing facility and where groundbreaking tritium research took place.

Lakeworth spent last week preparing the site for the dismantlement and toppling of the water towers. For safety reasons, spectators were asked to avoid the area surrounding the site. A crowd gathered at the Canyon Rim Trail, which offered a safe and good view of the event.

Lakeworth also is responsible for disposing of the material and for site restoration at the tower locations. The work is scheduled to take about a month. The scrap material will be hauled to an Albuquerque salvage facility.

The demolition project is a continuation of the large-scale environmental cleanup at TA-21 that began in 2009 and was funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

The drone lifts off to hover above the Canyon Rim Trail edge to photograph the tower at TA-21 being demolished this afternoon. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Joe Martz operates his drone above the Canyon Rim Trail edge to photograph the tower at TA-21 being demolished this afternoon. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

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