Y-12 National Security Complex workers have found new uses for old utility poles, saving them from the landfill.
The poles are being used to create vehicle and horse trailer barriers in the Lone Mountain State Forest parking lots, and the U.S. Department of Energy is using some of them at its secure transportation courier training facility in Oak Ridge.
In the future, some of the poles will be used as structure posts for a pavilion that will give cover for Morgan and Roane County firefighting equipment, according to a press release. Other sections of the poles will be used to block motorized vehicles from using the horse trails.
Y-12 Maintenance Support and Utilities Management staff have also found other uses for the poles. Some of them have been used to build a façade for a bunker on a live firing range. Additional poles have been stockpiled, and a combat conditioning course will be built as soon as funding is provided.
When Daniel Diden, a planner and estimator in Y-12’s Maintenance Support organization, worked for Plateau Electric in Wartburg, the company donated old poles to Lone Mountain State Forest in Morgan County.
When Diden contacted the Tennessee Division of Forestry on behalf of Y-12, they were was happy to accept the old poles.
After the poles were inspected and approved for off-site use, six Forestry Service employees brought five lumber trucks on site and hauled away more than 100 poles.
“The forestry service had the transportation and the need,” Utilities Management line crew supervisor Donald Bates said in the press release. “It was a great partnership.”
“Between 50 and 100 poles are still available,” Bates said, “and we’re getting ready to take down several more.”
The release said other establishments, including the Knoxville Zoo, are gaining interest. Mike Disney, Y-12 Power Operations section manager, said: “It’s good that we can help other agencies, save tax dollars, and help save the environment all at the same time. Opportunities like this don’t happen very often.”
Susie Williams Taylor says
One of the most awesome projects I’ve read about…makes me more proud of my hometown Oak Ridge, TN. (Class of 1962)