It could cost an estimated $407,000 to repair the landslide near the Oak Ridge Water Treatment Plant on Pine Ridge, city officials said Friday.
The water plant is on a ridge top above the main entrance to the Y-12 National Security Complex on Bear Creek Road. The landslide occurred next to the access road to the water plant on Saturday night, February 23. It’s the only access road to the water plant. It allows operations and maintenance workers to get to the water plant and deliver materials, equipment, and chemicals.
Oak Ridge Public Works Director Shira McWaters said the city has been able to maintain access to the water plant using the inside lane of the access road and closing the outside lane, the one closest to the slide.
The city doesn’t have information on the volume of dirt removed to repair the landslide, but the estimated volume of stone needed to repair it is about 5,500 cubic yards, McWaters said.
“In order to repair the slide, the soft, wet, unstable soils were removed from the impacted area,” McWaters said. “Geotechnical fabric was installed, as was an under drain. Rock is being used to build up the impacted area to mitigate the potential for a future slide in this area. This work should be completed by the end of July.”
The slide did not affect the entrance to Y-12 on Bear Creek Road. A small amount of the debris did make it to the inside lane of Bear Creek Road, but it was cleaned up quickly, McWaters said.
The water plant provides water to both the City of Oak Ridge and to U.S. Department of Energy sites, including Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Concerns about slope instability near the ridge top water plant are one reason that city officials want to replace the 70-year-old facility. They plan to build a new plant near the city’s water intake at the Clinch River in south Oak Ridge.
February, when the landslide occurred, was rainy. Oak Ridge had more than 15 inches of rain that month, according to the National Weather Service in Morristown. That was a record, the NWS said. There were other landslides reported across East Tennessee that month, including on State Route 116 in north Anderson County.
McWaters has said the landslide required the Oak Ridge Public Works Department to rent special equipment to get to the landslide; remove the wet, unstable soils; and place the new rock to stabilize the area.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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