2012-13 Photos - Fuel Arch Egress Extension

fuel arch emergency exit extension

A bit of deferred maintenance perhaps, but it was accomplished quite quickly as you may observe from the dates on the photos. When the fuel arch was reworked in 1998-99, a new set of emergency exit spiral stairs was installed at the upwind end...but as we all know, Mother Antarctica keeps dumping snow on the place, and things get buried...

the fuel arch in 1974 (US Navy photo by PH1 K. Thorneley taken in February 1974) Once upon a time the fuel arch was built on the surface, with an exit door on the upwind end. This was quite useful during our 1977 winter...not only as a sheltered lighted shortcut to Clean Air, but also to enable us to remove all the snow that leaked through the cracks in the unburied arch. By hand. On sleds. But even then the drift was starting to scour around the fuel arch, soon to start burying the bulkhead. A few years later a new exit door was added at the top of the bulkhead with an interior stair...and in the late 80's when things started to collapse the bulkhead was completely rebuilt.

During the 1998-99 revamp, the wood bulkhead was replaced with a steel structure, and a spiral exit stair was added.

fuel arch emergency exit during the 2005 winter

By 2005 this means of egress was already starting to get buried...here is my photo from that winter.
top of exit stair
Again from my 2005 winter...inside the door...the top landing of a spiral stair.
inside of top exit door
Looking at the exit door from the stairwell...
bottom of the stairway

...and here's the bottom of the stairway. These two photos were taken in 2012-13 by (Jeffrey Donenfeld) (JD) before any modifications.
excavation of escape hatch
At some point after 2008 this became too deep to dig out by hand, so a plywood extension with ladder was added...
escape hatch
...seen here as the structure was being excavated.
digging out the buried access stair
It's mostly dug out (JD).
more digging
A bit more digging...
fabricated shaft extension
Meanwhile...a shaft extension had been ordered based on the original egress drawings; it just needed to be bolted together.
fabricated shaft extension
Like so (Joe Crane).
Steve Bruce in front of shaft
Another view...with Steve Bruce, source of the photos on this page which aren't otherwise credited.
moving the shaft
Moving the shaft to the site...
picking up the shaft
...standing it up...
shaft stood on end
removing the egress door
Next, removing the top of the egress shaft.
removing the egress door
In the air.
installing the extension
Getting ready to set the extension.
extension installed
And it fit. Of course.
Next, a bit of backfill.
bolting up
Bolting things up, assembling the stairs.
backfill complete
Guess what comes next?
installing the top section
That's right, only one piece left.
shaft ready for the top section
Readying for the top section.
setting the top section
And there it goes.
top section set
All set!
finishing up
Well, there was a bit more to do.
finishing the stairs
Such as finishing the stairs on the inside...
access steps
...and adding some access stairs on the outside.
completed extension
All done!
view of entrance
Here's a look from the front side...
view of egress access with station in background
Here's the other side with the station in the background.
danger sign on door
This is the original warning sign on the door.
Thanks to Steve, Jeffrey, and Joe for their photos!

The power plant air intake duct was extended as well.

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