Trojan area will be off-limits on day of tower demolition
Safety - Officials will keep air, land and water clear while the plant's cooling tower is imploded
Friday, May 12, 2006
GAIL KINSEY HILL
Government agencies will slap tight controls on the area surrounding the Trojan Nuclear Plant on May 21, the date crews are scheduled to implode the facility's 499-foot cooling tower.
The explosion, involving thousands of sticks of dynamite and scheduled for 7 a.m., is expected to draw intense public interest. But Portland General Electric, which owns the power plant, and public officials in Oregon and Washington say the best place to watch the fireworks is on television.
Road, river and air closures are necessary, they say, to prevent a crowd of gawkers and surprised travelers from causing traffic snarls, even accidents.
Here are some details:
Exclusion zone. All property at the Trojan site, just south of Rainier along the Columbia River, will be closed from 5 p.m. next Friday until 7 a.m. May 22. Beginning May 20, Controlled Demolition Inc., the company hired to carry out the implosion, will enforce an exclusion zone encompassing a half-mile surrounding the tower. Only personnel authorized by Controlled Demolition will be allowed access.
There are no homes or businesses in the designated exclusion zone, which is owned primarily by Portland General Electric. The utility built the Trojan plant in 1976 and closed it in 1993.
Columbia River. A five-mile stretch of the river alongside the cooling tower -- between river miles 70 and 75 -- will be declared a safety zone and closed to boat traffic from 6 to 8 a.m. May 21. Boats moored at a permanent dock are exempt from the restriction.
Marine units from the Coast Guard Station Portland and local law enforcement officers from seven Oregon and Washington counties will enforce the safety zone, with violators subject to fines or arrest.
Air space. The space over the cooling tower -- 3,000 feet above sea level for a one-nautical-mile radius -- will be closed from 6 to 8 a.m. May 21.
Roads. Patrols in Washington will stop traffic on Interstate 5 in both directions between mileposts 28 and 34 -- before Kalama, Wash., traveling north until two miles before the Longview/Kelso exit. Rolling slowdowns will begin at 6:45 a.m. May 21, so that traffic can be brought to a complete stop by 7 a.m. The interstate should be reopened within 15 minutes of the implosion.
No one will be allowed to park along or near I-5 within that six-mile stretch.
Crews in Oregon will control traffic on U.S. 30 for a three-mile section that passes by the nuclear plant site, between Neer City Road at milepost 41 to Little Jack Falls Road at milepost 44. Flaggers and pilot cars will begin restricted flow at 5 a.m. May 21 and will stop traffic in both directions just before and during the implosion.
Drivers should expect 20-minute delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes. No one will be allowed to park along the shoulders of the highway between the designated mileposts.
State police and the county sheriff also will restrict access to the Prescott area via Graham Road.
Port of Kalama roads and property. The Port of Kalama at Kalama, Wash., will begin closing its leased property to the public on May 20. Patrols also will prohibit access to the area west of I-5 from the north city limits of Kalama Port to north of Kalama River Road.
For updates on closure information, go to PGE's Web site, portlandgeneral.com/Trojan.
Gail Kinsey Hill: 503-221-8590; email@example.com