Roads and Railroads – Savannah River Site, South Carolina
SC Newsletter SCIWAY News: May 2009 Savannah River Site SRS SRS Roads and Railroads
Railroads were fundamental for moving heavy nuclear payloads across the US. Within Savannah River Site alone, there are 64 total miles of train tracks – making it the largest non-public railroad system in South Carolina.
After the reactors were shut down, the tracks naturally became less important. 35 miles of track remain active today; the unmaintained tracks are slowly becoming overgrown with weeds and pine trees.
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The SRS road system is equally impressive. In all, there are 1,400 miles of paved roads, dirt roads, and paths. Part of this mileage is a large cloverleaf intersection – which was the first of its kind in South Carolina.
39 million cubic yards of earth were moved to build SRS – equivalent to what would be required to build a 10' high, 6' wide wall from Atlanta, Georgia to Portland, Oregon.
Finally, the amount of stainless steel that went into the site shows how urgent its construction was deemed to be in terms of national defense. Literally all of the 304L and 316L stainless steel (which are both common grades) produced in the US between 1951 and 1953 went to SRS.
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