Oak Ridge Cleans Up Creek Bank at East Tennessee Technology Park

A view of the Poplar Creek shoreline area where crews have finished removing transite material and placing riprap to prevent erosion until vegetation is reestablished.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and contractor UCOR are in the final stages of cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP).

With all buildings down, crews are focused on soil remediation and other projects to enable the transfer of ETTP land back to the community.

The latest effort is happening on the banks of Poplar Creek, which winds through the 2,200-acre ETTP site. Workers have removed 200,000 pounds of transite material from the creek bank — another major step forward for the cleanup.

Transite is a type of manufactured material used in the construction of facilities during the early days of operations at the site during the Manhattan Project and Cold War.

“This material was disposed of on the creek bank many years ago,” UCOR Project Manager Don Gagel said. “Our goal was to remove all visible transite as part of a remedial action in that section of ETTP.”

In a recent Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management project, workers removed 200,000 pounds of transite material along a 400-foot section of the Poplar Creek bank.
 Watch this video to see crews removing transite from a portion of the Poplar Creek bank.

Workers began by clearing vegetation around the site to allow access. Next, they removed transite from a 400-foot section of the bank area. Crews then covered the bank with riprap to prevent erosion until the vegetation is reestablished.

UCOR also recently completed a project on another section of the creek bank, where crews reached the area to perform cleanup from a floating platform.

Additional cleanup of other sections of the creek will take place in coming months as OREM and UCOR work to complete all soil remediation at ETTP next year.

Together these projects are moving the site closer to EM’s ultimate vision as a multi-use industrial center, historical park and conservation area.

Transite material was disposed of along Poplar Creek in decades past. The manufactured material was used to construct facilities in the early days of operations at the site during the Manhattan Project and Cold War.

ETTP is currently home to 25 businesses, with more expected to locate at the site in the near future. The K-25 History Center, adjacent to a Manhattan Project National Historical Park area, has attracted nearly 15,000 visitors from across the nation so far this year.

Also, OREM and UCOR have partnered with the state of Tennessee to enhance conservation and recreation opportunities at the site. One proposed idea is the creation of a blueway to allow visitors to canoe and kayak through the area’s waterways. Blueways are marked routes on navigable waterways such as creeks, rivers, lakes and canals for recreational use.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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