Ain’t No Hill High Enough to Keep Us From Getting to You
The Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, Massachusetts reports that the winter of 2015-2016 was the warmest in recorded history. New Englanders enjoyed the warmest December in history followed by a warmer than usual January and February. People felt lucky to have escaped Mother Nature’s wrath and the fall out that sometimes comes with unforgiving winters – roofs that collapse under the weight of accumulated snow, damage to roofs and structures from the formation of ice dams and dealing with the thawing out of frozen pipes. But then, on Valentine’s Day weekend, temperatures plummeted to a frigid -14 degrees and New Englanders gritted their teeth and prepared to deal with the aftermath.
Ironically, the transmitter building of WGBH, located on the summit of Great Blue Hill and just feet away from the Blue Hill Observatory didn’t escape the weekend unscathed. The pipes in the facility’s bathroom froze and burst causing thousands of dollars in damage and leaving the facility without water. During the clean-up process, asbestos was discovered in the transite board and 8 pipe fittings. Before repairs could be made, all asbestos containing material would need to be removed and disposed of.
While the job itself was straightforward there were two small obstacles Dec-Tam needed to address before the job could begin. The first obstacle was the location of the transmitter building. Located at the top of the hill, at an elevation of 635 ft., the road is not open to public vehicles. Permission was granted to allow one Dec-Tam vehicle access to the summit, one mile from the ski hills parking lot. Close attention was paid when identifying and packing the essential equipment needed to perform the job. The second challenge was identifying a water source since the water at the transmitter station had to be shut off to prevent further damage. Dec-Tam provided the water needed for the job and partnered with the Blue Hill Observatory across the way to supplement water if needed.
Special consideration went into scheduling a time that would be least disruptive to the daily activities of the radio station. Once plans were in place, the job could begin. A small, skilled crew went in, prepped the area, removed and disposed of the affected material prior to final air clearance.
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