July 24, 2014 at 1:00 am

Concrete pours into Michigan physics site

Local 25 Ironworker Steve Airola, of Lansing, readies for the next concrete pour at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

East Lansing— The construction of a new national facility for nuclear science at Michigan State University is continuing with the addition of 140 truckloads of concrete.

The concrete was poured Wednesday for a portion of a tunnel floor in what will be the school’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The tunnel will hold the facility’s superconducting linear accelerator, which will produce beams of subatomic particles traveling at half the speed of light.

Reid Goniwiecha, regional sales manager for Superior Materials LLC, said it would take 19 trucks about eight hours to do the job.

He said crews will need to complete four more concrete pours just to finish the floor of the tunnel. The next pour will take place in a couple of weeks, after the area has been waterproofed and reinforced with steel.

The $730 million research facility, known as FRIB, is funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science, Michigan State University and the state of Michigan. The university won a national competition to host the project in 2008.

The 227,000 square foot building is expected to open sometime between 2020 and 2022.

Associated Press

Workers smooth out the concrete poured Wednesday for a portion of a tunnel ... (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)