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New 9-meter dish installed atop Elvey; Koyukuk Drive closed through Tuesday afternoon

The new satellite dish on top of Elvey settles into place
on Saturday, March 18. Photo courtesy Sacha Layos.

The landmark antenna on the Elvey Building was successfully replaced with a new 9-meter dish late Saturday afternoon. The work took about a half-day longer than predicted due to cold temperatures. There will be several days of work between the roof and the ground while crews complete the installation.

Koyukuk Drive will remain closed through the afternoon of Tuesday, March 21.

Pedestrians in the area should follow the posted signs along the Arctic Health Research Building when traveling from the Murie Building to the Akasofu Building.

NASA offocials plan to use the old satellite dish for spare parts. The pale blue 10-meter dish satellite dish — an iconic landmark in Fairbanks — was installed in 1987 and was in operation from 1991 until hardware within the antenna failed in 2012. The more capable new 9-meter antenna will retrieve scientific information from polar-orbiting satellites that pass overhead as often as 11 times per day. Like the old antenna, the new one sits on the strongest part of the eight-story Elvey Building, the roof buttressed by the elevator shaft that runs through its core.