This site on the Durham/Higganum line in CT utilized two large microwave towers, one about 240' tall and the other about 365' tall. The towers were serviced by a surprisingly large concrete building which was semi-hardened against a distant nuclear detonation. The facility included a decontamination shower, chemical, biological and radiological air filtration systems and a system that would automatically seal off the building when a nuclear detonation was detected. Indeed, it was the various system of blast valves, blast shutters and the equipment that controlled them that impressed us most about this facility.
AT&T has moved out and the microwave paths are no longer in use but at one point there were paths to Montville, Lyme, New Haven, Bethany, West Peak and Hartford.
Durham #1 - 350.0' A-2P, 365.0' to upper deck.
Durham #2 - 237.5' A-2P-SP, 252.5' to upper deck.
Original entrance to the facility, c. 1970.
The facility is currently owned by American Tower.
Generator exhaust stacks, radiator blast doors and fuel fill station. Original
electrical service on right had been abandoned in place.
Exterior view of generator room air intake.
This is the massive air filtration system for the generator room. On the other side of the filters
are blast doors that close automatically upon detection of a nuclear detonation. A
generator day fuel tank can be seen in the background.
Two huge, 500kW diesel generators with White Superior engines provided back-up power.
Another view of one of the 16 cylinder generator engines. We're told that these use marine engines.
Generator name plate.
Massive exhaust muffler
Both of the gensets had external radiators located in a room directly above the engines. The exhaust vents for
these radiators also had blast dampers. Not shown is 1MW of test load built into the floor between the genset
room and the radiator room so as to utilize the air flow produced by the radiators as part of their
Upon the detection of a nuclear detonation the building could be sealed up using a series of automatic blast dampers
controlled from this panel.
Fully redundant HVAC equipment.
Floor plan showing HVAC zones.
"Undressing" room, part of the decontamination area.
Just like many underground fallout shelters this facility had a decontamination area
which included a walk-through shower.
The entire building could be sealed up during an attack to prevent infiltration of fallout particles.
Another interior view.
Some equipment was abandoned in place.
Since the facility was centrally located and moderately hardened it contained a large amount of "E.R." or
Emergency Restoration equipment that could be used elsewhere in the network to restore service after a disaster.
Microwave radio power supplies.
New London was one of the sites served by the facilities microwave system. Other locations included John Tom Hill
in Glastonbury, Hartford, Meriden, New Haven and Storrs..
The "dehorned" main tower, over 450' tall. There are still several functioning
antennas on this tower including the unusual antenna that can be seen
at the top. This tower was designed to take a significant
overpressure from a nuclear detonation.
View of the smaller tower with microwave horns still in place.
This view of the base of the smaller tower gives you an idea of the scale.