Chesterfield sinkhole gets major overhaul - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Chesterfield sinkhole gets major overhaul

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - You may remember homeowner James Garrett. We met him last year when a sinkhole appeared in the front lawn of his Coalboro Road home. After almost a year of following the story, this sinkhole is finally getting filled.

From the initial investigation, to drilling, to injecting concrete - today the end is in sight.

"It contains unconsolidated material, probably down to 20-30 feet. This one, relative to some other ones that we've done, is a relatively simple fix because of the size of it," said Gerald Wilkes a Geologist with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

But with children and pets in the house, the open space posed a major danger so hundreds of pounds of concrete will infiltrate the ground keeping any problems from re-emerging. Great news since another sinkhole sits not too far away.

"All during the 1700's, 1800's and even into the early 1900's coal was produced from the Richmond coal field," he said.

In a time before drilling people would dig test pits to check for coal.

"And that's what we're dealing with here today. One of these test pits," said Wilkes.

But until they sink, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy doesn't know they exist.

"The Department of Mines takes this very seriously and we're being reactive. We're also making an effort to inventory and to get ahead of that curve so that we can come up with a predictive model to make sure that we stay away from these things in the future," Wilkes said.

And although the homeowner wasn't home to see the big fix, Wilkes says he's very excited for greener pastures. 

Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy

Phone Number: 434-951-6364

Website: www.dmme.virginia.gov

Email: gerald.wilkes@dmme.virginia.gov

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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