Sinkhole excavation in Chesterfield

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Digging is underway in western Chesterfield to get to the root of a sink hole problem. One family's front yard started collapsing in December.

The process will hopefully reveal whether or not there is an old mine beneath the yard. Engineers are digging four holes to see what type of soil they can find. They do stop every few feet to collect the dirt and bottle it. So far they've found sandstone, shale, and clay. Some coal was discovered but it was just a tiny bit and near the top of the surface.

"We are trying to figure out exactly what we are dealing with, then the next phase, we will be able to come on it and do a proper fix whether it's coal related or for some other reason," said geologist Gerald Wilkes.
When it comes to this type of digging the state Mines Minerals and Energy Department is hoping it won't have to do it as much in the future. For the next two years it will be working on creating a new coal mine map system. The department did one in the 1980's but now it wants to do it again with GPS technology.

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