(Click on photo for larger version.) Contractor removes pavement to begin excavation of mine voids under highway surface 11/30/98
Wednesday, November 25
The Ohio Department of Transportation closed a portion of State Route in 32 in Jackson County after test borings along the route indicated the presence of underground mine voids underneath the shoulder of the route and possibly underneath the roadway itself. The route is closed between the junctions of County Road 38 and Kisor Road, a one-half mile stretch of State Route 32 about 1 1/4 miles east of the State Route 32/327 intersection southeast of Wellston. During the closure, traffic is being detoured onto State Route 327, State Route 93 and U.S. Route 50. Even before the road was closed, ODOT acquired an emergency contract with Kokosing Construction Company of Fredericktown, Ohio to excavate and fill the voids.
Friday, November 27,
through Wednesday, December 2
Kokosing began moving equipment to the site including a 180-ton trackhoe, two dump trucks, a crane, a bulldozer and a grader. Kokosing crews broke ground on State Route 32 just after daybreak Monday, November 30. Crews began by removing the pavement from a 500-foot section of the eastbound lanes. After the pavement was removed, crews began excavating the berm and eastbound driving lane. By the morning of December 3, seven mine voids had been uncovered within the 500-foot section of the eastbound lanes. Kokosing crews, under the supervision of ODOT inspectors, are working nearly around the clock on the project.
Because the extent of the voids is not known at this time, ODOT officials cannot precisely calculate how much the project is going to cost, but estimates range from $1.5 million to $3 million. The project is expected to take from eight to 10 weeks to complete.
ODOT drilling crews will continue drilling ahead of the excavating operation in search of additional voids. When additional underground mine voids are found, the contractor is notified so that those areas can be excavated and the voids filled. Drilling crews from ODOT's Soil and Foundation Section of the Office of Materials Management in Columbus have been conducting test borings along the route since October 26. Testing was initiated on State Route 32 in mid-May after a hole measuring approximately three feet in diameter was discovered under the pavement in the center of the westbound passing lane approximately one-half mile east of the junction of County Road 38. This summer, researchers from Wright State University and the U.S. Geological Service performed a variety of geophysical tests on State Route 32 in an attempt to detect the presence of underground mine voids.
Because the status of this project changes constantly, this web site will contain daily diary entries tracking the progress of the project. Each diary entry will be accompanied by the date and, when applicable, photos.
State Route 32
in Jackson County closed due to underground mine voids!
Click on the image above to access a larger map detailing the location and the detour route.