State blames old mines for sagging SE Ohio highway

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State transportation officials believe a section of a main highway in southeast Ohio is sagging because of abandoned coal mine space beneath the road, and they're trying to pinpoint the problem areas.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1okJGTi ) reports there are concerns that the sagging eventually could lead to a sinkhole on Route 33 near Nelsonville in Athens County, specifically on a mile-long stretch just north of the Wayne National Forest headquarters. The state geotechnical engineer who noticed the problem says it isn't considered an immediate danger.

The Department of Transportation has started a $225,000 project to locate voids created beneath the road as supports for the old mine roof collapse over time. Then the voids could be filled.

Records show Ohio has filled four old mines under state roadways since 2008.

___

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.