Mine Shaft Abandonment

Midlothian, VA


The inverted pyramid concrete cap on a Civil War-era coal mine shaft collapsed catastrophically. The mine shaft was located in the middle of a suburban golf course in Richmond, Virginia. The collapse was due to the deterioration of timbers lining the shaft through soft sandy soils. The soft sandy soils extended approximately 25VF down to rock. As the timbers deteriorated with time, they lost the ability to support the cap.


The tunnel shaft was completely full of water, which was approximately 60 degrees. The area around the cap was very unstable and did not facilitate top-down access over the mine shaft.


The repair was designed around drilling well casing at an angle to intercept the mine shaft at various elevations between the bottom of the cap and socketed down into the underlying rock. 3.5PCF hydro insensitive polyurethane grout was chosen for its ability to provide the necessary structural support to the cap.

CJGeo performed pre-mobilization testing at our facility in collaboration with the design engineer to ensure that the grout would perform as desired. CJGeo placed polyurethane grout through approximately 15 different injection points, grouting from the top down. The end result was a plug extending at least 5′ into the shaft through rock, ensuring that the shaft through soft soils was completely stabilized.

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