The Times West Virginian

Local News

March 21, 2014

Section of Pleasant Valley Road caves in due to old mine shaft

FAIRMONT — A section of Pleasant Valley Road has caved in due to an old mine shaft.

Workers with the West Virginia Division of Highways who were on the scene Thursday morning said the hole was nearly 20 feet deep and the width of one lane.

The hole is located on Pleasant Valley Road near the Marion County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Center.

“Officials have known about (the hole) since Tuesday,” said Donald Mundell, chief of the Valley Volunteer Fire Department. “The 911 Center put small cones by the hole, but cars and school buses were still hitting it.”

“(Wednesday afternoon), we thought it was a pothole and had it patched by 7 p.m.,” said DOH worker Jeff Pethtel. “(Wednesday) morning, the road was collapsed.”

West Virginia Division of Transportation engineer Greg Phillips said the hole was caused by mine subsidence. West Virginia has several mine subsidence-related problems.

“Due to bad winters and wet springs, the ground is saturated with water,” Phillips said. “A cavern is made by the water and it (cannot hold the road).”

Phillips said these are referred to as “blowouts” because the road eventually collapses. He said the process for fixing these holes takes at least a week.

“(The DOH) follows a process of filling these holes so a sound foundation can be made,” he added. “But sometimes they can continue to sink.”

A person who lives near the hole said Thursday that cars were violently hitting the hole the day before and that this was not the first deep hole in the area.

According to Pethtel, crews cleared debris from the hole before observing it.

“The hole was determined to be caused by mine subsidence,” Phillips said. “The Department of Environmental Protection is going to bring in specialists to evaluate how it can be fixed.”

One of the workers went into the hole and observed that the mine shaft stretches quite a distance, Phillips said. The shaft may stretch to below the Marion County 911 Center.

The section of Pleasant Valley Road affected by the mine shaft is closed and the timetable for it to reopen is not known. The West Virginia DEP is in charge of fixing the hole.

Email Richard Babich at or follow him on Twitter @rbabichTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • Farmington Poker Run Saturday

    The Town of Farmington Poker Run is scheduled for this Saturday.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMW Rally UPDATE: Roberts and Caputo arrested during UMW Pittsburgh rally

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorhead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fairmont bank robbery suspect in custody

    Officers from the Fairmont Police Department and the West Virginia State Police responded to an armed robbery Thursday morning at WesBanco in Marion Square.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMW leaders at rally: ‘We will stand up and fight’

    Several United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders spoke at a labor rally in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

    July 31, 2014

  • image.jpg HAPPENING NOW: UMW's Roberts says EPA rules will 'devastate Appalachia'

    During a press conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center United Miner Workers of America (UMW) president Cecil Roberts talked about the reason why 5,000 miners and their families are protesting the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alva Groves Family -ts.jpg After 63 years, remains of Korean War veteran coming home

    After 63 years, the remains of a Korean War veteran are coming home.
    Those remains are of Cpl. Alva Clifford Groves, of Four States, who lost his life during the Korean War. Groves will be brought home to West Virginia on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • UMW to protest EPA Clean Power Plan

    Members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) will be gathering today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to protest the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan.
    Mike Caputo, vice president of UMW International District 31, will be one of the many Marion County and North Central West Virginia members participating in the rally and march at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

    July 31, 2014

  • Alecto executive to speak at chamber dinner

    The Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s 61st annual dinner is putting a spotlight on the future of Fairmont General Hospital.
    The keynote speaker for this year’s event, scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 13, is Mike Sarrao, executive vice president of Alecto Healthcare Services, the company that is in the process of purchasing Fairmont General Hospital.

    July 31, 2014

  • Korean War Veterans Memorial gets funds

    The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Marion County is closer to completion thanks to an allocation from the county commission.
    During Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners passed a motion to allocate $5,000 to the memorial. The money came from the county’s coal severance tax fund.

    July 31, 2014

  • Fairmont man faces heroin charges

    A Fairmont man has been arrested on heroin charges.
    Tyrell Anthony Smith, 24, of Fairmont, was arrested Tuesday by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and has been charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin.

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads