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Geotechnical Engineering

 

TRB Mid-Year Meeting Symposium On The Effects of Abandoned Underground Mines on Transportation Facilities

Engineering the Remediation of Abandoned Mines Affecting Highways in Canada

Marc C. Bétournay

Canada's history is intimately related to mining. Some 10,000 known inactive mine sites have been identified. The infrastructure and mine workings that remain today are both a reminder and legacy of this activity. Over the last several years, the regular occurrence of inactive mine shallow stope failures has gained the attention of the mining industry, civic officials and regulatory agencies. While coal mine subsidence has had some impact to highways and other transportation infrastructure, it is the caving to surface of metal mines which has been the most critical.

This presentation will review the nature of long-term inactive metal mines stability and the Canadian federal-provincial approach and programs to reduce/avoid impacts on transportation infrastructure such as the development of a Canadian Standard for mine decommissioning, database management and application, and development of engineering tools for evaluating stability and quantifying risk on which land use and remediation can be based.

A number of case studies will be presented to identify the range and impacts of mine failures on highways, what engineering tools were used to quantify the extent and development of the failure, to evaluate the site stability aspects, select the remediation approach, and the long-term monitoring adopted. Rationals for the design of the remediation measures will also be reviewed.

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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