MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WRIC) — From above, it looks like little more than a small divot in the landscape – but according to Virginia Energy, it’s the remains of an abandoned mineshaft that poses a real danger to anyone who stumbles across it.
The site, near the historic Aetna Hill house in Midlothian, is part of a complex of mines that operated in Western Chesterfield from the late 1700’s until 1844, when a series of deadly explosions forced the mines to shut down.
Now, those old coal tunnels are collapsing, posing a “significant safety harm” to local residents, according to Virginia Energy. That’s why they’ve announced a $70,000 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) grant to fill the shaft.
“These voids are just across the road from several housing units in Chesterfield County,” said Lesa Baker, AML project manager. “Our team was there in July sealing another opening caused by an old mine shaft and we want to make sure this one doesn’t become a safety hazard either.”
Virginia Energy tapped AJS Excavation, a company based in Disckenson County, to undertake the reclamation effort. The company will fill the void area with concrete and stone, then cover the work site with new soil.
The project is anticipated to be completed sometime in March.