Mining beneath the Interstate began early this week and is anticipated to last seven to 10 days.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported eight movement sensors had been placed along a 1,500 foot stretch of I-79. The meters, placed in four-foot metal pipes and cemented into the ground, are designed to detect ground movement. This information is fed in real-time to a center, which phones inspectors in the area.
PennDOT maintenance support services District 12 spokeswoman Valerie Petersen told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette it was impossible to predict road damage or possible closings, but she anticipated conditions similar to longwall mining damage that occurred in 1999 and 2000 along Interstate 70 in South Strabane. The road then showed bumps, ridges and minor sloping associated with longwall operations.
Cumberland was this year sold by RAG to a private equity consortium. It produced 6.2 million tons in 2003.