ALBERS, IL — Anyone traveling on Illinois Route 161 near Albers recently has noticed signage warning of uneven pavement and water on the road.
According to Joseph Monroe, District 8 Operations Engineer for the Illinois Department of Transportation, mine subsidence from the Monterey Mine #2 has caused the roadway and surrounding fields to collapse approximately 15-inches since May 4 when the problem first presented as a bump. The mine is now known as now known as ExxonMobil Coal USA. Initially, he says, IDOT thought the issue may have been a utility problem. But it quickly became obvious it was a mining issue. Monroe explains IDOT responded to the scene the day after it was discovered, placed the warning signage and began pumping water from the roadway.
IDOT is currently working with the Bureau of Mines and Minerals in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Exxon to develop plans on how to rectify the issue. They have all been meeting with landowners in that area this week. Monterey Coal Company operated the No. 2 Mine in Clinton County, near Albers, from April 1977 until August 1996. The entire No. 2. Mine site occupies approximately 1,400 acres of land, with the waste piles comprising about 300 acres of that total
IDNR believes it will take two to three months for the subsidence to end in the Route 161 area of Albers. They will continue to survey the area and do minor repairs as needed before final repairs can be made.