Colorado Springs abandoned coal mines can cause problems

Real Estate Agent with ERA Herman Group Real Estate

Did you know that a large portion of Colorado Springs

was used for coal mining from the late 1800's to the 1950's? 

It was mainly done in the area around the Colorado Springs Country Club northwest to Rockrimmon.  

Coal has a long history in Colorado and it is currently used to supply approximately 71% of Colorado's electricity needs.

Federal and State law were enacted in 1977 that require potential surface subsidence to be taken into account in mining plans. But prior to that time, the effect of mining on the surface was not fully considered.   Consequently many homes were built over these old mines in Colorado Springs and it's important for home owners and potential buyers to beware of the risks and dangers.

The rock comprising the roof of the mine can begin to fracture over time and collapse into the open mine.  And water from below can rot out the timbers and pillars. Or water can seep in from above, causing collapse.  Many mining engineers say the best prevention for home owners is to prevent water from seeping around foundations.  Another suggestion is to raise the ground around foundations to encourage water to drain away.  And install gutters and downspouts, even underground drains, to promote drainage.

The last major collapse in Colorado Springs was in 2005, when five houses on Country Club Circle, near Union Boulevard and North Circle Drive, were threatened.    This neighborhood was built on top of the abandoned Rapson mine, which produced 600,000 tons of coal from 1900 until 1916.

In some areas of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities installs flexible connectors to natural gas lines in the neighborhood to prevent an explosion from a collapse.  And the state is paying for constant ground monitoring in some targeted areas; as well as surveyors have buried stakes in the yards of some homes and continue to keep a watch on them for shifting.

There is a Mine Subsidence Protect Program, which is essentially an insurance policy.  The program costs $35 a year for three years to get lifetime coverage. There is a onetime $200 inspection fee and a $1,000 deductible, with a maximum payment of $100,000 per subsidence event up to the market value of the home for multiple events.  The program is available for any home built before Feb. 22, 1989.  Phone number for Colorado Mine Subsidence Program is ,  1- 800-44-MINES (1-800-446-4637).

Also, as I was researching this article, I did find some interesting resources available for homeowners and potential home buyers.

Original Article was posted at:  Abandoned Coal Mines Cause Problems

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Gerry Khatchikian
Red Lodge, MT


I enjoyed reading about the facts related to coal in Colorado and Colorado Springs.   Coal mining was also the main driver behind the earlier days of Red Lodge (created in 1884).   Congrats on reaching the 100,000 points milestone!

Gerry's AR signature

Feb 23, 2009 04:23 PM #3
Kathy Torline
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog 719-287-1049

Gerry:  I also enjoyed putting together the article.  One of my favorite things about blogging is that it constantly forces me to learn.

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