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Old 09-25-2012, 11:55 PM
 
Location: About 10 miles north of Pittsburgh International
2,384 posts, read 3,270,494 times
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The mining isn't the problem. (If it were, you'd expect the same sort of issues throughout the whole neighborhood, wouldn't you?)

It was built on a landfill. The building sits on drilled caissons, some, I am told, as deep as 90 feet. There are voids beneath the building, some "large enough to drive a truck into", as a result of the settlement of the ground--the ground went down, but the building stayed at the same level. (Yes, this information is second hand. I haven't been in there, but did some work with a contractor that has, and the evidence certainly seems to confirm the story.)
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Sh-ittsburgh, PA & Lancaster County, PA
961 posts, read 1,669,795 times
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Parkway Center is almost like "The Foundry" out in Washington County. Huge relatively new mall totally boarded up because of subsidence.

The Foundry at South Strabane | Abandoned

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Old 09-26-2012, 12:29 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 83,468,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchdigger View Post
The mining isn't the problem. (If it were, you'd expect the same sort of issues throughout the whole neighborhood, wouldn't you?)
Not necessarily. There are townships where mine subsidence has only damaged one property while the others immediately next to them remained perfectly safe and stable. Mine subsidence can be very random even in areas where the mine stretches for miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchdigger View Post
It was built on a landfill. The building sits on drilled caissons, some, I am told, as deep as 90 feet. There are voids beneath the building, some "large enough to drive a truck into", as a result of the settlement of the ground--the ground went down, but the building stayed at the same level. (Yes, this information is second hand. I haven't been in there, but did some work with a contractor that has, and the evidence certainly seems to confirm the story.)
I suspect it's the result of the landfill and the mine. Likely the mine collapsed in an area, which caused those large voids in the landfill. I know some neighborhoods built on landfills that are on top of mines that were filled with garbage too. Isn't that crazy? What were they thinking when they did that?!?!?!

I can take you places and show you were the landfill garbage is coming out of the hillsides next to creeks. It's the neighborhood where I grew up. When I called the township to tell them about it, they had NO IDEA the neighborhood was built on a landfill. (They knew it was built on a mine, but knew nothing about the landfill.) Meanwhile, we knew it because we grew up there. The people who lived in the old farm houses told people who lived in the development. I always thought it was an old wives tale, until I saw this garbage coming out of the hillside over 40 years later when I was visitng the neighborhood. This isnt' a new landfill either. You can pretty much date the garbage to the 20s, 30,s and 40s by just the few things you can see sticking out. I can tell if a large area was landfilled by the way the hillsides slope down to the streams and other tell tale land features that remain 100 years later.

I'll get off my rant. I'm just stressing that it's extremely likely the mine is contributing to the problem. Where do you think all that garbage went to create those voids? It could be due to natural settling of the landfill if it wasn't propertly compacted before surface dirty was brought into cover it up, but I highly suspect that the mine and landfill are both playing their parts in what's happening at Parkway Center.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:39 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 83,468,190 times
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Originally Posted by Benzman66 View Post
Parkway Center is almost like "The Foundry" out in Washington County. Huge relatively new mall totally boarded up because of subsidence.

The Foundry at South Strabane | Abandoned
That's wild. It says it was built upon an old mine dump. It blows my mind that they shoved garbage into the old mines.

Centralia, PA, is a ghost town because of a mine fire that started in the 1960s is still burning today.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:23 AM
 
Location: About 10 miles north of Pittsburgh International
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Quote:
Where do you think all that garbage went to create those voids? It could be due to natural settling of the landfill if it wasn't propertly compacted before surface dirty was brought into cover it up, but I highly suspect that the mine and landfill are both playing their parts in what's happening at Parkway Center.
As it rots, it squishes down more. The deeper and thicker it is, the more it can squish.

Commonly, when you're making a fill to put a building on, you're required to put the dirt in in lifts of only 12", and compact it to better than 95% of its original density, and it has to be free of organic material to begin with. You're not going to have that when you build something on a garbage dump.

It's been quite a while, but I got to read a report made for the Keystone Oaks School District when they were considering their consolidation/modernization plan in the late 80s. My recollection is that the only school district buildings that had any kind of issue with the mines were the high school and the new middle school, which are situated in a valley, thus closer to the coal seam.

The bearing that information has on Parkway Center Mall is that KO's Aiken Elementary is right next door. Up there at the top of the hill, there's about an extra hundred feet of rock between the surface and the mine. (The school did, however, have a system in place to mitigate the methane gas that comes from the rotting garbage in the landfill the mall sits on.)

I'll admit that I'm not qualified or informed enough to rule out the mines playing a role there, but I think because we're accustomed to mine subsidence hereabouts, when something sinks, everybody immediately thinks of that. When you build something on a dump though, you really need to consider that first...

On edit:

Quote:
It says it was built upon an old mine dump. It blows my mind that they shoved garbage into the old mines.
There's lots of material that comes out of a mine that isn't quite coal. I think that referred to a dump of that material, not somebody filling a mine with garbage.

Hopes, you're in Hampton, right? You do know there are mined out areas there too, don't you?
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:51 PM
 
480 posts, read 464,211 times
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I wish that mall was still operating like how it was in it's heyday.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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This would be a perfect place for a large SHEETZ
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:30 PM
 
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That mall has looked half dead for as long as I've been in the city; I'm sort of amazed that it's hung on this long. I go to the Giant Eagle there sometimes since it's a pretty quick run over there from the Northside but it's just such a sad and desolate looking place.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:29 PM
 
982 posts, read 789,091 times
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Years ago, when the mall was first built, my aunt and uncle told me stories of the shack towns that covered that hill during the Great Depression, leading down toward the area where the tunnels would eventually be. People dug tunnels in there, looking for coal to heat their shanties. Dozens of them.
When the mall was built, another uncle worked for the mall management company. There was a 2-3' space under the area between the 2 levels. When he left 5-6 years later, he could stand in that space. He was over 6' so you can imagine.
That place always gave me the willies with the tremors and shaking of the floor.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:38 AM
 
655 posts, read 925,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
It's undermined.

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/msi/Munic..._tree_boro.pdf

It might also be a landfill but there aren't good records on landfills.
I just asked my father, he says that area used to be a landfill.
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