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Old 08-23-2021, 04:24 PM
742 posts, read 940,517 times
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Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Glad to. I think I found one of the old coal mines located on Pirate Heights just off of Hancock Ave. Zoom in on that odd round concrete cap and the metal poles surrounding it. Then there are the short white pipes projecting out of the ground which might be vents for methane gas that mines often leak. Not sure what that's all about but the mapping shows a coal mine was there years ago.
There are more detailed maps of the old mine workings available here:

Historic Map Explorer | Colorado Springs

This area is covered by the 1924 Patterson Mine map and is probably the remains of the thing marked "New Air Shaft".

For a different kind of hazard, take a look at the 1947 aerial map to see the giant tailings dump that they built the Gold Hill Mesa development on top of!
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Old 08-24-2021, 10:22 AM
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I purchased a piece of property last year that is over an old mining system. In the process, I did extensive research. IMO, the issue is overblown for a few reasons:
  • Issues have been decreasing for the last fifteen years or so, and most experts seem to think that the tunnels have mostly all collapsed, so what you see is what you get. The walls were built with coal, and the shelf life on that kind of thing is limited.
  • The state has run an insurance system for a while now, and it's pretty cheap. Despite that, participation has been on the decline because issues are almost non-existent.
  • Between 3,000 and 4,000 houses in the Springs are built over old mining tunnels, but in my research, I couldn't find a single case of a house being destroyed due to a sinkhole. Yards and roads have been affected, but I couldn't find a single house that was destroyed despite there being tons of houses in these zones.
  • The epicenter of activity has been Country Club drive, which was in my old neighborhood. The last activity there was about fifteen years ago, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a house on that street right now.

I would personally be much more concerned about buying in a landslide zone. Those areas have much higher rates of general foundation issues. Expansive soils present a much, much more likely risk than old mining activity does.
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