Construction company opens new cave entrance!

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Construction company opens new cave entrance!

Postby LostCaver » Sep 7, 2007 12:50 am

Ok guys I've got a bit of a dilemma. So a couple days ago a very large construction company actually punctured a large passageway while working on a new building in the area. Now first of all its not completely the construction company's fault, the original survey of the cave didn't include many passages. So they didn't know the cave was right under them. However these passages were lost several years ago, and stayed pretty well lost up until December of last year. We have pushed back to two separate leads, one a nice dry borehole that's about 9' high and 15' wide, the other is about shoulder width and about 5' high with about a foot of water coming out of it. Are these going to be cut off now from the rest of the cave? From what I understand, the construction company will just fill their "hole" up with dirt like it was never there. Is there a way to get them to install a culvert or something similar that won't cut off the air exchange and will be people size?
One more thing, the construction company and the people from the university's karst research center are doing everything in their power to keep it a secret. My first reaction is that they don't want to have a bunch of spelunkers trying to invade the cave. But could their be a more sinister reasoning for all the secrecy?
Any info and/or advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks
RS
Last edited by LostCaver on Sep 7, 2007 10:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Construction company opens new cave entrance!

Postby John Lovaas » Sep 7, 2007 1:56 am

LostCaver wrote:Now first of all its not completely the construction company's fault, the original survey of the cave didn't include many passages. So they didn't know the cave was right under them. However these passages were lost several years ago, and stayed pretty well lost up until December of last year. We have pushed back to two separate leads, one a nice dry borehole that's about 9' high and 15' wide, the other is about shoulder width and about 5' high with about a foot of water coming out of it. Are these going to be cut off now from the rest of the cave?


Did you survey what you pushed? If you did, you could have pointed out to the powers that be that there's a cave under a proposed development site.

One more thing, the construction company and the people from the university's karst research center are doing everything in their power to keep it a secret. My first reaction is that they don't want to have a bunch of spelunkers trying to invade the cave. But could their be a more sinister reasoning for all the secrecy?


In a case like this I usually whip out Occam's Razor. If there's secrecy, it may be there's a wee bit of an "attractive nuisance" at the construction site.

Any info and/or advice would be much appreciated.


My advice? It pays to survey caves- that way you can tell people where they might run into construction issues like this in the future!
Last edited by John Lovaas on Sep 7, 2007 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby LostCaver » Sep 7, 2007 10:26 am

Sorry, I didn't realize I was drawing a map with my earlier post.. It has been edited.
We didn't survey the passages back in December because we wanted to tie into the original survey, so we planned to come back later. Recent trips were put on hold because of the construction. We had a good idea where the passage was on the surface, so when they started construction we turned away in fear of having the ceiling fall on our heads. Similar passages that are close by are known for being quite shallow, in some places about 8' of fractured limestone is all that separates you from a parking lot.
But whats done is done, and we all know that the construction company isn't loosing any sleep here. Just wanting to save whats left.
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Re: Construction company opens new cave entrance!

Postby Pat Kambesis » Sep 7, 2007 1:00 pm

One more thing, the construction company and the people from the university's karst research center are doing everything in their power to keep it a secret. My first reaction is that they don't want to have a bunch of spelunkers trying to invade the cave. But could their be a more sinister reasoning for all the secrecy?
Any info and/or advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks
RS


I work for the Center for Cave and Karst Studies of the Hoffman Institute at WKU. We did send a team out to check the cave and they did an initial survey of the "new" passage. It does come very close to existing passages in Lost River Cave - there is a map thats been published in many places and it shows 7 miles of cave.

The team reports that the cave is unstable in places, from all of the drilling and that are some suspicious fumes. The cave temp is very hot, and the only area with "good" air is the lead that probably connects to LRC. So its probable that the construction company is being very low key about this to avoid attracting any attention to the site because of liability and safety issues. The team is mapping as they go.

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Postby l lambert » Sep 7, 2007 4:20 pm

http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?t=5203



Show them this as an example of what might happen if they ignore the cave. Leo
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Postby LostCaver » Sep 8, 2007 11:06 am

This company is starting to build a nasty reputation if you ask me.
Not too long ago they punctured into a cave out near Smiths Grove, KY and ordered their workers to keep their mouths shut and " Push the trash up into the hole, before someone sees it!" That came from one of Scotties own workers. :shock:
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Sep 8, 2007 11:27 am

Sometimes it's a good idea whenever a cave passage is suspected of going under human settlements/buildings to do a surface survey following the points from the underground survey. At least a reasonable guess could be made on whether or not a new building would intersect the known passages from foundation digging or whatever.
If so then steps can be taken to discuss on how to avoid cutting into the cave passage itself if ... IF the cave itself proves to be significant (i.e. heavily decorated or a known bat roosting area or other importants). Knowing the depth of the passage is helpful as well. Should the "digging" prove to be shallower than the passage in danger.
Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible. ~ Reinhold Messner


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