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Issues and Challenges

Figure 6-1: Caves with thin ceilings are caves where the depth of the overlying bedrock is less than three times the width of the cave passage.

 
What are some of the management issues associated with road building?
  • Preventing damage to surface and subsurface karst features
  • Minimizing soil erosion and sediment/debris transfer into underground drainage systems and subterranean karst habitats
  • Maintaining natural surface and subsurface drainage patterns
  • Maintaining surface and subsurface water quality and quantity
  • Avoiding caves with thin ceilings (see Figure 6-1)
  • Inadvertently intercepting subsurface conduits or caves through road and quarry development
  • Preventing damage to surface karst features and cave decorations through blasting and/or vibrations from falling timber and hauling heavy loads
  • Disturbing cave-dwelling fauna (e.g., bats) through blasting, construction, or hauling
  • Controlling public access to surface karst features and caves.
What are some of the engineering challenges associated with road building?
  • Ground surface instability
  • Highly irregular bedrock topography beneath the overburden which can lead to unpredictable foundation depths
  • Road subsidence, collapse, or washout due to sinkhole development
  • Deep openings or shafts in the bedrock
  • Near-surface cavities and caves with thin ceilings
    (see Figure 6-1).

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