CONTRACTORS IN Reading are to start stabilising chalk mine workings which subsided damaging a row of terraced houses.
From next month Keller Ground Engineering will use compaction and pressure grouting to fill the mine and stabilise the overlying chalk Reading Beds and fill over an area spanning 250m.
The mine suddenly subsided under Field Road in January, severely damaging two houses (NCE 20 January).
Reading Borough Council called in consultant Peter Brett to investigate the collapse and design the ground stabilisation.
'We think a leaking water main caused gradual subsidence, which eventually burst the cast iron main. This release of water allowed the void from a collapsed chalk mine working to migrate 8m to the surface', said Peter Brett project co-ordinator John Talbot.
The stabilisation scheme will be funded with £2.5M from Reading Council and English Partnerships' land stabilisation programme.
The two seriously damaged terraced houses will be repaired and underpinned.
Families from the 17 surrounding houses who were evacuated after the collapse will remain in temporary accommodation until the works are complete.