Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Roger C. Viadero, Jr.


During the construction of a segment of Appalachian Corridor H between Buckhannon and Elkins, West Virginia, mine spoils and land use features related to historic mining were disturbed. An assessment of the water quality, benthic macro invertebrates, and fish populations was conducted to ascertain the condition of the water and to assess the biological productivity of Laurel Run, a tributary of the Tygart Valley River which runs parallel to Corridor H. The water quality and biological impairments were attributed to the ineffective vegetation of the spoils pile, which permitted water infiltration and thus, served as a source of metals and acid. Through the assessment of water quality data collected below an abandoned mine bench located adjacent to the highway, it was determined that water seeps were also a source of dissolved metals, sulfate, acidity, and low pH. Roadway construction through West Virginia and other coal producing states in the Mid-Appalachian region should be handled in a manner more like that of mining operations, with development and employment of similar preventative techniques to maintain environmental integrity, which includes roadway engineers thinking as miners by first identifying potential acidity and metal loading sources, and second by implementing the appropriate precautionary methods which are presented in this work.