50-foot-wide sinkhole at Deer Run Mine.
© Larry Schraut50-foot-wide sinkhole at Deer Run Mine.
Illinois 185 southeast of Hillsboro is closed due to the formation of a 50-foot-wide sinkhole at Deer Run Mine.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that Illinois 185 between Hillsboro and Coffeen is closed due to the sinkhole in a farmer's field adjacent to the road.

The sinkhole is located southeast of the John A. Graham Correctional Center.

This mine has had a long series of problems including underground fires, mine roof collapses, and the ongoing longwall mining sinking of land unevenly over what will be thousands of acres of really good farmland.

More topsoil has been lost due to longwall coal mining in the last four years, than in the decades before, according to an affected farmer.

Currently, there is minimal damage to Illinois 185.

Out of an abundance of caution in the case that the sinkhole expands, Illinois 185 will remain closed through the weekend. An assessment of the damage will be performed next week to determine when Illinois 185 may reopen.