CLINTON COUNTY, Ill. – An Illinois State Representative for Clinton County describes a noticeable bump that formed on Illinois Route 161 this week as an unexpected speed bump resulting from subsidence.

“You have to slow down,” said Charlie Meier, Illinois State Representative. “This road can change quickly. Right now, we never know when the subsidence will start in a new spot.”

Mine subsidence is a problem along a stretch of Illinois Route 161 between New Baden and Albers, according to Meier.  

A recent train derailment in the area remains under investigation. Some area residents suspect subsidence caused the derailment, but the investigation has not been completed.

Meier said the bump was quickly smoothed. He said if recent patterns hold, the same area will sink a few inches soon.

“It absolutely needs to be taken care of,” said Tina Pate, a Clinton County resident. “It’s very, very, very dangerous.”

FOX 2 recently reported on one commuter swept up in floodwaters during July’s historic rainfall. Meier said he believes mine subsidence in the area has worsened drainage.

“We’ve had settlement of at least 28 inches in some areas, maybe a little bit more,” Meier said.

He said state agencies are working with the mine owner, ExxonMobil to come up with solutions. Meier said ExxonMobil is financially responsible for fixing the problem. The company has not responded to FOX 2 request for comment.

Meier expects work on a new drainage system to begin once harvest season is over. He said mine subsidence typically ends approximately four months after the last of the movements.