There exists a thick layer of gravel in Quaternary alluvium surface soil layer in most areas of Xinjiang, China. When passing through the gravel layer during mine construction, mine workings collapse and rib spalling often happen, which influences the mine working’s construction and bring hidden danger to safe construction. This article took the engineering geological characteristics of thick gravel layer in Ili mining area in Xinjiang as background, carried out the gravel layer roadway’s deformation and failure tests based on the principle of similar model test, and analyzed and summarized the law of the surrounding rock deformation and failure. The results indicates that: Seepage is the decisive factor in the destruction of gravel layer surrounding rock; roof displacement increased from 1.8mm up to 3.4mm when the gravel layer roadway surrounding rock’s water content grows from 7% to 12.67%, which shows that displacement of surrounding rock increased with the increase of water content; coupling support has the best effect in gravel layer roadway. The research results play a guidance role and have a reference value for the engineering with the same type of roadway design and construction.