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mate be made of the cost of hammer faced stone locks laid in hydraulic cement.
Mr. Mills has discharged the duty confided to him by his appointment under said act. His report is herewith submitted, and his maps, plans and profiles, (being somewhat voluminous,) are at the canal room.
By this report it will be seen that this canal, side cut, and the navigable feeders, taking the west side of the river, extends over 1221: miles, has 1057 feet of lockage, and is estimated to cost 81,890,614.12.
The line surveyed on the east side is 1233; miles in length, has the same amount of lockage, and is estimated to cost $2,002,285.92.
The above estimates are made for hammer faced stone locks laid in hydraulic cement. If composite locks are made, except in situations where combined locks occur, it will make a deduction in each of the above estimates of 8116,242. The engineer reports that suitable stone can be procured for locks. If this should be so, the Commissioners are of opinion that the locks should be constructed of stone, on at least a portion of the line.
The engineer has not made an estimate of damages to lands through which the canal passes, nor for damages to hydraulic works and water privileges. The appropriation of the necessary quantity of water to supply this canal and side cut, will diminish and injure the hydraulic power of this section of the State.
The Commissioners regret that their pressing duties on the public works committed to their charge, prevented them from personall examining the country through which this canal passes; and more particularly the several prominent difficulties and expensive works which occur on a portion of this canal.
The Commissioners have examined the report, plans and estimates with as much care as time and circumstances would admit, and they believe this service has been performed with industry, fidelity and care. It is probable that the estimated cost of this canal may not materially vary from the cost of actual construction. But it is proper to repeat what has often been said before, that estimates for work so difficult as occurs on a portion of this line of canal, are always uncertain, and generally below the cost of the
work. As far as the Commissioners can judge, the quantities appear to be full, and the prices adequate.
It would have been desirable to have presented this report and survey at an earlier day in the session, but it was not completed and presented by the engineer until very recently. While in the hands of the Commissioners, their report has been delayed by the absence of the Commissioner to whose charge this survey had been assigned. Serious indisposition in his family compelled him to leave this city last week.
The report of the engineer, and the full and intelligent manner in which the whole subject is presented, will indicate the extent of labor that has been performed; and that the length of time which has been occupied has been no more than was necessary.
The present as well as former surveys, show that a part of the line south of Mount Morris, is difficult and expensive. At the falls, the high lands close upon the river with perpendicular sides, at some places, of nearly 400 feet altitude. In the distance of two miles, the river appears to be a continued succession of falls, descending 274 feet.
Judge Geddes proposed to pass this point, by occupying a part of the bed of the river, and defending the canal by a wall of stone masonry
Wm. Jones surveyed a part of the route of this canal in 1826, at the instance of the friends of this improvement, and he proposed to pass the canal around the falls in a tunnel, to be cut through a high ridge of land of 21 chains in length; which he appcars to have considered practicable, at an expense of $21,000.
It does not appear that Mr. Jones took the necessary precau: tion of sinking shafts, in order to ascertain the character of the material to be excavated, but presumed it was rock, and that the expense of an arch way could be avoided.
Mr. Mills states, that after a thorough examination of the country, it was evident, that the route by the river must be adopted, or the high ridge passed by a tunnel. A route for a tunnel, has been surveyed and estimated. Its length is 26 chains, the bottom 204 feet below the top of the ridge, and on the plan of a passage way for two boats, and a towing path of wood, is estimated at
8144,580.97. This estimate includes the expense of an arch of stone masonry
Shafts appear to have been sunk, to ascertain the nature of the soil to be excavated, and a careful examination appears to have satisfied the engineer, that this ridge abounds with quick sand.
To construct a tunnel, even under favorable circumstances, is an expensive and difficult work; but to encounter quicksand in such a situation, must be attended with serious consequences, and should be avoided if practicable, though at an increased expense.
The engineer proposes to abandon this tunnel, and pursue the river route, though the distance is increased 11 miles. On this route it appears, that a point of rock, 98 feet above the bottom of the canal, is encountered, through which it is proposed to pass the canal, by a tunnel 16 chains in length. The location for this to nel is described as favorable, and the expense of this plan, is $14. 240 less than to cut down the bill. The river route on this plan would cost $18,651.52 more than the route by the long tunnel.
The summit level of this canal is 118 miles long, and the greatest depth of excavation is stated at 12 feet. Xo particular de scription is given in the report, of the character of this work, and it is inferred that no difficulties are apprehended.
The engineer proposes to supply the summit level, the canal south to Olean, and north to the place where the first feeder is ta. ken from the Genesee river, a distance of 301 miles, with 3,484 cubic feet of water per minute. This quantity will give 100 codic seet per minute per mile, and lockage water for 28 boats passing cach way from the summit, every 24 hours. This supply is to be obtained by feeders from the Ischua creek, Lime lake, Fish lake, Beaver and Mud lakes, Black creek, Oil creek, and Little Oil and Swamp creek, which are estimated to furnish, exclusive of loss by evaporation and leakage, 1,556 cubic feet per minute. These lakes are to be so enlarged, by raising the dams at their outlets, as to increase the quantity of water 667 cubic feet per minute. The deficiency, 1,260 cubic feet per minute, is to be provided for by artificial reservoirs, located on the Ischua and Oil crecks.
The engineer speaks favorably of the soil where these reservoirs are located, and the drainage for the reservoir on Ischua creek, is
estimated as sufficient to fill this reservoir 11 times, (though filling it once, is only brought into the cstimate.) The drainage to the other reservoirs would also appear to be sufficient.
The natural outlet for the waters of Lime, Beaver, Mud and Fish lakes, is down the Cattaraugus creek, which empties into Lake Erie, and if they should be diverted, as is proposed by the engineer, to supply the canal, it would not only create a claim for extensive damages, but might be considered unjust to the country from which the water is diverted.
If the water of these lakes should not be taken, the engineer proposes to supply an equal quantity by additional reservoirs; which he says can be constructed at nearly the same expense, at which the water is obtained from the lakes.
North of the summit, the supply of water must be drawn from the Genesee river, and its tributaries, and an adequate quantity can no doubt be obtained.
In the report in question, it is stated that “from the best information which” could be obtained on the subject, “boats of light burthen can ascend and descend the Allegany river, for about 3 months in the year, and from calculations made whilst at Olean, predicated upon statements made by respectable gentlemen, entitled to credit, and well acquainted with the matter, property may be transported down the river to Pittsburgh, for 25 cts. per 100lb. and up to Olean for $1.20 per 100lb.
The distance from Olean to Pittsburgh is stated at 280 miles, and the average fall in the river, at 21 feet per mile. The country on both sides of the river, is represented as very much elevated, and that the hills at some places approach the river, with stecp precipitous sides, and at other places recede from the river, where the valley opens to extensive flats. From this description of country, it is evident that this stream must be subject to sudden and high floods.
The average fall per mile in the river between Olean and Pittsburgh, is probably correctly stated; but there can be no doubt that in many places it must be much greater.
Before the construction of the Erie canal, Olean was the depot for the property of thc surrounding country, then sent down the
Allegany river; and at this place also, great numbers of emigrants annually embarked for the vallies of the Ohio, and the Mississippi, and other parts of the western country.
It is recollected that boats have ascended this river as far as Olean, but it is not supposed that it ever has been done to any considerable extent, for the purpose of carrying property.
A descending navigation could no doubt be extensively used during the continuance of spring floods, and in the fall, if there should be sufficient falling water to swell the river. But this is a precarious navigation, and never could be relied upon to accommodate a regular trade.
On the Susquehanna, the ordinary length of what they term a rafting flood, does not extend beyond 5 or 6 weeks, and in some scasons not more than half this length of time. In the fall the pe. riod of navigation is generally short; and it osten occurs, that no property is sent down the river.
The average extent of navigation on the Chemung river, is es. timated at about 3 weeks, and very little reliance is placed on using the river in the fall.
Business on these rivers generally commences 3 or 4 weeks before the opening of the navigation on the canal, and often extends but a short time beyond it.
It is apprehended, that as connected with canal navigation, the Allegany river would not furnish those certain facilities, in regard to thu security of property, saving of time, and expense of transportation, so necessary to ensure a regular and extended business.
It is probable that the country bordering on the Allegany river, as far down the valley as Warren in Pennsylvania, and perhaps to some extent, as far as Pittsburgh, would be supplied with articles of importation, by this canal. But the Commissioners do not believe that a regular trade could be established with the valley of the Ohio and Mississippi, in the direction of this canal, without improving the navigation of the Allegany river, or extending the canal down the valley.
The engineer has furnished what appears to be a correct exhibit of the distances, and expense of transportation, from Olean (if