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They have also held meetings with the parties interested in the fixing of a harbor line on the west side of Seekonk river, from Bower street to Central or Red bridge.
The Commissioners have caused these lines to be platted, and will soon report them to the Governor and Senate, for their approval.
In their last annual report, the Commissioners stated that, “The harbor line of East Providence is unsuitable, in the opinion of the Commissioners, and they would suggest the repeal of the act estabishing it.”
A plan is preparing, upon which a new harbor line will be marked out from a point about two hundred feet northerly from Washington bridge and extending to Kettle Point, and also on the westerly side of the river from India street southerly and westerly along the property of the Boston and Providence Railroad Company; and we recommend that action be taken thereon.
Plans will soon be submitted, showing the harbor lines as they now exist on both sides of Providence river, from Crawford street bridge to Fox Point, on the east side, and from Crawford street bridge to Simmons' wharf, on the west side.
Your attention is called to the encroachments which existed when this Commission was appointed.
Since this Commission was established, the following wharves have been reconstructed, and encroachments made beyond the harbor line.
Wharf owned by Alexander Duncan, et al., near the foot of Hay street.
Wharf owned by Daniel E. Day, near the foot of Pine street.
Wharf owned or represented by Richard W. Comstock, near the foot of Power street.
Notices have been sent to these parties, calling their attention to Section 5 of Chapter 611, of the Public Laws; but as the encroachments served simply to bring these structures more nearly into conformity with structures already existing, and not to make a marked encroachment along the shore, no proceedings have as yet been commenced against them. This delay has been suffered that we might call your attention to the whole matter, and we respectfully ask instructions upon the subject.
Surveys have been made of Pawtucket river, on the east side, from the lower dam to Bass rock, and on the west side from the lower dam to Bensley's Point; on the westerly side of Seekonk river from Central bridge to Bower street, from Bower street to India street, and from India street to a point near the works of the Union Oil Company; on the east side of Seekonk river from a point about two hundred feet northerly of Washington bridge to Kettle Point, in Providence river, and from Long wharf (as it formerly existed), on the west side of Providence river, to Simmons' wharf.
Where applications have been made for a license for the construction of wharves, surveys have also been made.
Applications having been made for a dumping ground, where the city of Providence could deposit material dredged from the harbor, a place known as the “Deep hole," opposite Rumstick Point, was designated. Subsequently, action of the Legislature (see Chapter 623, of the Public Laws) caused the Commissioners to select another place for such dumping ground, and they designated an area opposite Sandy Point, east of Prudence Island, where there is a depth of thirteen to fifteen fathoms of water at low tide, and also an area on the west side of Providence harbor, between Hill's wharf and Sassafras Point, providing said material should be deposited at least six hundred feet inside of the harbor line.
The contract made by the city of Providence for dredging, the present year, provides that all material shall be put on the flats between Hill's wharf and Sassafras Point.
The following licenses to build wharves have been issued:
1. May 7, James Lawless, Bristol, 250x40 feet, bridge wharf and stone piers.
2. June 13, Warren J. Crosby, Drownville, 250x30 feet, timber wharf, filled with shells.
3. July 28, R. R. Higgins & Co., Bullock's Cove, 80x40 feet, timber dock.
4. October 17, Buel Buckingham, Drownville, 100x25 feet, timber wharf, filled with shells.
5. November 21, Daniel E. Day, Providence, to rebuild about 90 feet of face of wharf, stone wall on pile foundation.
HEARINGS BEFORE THE BOARD IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR BUSI
Two hearings with the Committee on Harbors of the City Council of Providence and parties interested, as to a proper plan of piers and slips to be constructed on the west side of the harbor below Hill's wharf.
Two hearings with riparian proprietors in relation to fixing harbor line on the west side of Seekonk river, between Bower street and India street.
One hearing with Samuel M. Gray, City Engineer, and Edward S. Philbrick, Civil Engineer of Boston, in the matter of building harbor wall on Seekonk river, above Washington bridge.
Four hearings with Brook street district Committee, in the matter of filling along the westerly side of Seekonk river.
One hearing with Daniel E. Day and John Howe, Civil Engineers, in relation to the harbor line on the west side of Providence river.
One hearing with riparian proprietors in relation to fixing harbor lines on the west side of Seekonk river, between Bower street and Central bridge.
One hearing in relation to the depositing of material in the river above and below the dam in Pawtucket, and also in regard to the emptying of the sewers and wash of the streets into the river below the dam. Complaint was made by those present of the approaches to Washington bridge.
Four hearings with riparian proprietors, in relation to fixing harbor
lines on both sides of Pawtucket river; on the east side from the lower dam to Bass rock, and on the west side from the lower dam to Bensley's Point.
Two hearings upon complaint by James Connery, of Bristol, in the matter of an alleged obstruction caused by the erection of a building adjacent to his wharf.
One hearing upon complaint that the Citizens Gas Light Company deposited their refuse coal tar into the river, thereby causing damage to the boats of the Providence Yacht Club.
The Commissioners having invited the United States Advisory Council, meetings with them were held August 14th, 15th and 16th, during which time they reviewed the whole work under the Commissioners' care, and fully discussed and considered the subjects appertaining thereto. They also went by steamer and visited many points which were brought to their attention.
In the Appendix to this report will be found copies of the questions asked of the Council, and their very full and able reports in reply.
WORK OF THE UNITED STATES ENGINEER.
By the courtesy of Gen. G. K. Warren, the Board has received a printed copy of his report upon the Government works under his charge in Rhode Island, for the year ending June 30, 1877. The following is a brief summary from the report of the Chief of Engineers in regard to the work upon which Gen. Warren's report in full will be found in the Appendix:
Pawtucket or Seekonk River, Rhode Island. No work has been done during the fiscal year, and none will be done this season, unless the shoals become troublesome, or some accidental obstruction occurs.
Bulkhead Rock, Providence River, Rhode Island. This rock is a dangerous and annoying obstruction to all vessels entering or leaving the port of Providence, drawing more than fourteen
feet. It was removed down to fourteen feet, at mean low water, under an appropriation made in 1870. A depth of eighteen feet, at mean low water, is deemed to be necessary, to make which it is estimated will require an appropriation of $5,000.
Newport Harbor, Rhode Island. With a small balance of the appropriation of March 3, 1875, and the
a assistance of the officers of the United States Navy, Torpedo Station, and those of the Old Colony Steamboat Company, two large boulders were removed from the channel. These boulders have been struck several times, at extreme low tides, by the large steamboats, and during the last year caused considerable damage. The improvement planned at this place was designed to facilitate business at the port, and not to increase its capacity as a harbor of refuge. With this view, all has been done that is now needed.
Block Island Harbor, Rhode Island. Work has been commenced on the proposed detached pier, under the appropriation made by the act of August 14, 1876. The funds now available will complete the breakwater designed for the business of the island.
The harbor has become the resort of numbers of fishing vessels, belonging elsewhere, so that at times it is quite filled up. It will undoubtedly be sought by fishermen and ordinary coasters in numbers sufficient to fill a harbor of several times its capacity. The present work was not designed to meet this want. At the close of the season's work a final report will be made, which will include plans and estimates of cost of meeting the probable wants of the future.
Pawcatuck River, Rhode Island and Connecticut. This improvement, as projected, has been completed, and no further work is now contemplated. The small balance is reserved to remove any small obstruction that may by accident be placed in the channel.
Little Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The improvement projected for this locality, is to open a channel