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To meet this demand for increased anchorage facilities it is proposed to widen tho present channel by excavatiug a strip 60 feet wide along the entire length of channel at its easterly or Brewer side, thus making the channel 360 feet wide.
This would require the removal of 46,000 cubic yards of material, measured in scows. The material consists mostly of coarse gravel and rocks.
While dredging under former contracts quite a number of large bowlders were net with, and for this work it is estimated that 200 cubic yards of such rocks may be found, the removal of which is estimated at $5 per cubic yard.
It has also been represented to me that the steam ferry boat which plies between Bangor and Brewer is very frequently detained at time of low water from reaching the iloating platforms at either side, to the great innoyance of the passengers.
Three hundred thousand passengers were carried across by this ferry in 1890. A very small amount of dredging in front of these landings would facilitate the prompt landing of passengers, and certainly would be appreciated by the thousands who are often kept within 10 or 20 feet of the landing waiting for the tide. The remoral of about 800 cubic yards of material, mostly old slabs and edgings, in front of either platform, to a depth of 4 feet at extreme low water, will give ample facilities to the ferryboat during time of low water to make its trips without interruption, which is necessary to accommodate the traffic.
In comparing the contour lines of survey of 1872 with those of the present survey, in the vicinity of Fred Ayer's ice-house'wharf, opposite High Head Wharf, it will be found that the 11-foot contour of 1872 has receded on an average 100 feet toward the Brewer shore (and the low-water line in the same ratio).
Thus the channel at this place is now over 400 feet wide. This great sconr being the direct result of the building of the “Upper High Head Wharf” and its influence upon the direction of the current, it shows conclusively that by judicions contraction of the cross section of the river all the improvements may not only be kept entirely clear of deposits, but may gradually be considerably increased in width and depth.
As it is evident that the shoaling in the dredged channel off and below the Dirigo Wharf is caused by the abnormal width of the river at this place, it is suggested that the harbor line be placed some 200 feet east of the present location, and that the material to be excavated from the east side of the channel be deposited behind it from Greens Pier Ledge down toward High Head Wharf. This suggested new location of the harbor line will in no way decrease the capacity of the harbor, as this part of the river, having a very hard and rocky bottom, is seldom used as anchorage for vessels. In former years this area was used by a great number of small coasting vessels, which were anchored side by side and at right angles to the axis of the river and loaded there.
With the employment, generally, of larger and deeper draft vessels, this area has become, so to say, useless. By partly filling it with the excavated material, which consists mostly of coarse gravel and rocks, being an excellent and permanent material for filling, the main channel will thereby be kept entirely clear of any deposits. Since the survey of the Penobscot River from Bangor to Crosbys Narrows, which was made in 1872–74, a large number of ice houses and other establishments, with the necessary wharves and piers, have been built on this part of the river.
These latter doubtless have caused considerable changes in the formation of the river bottom by contraction of cross section and by diversion of the currents. It would therefore seem appropriate to have a survey made from High Head wharves to Stern's Mill (a distance of about 24 miles), to locate all the new wharves, piers, and other structures, and to make a sufficient number of soundings to clearly define changes and the location of the channel.
The following estimate for the proposed improvements is herewith respectfully submitted: 1. Widening and deepening the ship channel in Bangor Harbor, Maine, 60
feet at its easterly edge, 11 feet deep at extreme low water, will require the removal of 47,600 cubic yards of material measured in scows (in cluding 1,600 cubic yards of dredging in front of the ferry landings), at 30 cents per cubic yard.....
$14, 280 2. For removing 200 cubic yards of large bowlders, at $5 per yard. 3. For removal of small ledge in front of harbor line, off Bacon's coal wharf.. 200 4. Contingencies and engineering expenses.
1, 520 Total cost of improvement. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. C. Both,
Assistant Engineer, Lieut. Col. JARED A. SMITH,
Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.
(Printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 76, Fifty-second Congress, first session.)
PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF KENNEBEC RIVER, MAINE, FROM WATER
VILLE TO STEAMBOAT WHARF AT AUGUSTA.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Portland, Me., December 12, 1890. GENERAL: In compliance with instructions in Department letter, dated September 20, 1890, I have the honor to submit the following report of a preliminary examination of the Kennebec River from Waterville to the steamboat wharf at Augusta, Me.
On the 21st of October I went over the entire distance of 16 miles from the dam at Waterville to steamboat wharf at Augusta, and observed the points bearing upon its improvement for navigation.
Leaving Waterville in a rowboat, accompanied by Hon. William T. Haines, secretary of the Waterville Navigation Company, and with a river pilot and a helper as oarsman, the channel was first observed as far as Vassalboro Landing, which is on the east side of the river, somewhat more than 6 miles below Waterville.
Nearly all the channel obstructions are included in this part of the river, and a small boat afforded better opportunities for inspecting the shallow places.
The landing at Waterville is now from a small channel behind a low island, which has been formed below the large cotton mill.
After passing out to the main channel of the river a bar of sawmill waste is found projecting beyond the island.
Descending the river, the water was generally found deep and smooth. I had no means of measuring the width between banks, but judged it to range from 600 to 1,200 feet, the broader places generally being the less deep.
Fort Point Reef, Pettys Rips, Carters Rapid, and Six Mile Fall are all places where the channel is more or less obstructed, apparently by bowlders and small stones in various sizes.
The ripple of the water over large bowlders was noticed in many places in or near the channel.
At one place in the river was a small machine, which the Navigation Company has been employing in removing some of the more annoying bowlders.
So far as can be judged by observing the formations of the banks or by prodding the bottom with a pole the improvement of the channel will not require the removal of solid ledge. This point can be definitely determined only by an examination of the bottom by borings or by driving rods.
At Vassalboro Landing I took passage on the steamer City of Waterville, in company with Mr. Haines and others.
There are no obstructions of any great present importance between
Vassalbory and the dam at Augusta, about 10 miles below. The river is, however, dotted with piers which have been built by lumber companies at whatever points suited their convenience for booming logs without reference to any channel for commercial navigation,
At one point the bank on the east side of the river was observed to be 6 caving in,” and thus widening the river, as a result of the increased current thrown against the shore by the piers.
Much of the time in summer the river in places is practically filled with logs, which extend from shore to shore. Many times in passing along the shore I have observed the accumulations of logs, which seemed to cover the water for miles.
In the autumn the amount of logs is naturally reduced to a minimum, and yet on arriving near the dam at Augusta the steamer was unable to reach the lock, owing to the logs which were held by a boom entirely inclosing the approaches.
The lumber companies, which have done so much injury to navigation and other interests by the waste from their mills, not only use the river for its legitimate purpose as a public highway for transportation, but use its channel to store and preserve the logs for an indefinite time, until they can be manufactured into lumber or pulp.
The dam at Augusta was built under a charter originally granted by the State of Maine, March 7, 1834. By an act of March 13,-1887, the name of the corporation was changed to the “ Kennebec Locks and Canals Company," and the capital stock was limited to $600,000.
The first boat passed through the lock on the 12th day of October, 1837.
As a description of the dam and lock are of interest in this connection, and as the record should be preserved, I quote the following from “The History of Augusta,” published in 1870, by James W. North, pages 579 and 580.
The dam at this time was 600 feet in length between the abutments, with a base of 127 feet and height of 16 feet above ordinary high water. It was built in the most substantial manner, with cribs of timber bolted and treenailed together and filled with ballast. The upper slope was covered with 5-inch pine plank, jointed; the lower with 5 and 3 inch hemlock plank. The top was covered with stone 8 feet long, secured with iron straps and bolts. The central portion for 60 feet was depressed 20 inches for a sluice way.
LONGITUDINAL SECTION OF DAM.
TRANSVERSE SECTION OF DAM. 1. Sheet piling; 2. Upper slope graveled; 3. Stone cap; 4. Lower slope. The walls of the lock were of granite, 170 feet in length, its chamber being 101 feet long by 284 feet wide in the clear, with a single list. The west wall of the lock formed the eastern abutment of the dam and was 28 feet at the base and 25 feet at
the top. The east and head walls were of corresponding thickness. The face courses of the walls were hammered bed and joint, rabbeted, and laid in cement and the rabbet filled with cement. The floor of the lock was laid with 5-inch pine plank, tongued and grooved, on timbers 15 inches deep. The main gates of the lock and canals were of Chesapeake white oak, with wickets of cast iron. The large stono piers above the dam to protect the lock and abutments were 30 feet square at the base, 25 feet at the top, and 34 feet high, strongly clamped and strapped with iron. The canals on each side of the river were 50 feet wide, carrying 10 feet of water from the level of the top of the dam. The walls were 22 feet high, 74 feet thick at the base, and 5 feet at the top. They were finished as far as and including the guard gates, from which sheet piling extended across and 25 feet into each bank and was driven 10 feet below the bottom of the canals. The bank walls, extending about 500 feet above and below the dam, were of the same height as the canal walls, and were 8 feet thick at the base. The upper side of the dam was secured by a sheet of timber piling, tongued and grooved, passing into the western bank and connecting with the piling crossing the lock into the eastern bank. Above this and covering the entire planking of the upper slope was a heavy mass of gravel.
About 25 tons of iron, 75,000 tons of ballast, and 2,500,000 feet of timber were used in constructing the dam, and 800,000 cubic feet of granite on the lock, piers, canal, and bank walls.
At a time peculiarly favorable for measuring the water, when the space through which the river flowed was contracted to 17 feet wide and 24 feet deep, repeated observations were made upon the velocity of the current, to ascertain the quantity of water passing, and at no time was it found to be less than 2,500,000 cubic feet per second. This was in 1837, a year remarkable for the small quantity of water running in all the streams in the neighborhood. The pond formed by the dam covers 1,200 acres. It is 16 miles long, with an average depth of 16 feet. This magnificent water power cost the large sum of $300,000,
The exact lift of the lock is not given, but the height of the dam is suffiient to afford practically a slack-water navigation for 10 miles above, and to reduce the surface declivity and therefore increase the depth over much of the remaining distance to Waterville.
Below the dam the water is quite rapid over a distance of perhaps one-fourth of a mile and the navigable channel is narrow.
The dam furnishes a water power for extensive cotton mills on the west side and for a mill for the manufacture of wood pulp adjacent to the lock on the east side of the river.
The water from the mills returns to the channel at points somewhat below the dam, so that in low stages of the river the channel at the foot of the lock has a smaller depth than would otherwise be found. On the day of my visit the depth in this channel was probably from 5 to 6 feet.
A lock-tender is employed and tolls are charged for the passage of boats.
In February, 1870, the old dam at Augusta was carried away in a freshet and some modifications were doubtless introduced in renewing it. The lock, however, remains essentially as first constructed.
The bridge of the Maine Central Railroad and the highway bridge belonging to the city of Augusta cross the river between the dam and the steamboat landing. The city bridge has recently been entirely rebuilt and some part of one or more of the old piers, as well as some loose stones which have been taken from them, are inore or less in the. channel way. Some stones, originally intended for use in piers of the railroad bridge, are also in the channel near the east shore. Neither of the bridges are provided with draws, but at present they are not required, because the bridges are sufficiently high to permit the passage of small steamboats underneath, and there is no present demand for vessels with masts to carry freight to points above.
A survey or reconnaissance of the Kennebec River from Augusta to Skowhegan, several miles above Waterville, was made under direction of Colonel Abert, of the United States Topographical Engineers, in the summer of 1826. There are no maps or other record of that survey in this office.
A considerable amount of navigation has at times extended over the river as far up as Waterville, both before and after the construction of the lock and dam.
North's History, already mentioned, states that the steamboat Waterville, built at Bath, was running on the river in 1825. In June of that year she took passengers to Portland on the occasion of the visit of Lafayette. The steamer could only run to Waterville when the river was swollen.
The steamer City of Waterville, now running upon the river above Augusta, is registered as of 32 tons burden, but its actual capacity is much larger. The boat is 90 feet long and 24 feet wide.
The trips of the steamer have been very seriously impeded and sometimes made quite impracticable by the vast storage of logs already mentioned. Notwithstanding the difficulties the steamer has run most of the time and has carried freight and passengers. I was informed that the running expenses of the steamer have been paid by receipts from passengers only, at rates about one-half those charged by the railroad for equal distances.
- The river from Waterville to Augusta is very direct, and its surround. ings give it a rare beanty. The west bank rises abruptly to a considerable height and where not too steep, the slope is wooded. The east bank is lower and the adjoining lands, rising more gently, are covered with good farms.
Waterville is the natural head of steam navigation, though Augusta is at the head of tidewater.
It was not practicable to obtain an exact statement of all the articles of freight upon which cheaper rates inay be expected by improving the channel for navigation.
In the evening of October 20 I held an informal conference with sev. eral representative citizens of Waterville, who assembled in the office of Hon. William T. Haines. The following points were developed :
Waterville is a prosperous business and manufacturing city of 7,500 inhabitants. It is also the seat of Colby University. Other towus and villages within the radius of a few miles and having a common interest with Waterville in obtaining cheaper transportation increase the aggregate population of the communities to more than 26,000.
There are but few rivers in the United States whose tonnage exceeds that of the Kennebec. The latest st: stics indicate that the annual freight tonnage on this river below Augusta exceeds 2,500,000 tons. In the freight tonnage statistics the vast amount of lumber floated down in single logs and rafts, both above and below Augusta, is not counted.
The annual consumption of coal sold at Waterville for manufacturing, and domestic use, as stated by dealers, is 17,000 tons. Of miscellaneous hardware there is 1,500 tons. In addition to these, nearly the entire consumption of flour, meal, corn and grain, lime, cement, and plaster, groceries, dry goods, clothing, rolled and cast iron, tin, glass, and many other articles, go to make up the freights which would be received by water, or obtain cheaper rates of freight by having a water communication. The total of such freights received may be estimated at 30,000 tons annually.
Exports are comparatively small, but would doubtless be increased with cheaper facilities for transportation. They consist of granite, slate, some lumber, and various agricultural productions. The passenger traffic is also an item of some importance in both directions.
At present a large part of the freight for Waterville and dependent communities is brought to Gardiner or Augusta by water and thence