Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

year ending May 31, 1885, to be 245,000 tops, and the number of passengers 260,000. Yours truly,

GEORGE PEIRCE,

Supervisor. Lieut. Col. GEORGE H. ELLIOT.

LETTER OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE NEWPORT AND WICKFORD RAILROAD

AND STEAMBOAT COMPANY.

Superintendent's Office,
Newport and Wickford Railroad and Steamboat Company,

NEWPORT, R. I., June 18, 1885. SIR: Your letter of June 16 duly received and contents noted, and I would say in reply that the number of passengers carried by this line from August 31, 1883, to September 1, 1884, was 66,074, and the total amount of freight was 1,690 tons. Yours truly,

Theo. WARREN,

Superintendent. Colonel ELLIOT,

Engineer Office, U. S. A.

HARBOR OF REFUGE AT BLOCK ISLAND, RHODE ISLAND.

This island is a part of the State of Rhode Island. It is 14 miles east of Montauk Point, the eastern end of Long Island, and its nearest point is about 10 miles south of the mainland. Besides the wants of the mackerel-fishing fleet and the general coast navigation, the island is an important point on our shores for ocean navigation. It has a signal station connected by submarine telegraph with the mainland. Vessels are passing the island at all times and on all sides of it, and its position renders it of national importance.

ORIGINAL CONDITION

Before the construction of the present harbor of refuge Block Island had no barbor which afforded protection for decked vessels. The only ones used were open boats, which, on the approach of storms, were hauled up on the beach by oxen, The largest of these boats were of about 10 tons burden. The mean rise and fall of the tide is about 3 feet.

PLANS OF THE WORKS.

The original project and its subsequent modifications provided for a harbor of refuge on the eastern side of the island, consisting of an inner harbor for the protection of small vessels and an exterior harbor for large ones. The former was to be about 250 to 300 feet in area, and inclosed, with the exception of an opening 60 feet wide in the clear on the sea side, by timber crib work filled with stones and resting on a riprap foundation. The exterior harbor was to be formed by a riprap breakwater designed to intercept the waves from the eastward, and the beds of both harbors to be cleared of bowlders. The next project (1881) was to build a masonry wall on the east side of the inner harbor in lieu of the old crib-work on that side, which was in danger of breaking down in storms, and also to protect the cliff which lies to the eastward of the harbor, the material of which was carried by the current into the harbor, decreasing its depth. The last project for the work, the one under which we are now working, provides for filling the gap in the main breakwater under the provisions of the act of Congress of July 5, 1884, appropriating $15,000 for “improving the breakwater.” This gap, 200 feet in length, and 1,400 feet from the shore, had been left for the convenience of vessels getting in and out of the harbor, but it was found to let in too much of the sea in stormy weather, interfering with the usefulness of the harbor. A plat of Block Island, showing the position of the harbor of refuge and a plan of the works, will be found with the special report on the enlargement of the inner harbor which accompanies this report.

AMOUNT EXPENDED, AND RESULTS, TO JUNE 30, 1884.

The inner barbor and the main breakwater, built in prolongation of the eastern side of the inner harbor and extending 1,900 feet from the shore, were constructed in the years 1870 to 1879, inclusive. The utility of the work at once became apparent. In stormy weather the inner harbor especially was filled with fishermen and coasters, and it soon became necessary to increase its depth from 7 feet, to which it had been dredged in the first instance, to 9 feet at mean low water. In 1883 a strong jetty was built out from the cliff to the eastward of the inner harbor, and a masonry wall was constructed on the inside of the crib-work forming the eastern side of the inner harbor for the purposes before mentioned.

The total expenditures up to June 30, 1884, including liabilities outstanding at that date, were $306,859.98.

OPERATIONS DURING THE LAST FISCAL YEAR,

At the beginning of the last fiscal year no work was in progress. In August, 1884, a survey of the bottom of the inner and outer harbors was made by Assistant Engineer Judson, assisted by a party in the United States schooner Surveyor, and at the same time the wharf in the inner harbor, which had been repaired in 1883 by means of an approprivtion which was made in 1882, was again repaired, as far as the funds available for the purpose would allow. It is proper to be remarked in this connection that this wharf is so thoroughly decayed that it is past any useful repair, and should be replaced by a new structure. The supplies for the light houses are landed here, and all the passengers (many thousand annually) and all the goods to and from the island arrive at and depart from it, except that in summer months an excursion steamer from the mainland uses for its passen. gers a small private wharf in the outer harbor, but this wharf cannot be used in winter on account of the exposure of the outer harbor. As the case now stands, the public considers the wharf a Government wharf, and that it has no right to do anything to it, and if it is not to be renewed at Government expense by means of an appropriation made for the purpose-it will require about $2,500-provision should be made for turning it over to the authorities of the town of New Shoreham (the corporate name of Block Island) for public use and maintenance.

On the 6th of October, 1884, advertisements were issued for riprap granite for filling the gap under the provisions of the act of Congress of July 5, 1884, appropriating $15,000 for improving the breakwater. The following proposals were received and were opened on the 28th of the same month:

Price per

NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF BIDDERS.

ton of 2,240

pounds.

James Scully, Groton, Conn..
Isaac A. Sylvester, Newton Centre, Mass..

$1 65 1 67

With the approval of the Chief of Engineers, the contract was awarded to Mr. James Scully, the lowest bidder; contract dated November 15, 1884, to be commenced within one month after signing of contract, unless otherwise agreed, and completed August 31, 1885.

Work under the above contract was commenced March 19, 1885, and at the end of the fiscal year is still in progress. The amount of riprap stone deposited in the gap during the year was 5,795 tons. Mr. Andrew R. Elliot is the local inspector of the work.

On the 8th December, 1884, the following resolution was passed by the Senate of the United States:

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

December 8, 1884. Resolved, That the Secretary of War be, and he hereby is, directed to commupicate to the Senate, without unnecessary delay, whether there exists a public necessity for the enlargement of the basin or harbor inside the breakwater at Block Island, Rhode Island, for the proper accommodation of the shipping seek. ing refuge at that place; and, if so, to what extent should such enlargement be made, and what would be the probable cost thereof. Attest:

Anson G. McCook,

Secretary

In compliance with the above resolution I was directed to make report. My report and estimate, dated December 30, 1884, were transmitted to Congress and printed as Senate Ex. Doc. No. 27, Forty-eighth Congress, second session, and a copy will be found appended hereto.

AMOUNT EXPENDED, AND PROGRESS, DURING THE LAST FISCAL YEAR.

The amount expended during the last fiscal year, including liabilities outstanding June 30, 1885, was $12,065.11, and the result was the filling of the whole length of the gap nearly up to mean low water, but not to the full width of the breakwater at that level. The width of the filling at the top on June 30, 1885, was about 10 feet.

OPERATIONS CONTEMPLATED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1886.

With the remainder of the funds available for the purpose, it is proposed to carry the filling of the gap in the breakwater as high as they will admit. It is expected that the current contract will be completed, and the appropriation of July 5, 1884, will be exhausted, August 31, 1885. No appropriation having been made for this work at the last session of Congress, no other work will be done during the next fiscal year.

WORK REQUIRED TO BE DONE TO COMPLETE THE EXISTING PROJECT.

The work wbich will be required to be done to complete the present project after the completion of the current contract will be the filling of the gap to its full height of 6 feet above mean bigh water and its full width at top of 25 feet.

It should be remarked that the enlargement of the inner harbor or basin not having yet been acted upon by Congress, the cost of this work, which will be found in the special report on the subject which is appended to this report, is not included in the "amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project” in the following money statement:

Block Island is in the Newport collection district, and Newport is the nearest port of entry. There is no duly collected at the island. The value of the harbor is mainly as a barbor of refuge for coasting vessels. There are four lights on the

island, the north and south lights and the break water lights. The nearest fortification is Fort Adams, Newport, R. I.

MONEY STATEMENT.

July 1, 1884, amount available.....
Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884....

$3,140 02 15,000 00

18,140 02

July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclu

sive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884.... July 1, 1885, outstanding liabilities.....

$7,849 29
4,215 82

12,065 11

July 1, 1885, amount available....

6,074 91

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project..... 24,000 00 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1887.......

24,000 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river

and harbor acts of 1866 and 1867.

SPECIAL REPORT ON ENLARGEMENT OF THE BASIN OR HARBOR INSIDE THE

BREAKWATER AT BLOCK ISLAND, RHODE ISLAND.

ENGINEER OFFICE, UNITED STATES ARMY,

NEWPORT, R. I., December 30, 1884.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of the following resolution of the Senate of the United States:

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

December 8, 1894. Resolved, That the Secretary of War be, and he hereby is, directed to communicate to the Senate, without unnecessary delay, whether there exists a public necessity for the enlargement of the basin or harbor inside the breakwater at Block Island, R. I., for the proper accommodation of the shipping seeking refuge at that place, and, if so, to what extent should such enlargement be made, and what would be the probable cost thereof. Attest:

ANSON G. McCook,

Secretary.

In compliance with the directions contained in an indorsement on the above resolution, I beg leave to submit the following report:

« AnteriorContinuar »