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Licenses have been issued as follows :
No. 66, June 16, to the Fall River and Providence Steamboat Company to repair their wharf near South Water street in Providence.
No. 67, June 16, to Smith Grant & Co., to repair and restore the wharf on the west side of Pawtucket river near Ship street, in the city of Pawtucket.
No. 68, December 15, to the Providence Yacht Club to erect a Club House on Big Rock, off Pawtuxet Neck in Providence river, also for a bridge from the Rock to said Neck.
Assent has been given as follows:
1. January 27, to the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company to drive piles and erect a temporary bridge at the entrance to Apponaug Cove in Warwick.
2. April 28, to Rooks & Havens to build a wharf at the foot of Atlantic avenue in Warwick.
3. May 19, to Wm. H. Swift to extend to the harbor line a portion of the Thompson wharf, opposite Peck street, in the city of Providence.
4. June 2, to Wm. H. Swift to drive for temporary use, guide piles opposite Thompson wharf, the piles to be removed later.
5. July 28, to Joseph Smith and others to build a wharf on the east side of Providence river southerly from Sabin's Point.
Many matters, small individually, but of importance in the aggregate, have occupied the attention of the Commissioners and have been acted upon.
The unsafe condition of wharves, piers and other structures, sometimes endangering human life, has received serious consideration by the Commissioners. It is their firm belief that some representative of the State should have definite authority and responsibility in this
matter, in the interest of public safety, and they recommend the matter to the attention of the General Assembly.
The reconstruction of the guide piling, in the neighborhood of the railroad bridge at India Point, in a new location, has received attention and the work is now going on so as to leave a clear passage of sixty feet through the draw.
WORK UNDER U. S. ENGINEER.
By the courtesy of Lieutenant-Colonel George H. Elliot, Corps of Engineers, we have been furnished with a copy of his report to the Chief of Engineers, U. S. A., for 1886, from which we have made extracts in relation to the work in Rhode Island waters under his charge previous to July 1886, which will be found in the Appendix.
We have also from Col. Elliot the statement that 21,922 cubic yards of material have been dredged in Newport harbor since the first of July last, in completing the dredging at the southern entrance to 15 feet depth at mean low water, and in continuing the excavation of that part of the inner anchorage which is to be excavated to a depth of 13 feet at mean low water. No other work has been done in that part of his district which is in Rhode Island, since July 1, 1886.
J. HERBERT SHEDD,
EXTRACT FROM REPORT OF LIEUT.-COL. ELLIOT TO
CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A., FOR 1886.
IMPROVEMENT OF PAWTUCKET RIVER, RHODE ISLAND.
The navigable part of the Pawtucket (or Seekonk) River, an arm of Provi. dence River, extends from Providence to Pawtucket, a city which has a population of about 23,000, and extensive manufactures, depending largely on water transportation. The object of the improvement is to widen and deepen the channel leading to Pawlucket, so that vessels of 12 feet draught can reach that city at mean low water. The mean rise and fall of the tide is about 5 feet.
Before improvement, the channel in the river had a ruling depth of about 5 feet at mean low water.
PLANS OF IMPROVEMENT.
The original project as modified in 1883 provides for the excavation by dredg. ing of a channel 100 feet wide and 12 feet deep at mean low water from the deep water above Red Bridge to the ledge opposite Grant & Co.'s Wharf at Pawtucket; thence, the deepening by blasting of the channel through the ledge to Pawtucket Bridge to the same depth and 40 feet wide.
A plat of the river showing the lines of the proposed channel was published in the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1884, page 608.
AMOUNT EXPENDED AND RESULTS TO JUNE 30, 1885.
The amount expended to June 30, 1885, was $52,718.44. The channel had been excavated under the original project to a width of 75 feet and a ruling depth of 7 feet at mean low water. A contract had been made for deepening and widening this channel according to the modified plan of 1883, but the work had not been commenced.
OPERATIONS DURING THE LAST FISCAL YEAR.
At the beginning of the last fiscal year no work was in progress. A contract, described in the last Annual Report, had been made in October, 1884, with Elijah Brainard and Thomas H. Benton, of New York, for dredging a channel 12 feet deep and 100 feet wide from the deep water just above Red Bridge as far towards the city of Pawtucket as the available funds would pay for, but the work was not to be commenced until the old Washington Bridge across the river near its mouth, which formed such an obstruction to navigation as would interfere with the passage of tows of the dredged material, should be removed. This delayed the commencement of the work till August 7, 1885, from which time it was continued until December 7, when the work was suspended for the winter by ice, and it was resumed on April 9, 1886. The time of completion of the contract was extended by authority of the Chief of Engineers to June 7, 1886, It was completed May 28, 1886, 212,734.57 cubic yards of material baving been removed during the fiscal year. In November, 1885, a series of observations of the rise and fall of the tide at Pawtucket was made for future determinations of the effect of the enlargement of the water-way on the tides at that place. Mr. John S. Engs, Jr., was the local inspector of the work.
AMOUNT EXPENDED DURING THE LAST FISCAL YEAR, AND RESULTS TO JUNE 30,
The amount expended during the last fiscal year, including liabilities outstanding June 30, 1886, $49,241.02. The new channel, 12 feet deep and 100 feet wide with wide enlargements at the bends, has been carried from its mouth at the deep water just above Red Bridge, a distance of about 8,740 feet, or to a point about 1,000 feet above a line drawn from Bucklin Island to Swan Point Wharf.
This completed portion of the channel is already a great benefit to the commerce of the river and gives much satisfaction. A ruling depth of about 6 feet can be carried from the upper end of our present work to Pawtucket.
WORK REQUIRED TO BE DONE TO COMPLETE THE EXISTING PROJECT.
The work yet to be done is to excavate by dredging the channel 12 feet deep
and 100 feet wide from the point to which the last contract carried it to a point opposite Grant & Company's Wharf, and from thence to Pawtucket Bridge to deepen the channel through the ledge to the same depth with a width of 40 feet.
OPERATIONS CONTEMPLATED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1887.
It is proposed to devote the small remainder on band July 1, 1886, and the appropriation made by the act of August 5, 1886, to the excavation by dredging of the upper reaches of the new channel, and, if the funds will admit, to the commencement of the work on the ledge which lies in the channel off Pawtucket.
Pawtucket is in the collection district of Providence, and that port is the nearest port of entry. The amount of revenue collected at Providence in the last fiscal year was $180,933. The nearest light-house is Sassafras Point Light. The nearest fortifications are Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island, and the fort on Dutch Island, Rhode Island.
July 1, 1885, amount available......
$49,287 52 July 1, 1886, amount expended during fiscal year, ex
clusive of liabilities outstanding July 1, 1885........ $49,217 27 July 1, 1886, outstanding liabilities..
July 1, 1886, amount available.....
46 50 30,000 00
Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1887.......
Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project..... 302,478 00
75,000 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
harbor acts of 1866 and 1867.
PAWTUCKET BUSINESS MEN'S ASSOCIATION,
PAWTUCKET, July 20, 1886. DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 17th ultimo to the President of this association in relation to improvements of Pawtucket River was received in due time. In