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This work of deep dredging and towing to distant dumping ground will cost probably 20 cents per cubic yard:

790,000 cubic yards, at 20 cents.....
For superintendence, &c...



Additional cost of enlarged channel.

$175,000 The entire amount to be appropriated to complete the improvement of Provi. dence Harbor and River is then as follows: Amount required on first project........

$270,000 Additional amount required on enlarged project....



This work can be prosecuted at all points at once, and at least $200,000 could be expended in a favorable year, if proper contractors can be secured for the operations.

Accompanying this report are the following maps:

(No. 1.) Coast Survey map of Narragansett Bay, with the curve of 25 feet depth and the proposed dredging shown in red.

(No. 2.) A map of Providence River from Fox Point to Field's Point, showing the present depths, with the proposed dredging shown in red. This is a tracing on a scale of 200 feet to the inch.

(No. 3.) A map of Providence River from Field's Point down to and including Gaspee Shoal, with the proposed channel shown in red. This is a tracing on a scale of 400 feet to an inch. Very respectfully,

G. K. WARREN, Lieutenant Colonel of Engineers,

Bot. Maj. Gen. U. S. A. Brig. Gen. H. G. WRIGHT,

Chief of Engineers, U. S. A. Washington, D. C.


Providence; R I., March 20, 1882.


Senators and Representatives :
GENTLEMEN: I am directed by the harbor commissioners to commend to you
the communication of the president of the board of trade, urging an appropria-
tion by Congress for increasing the width and depth of water-way across the bars
in the channel leading to Providence Harbor.

In the opinion of this board the city of Providence has peculiar advantages of location as an importing and exporting station. Its outer harbor is Narragansett

Bay, containing about 70 square miles of anchorage area, completely land-locked, where all the shipping of the country could ride out any storm in safety. Two unobstructed passages lead to this basin, and through one or the other the largest vessels that float could enter without a pilot in a storm from any quarter. Ice never prevents making a good harbor here. For about 20 miles from the sea vessels of 30-feet draft could find free passage, but from that point to the city a few bars occur which will prevent their further passage until a deeper channel is dredged across them.

There is, perhaps, no harbor in the country where dredging can be done at less cost per yard, and there is little silt naturally brought down by the rivers. The channel once deepened would be permanent, or could be maintained at very small average annual expenditure.

As no strong natural forces tend to shoal the entrance from the sea, as at some of our ports, and no ledge needs to be removed, at great expense, to gain sufficient depth, as at others, the harbor of Providence offers, in our belief, great inducements for improvement to secure some of the increased accommodations required by the growing traffic of the country with foreign nations. Very respectfully,





January Session, A. D. 1882. RESOLUTIONS relative to the harbor of the city of Providence. Whereas within the past few weeks a direct railroad communication has been established between the city of Providence and the Western States, by which the varied products of that great section of country, that are transported over the main trunk lines of railroad, may be distributed not only throughout New England, but also forwarded to foreign lands by the unequalled facilities of Narragansett Bay; and

Whereas this new communication has been secured by the completion of the New York and New England Railroad, the managers of which have declared their willingness and their determination to afford to the city of Providence equal advantages with the city of Boston in the transportation and delivery of freight at tide-water in said city of Providence; and

Whereas the city of Providence has declared its intention to improve its tide. water facilities by the vote of its city council to expend the sum of $75,000 during the present season in dredging that portion of the harbor within its jurisdiction; and

Whereas the board of trade in said city has by its action and through its officers and committees secured assurances from responsible parties that the large ocean steamers for foreign trade can and will be sent to said city as soon as the dredging now required shall be accomplished; and

Whereas it is desirable and necessary that, in view of these facts, the sum to be expended by the general government during the approaching season should be largely augmented to the end that the present ship channel may be deepened to a

depth of not less than 25 feet at mean low-water, and widened to a width of not less than 300 feet: Therefore,

Resolved (the House of Representatives concurring herein), That the Senators and Representatives from this State in Congress be requested to take such action as shall to them seem most expedient to obtain such an increase in the annual appropriation for immediate use in the harbor of Providence and the approaches thereto as will secure the deepening and widening of the main ship channel, as above set forth.

Resolved, That a duly authenticated copy of the aforegoing be forwarded to each of the Senators and Representatives from this State in the Congress.

I certify the foregoing to be a true copy of resolutions passed by the general assembly of said State March 21, 1882.


Secretary of State.


Congress, by act approved March 3, 1881, appropriated $5,000 for this improve. ment. Proposals for dredging under this appropriation were publicly invited, and the work awarded to Mr. S. A. Hammond, the lowest bidder, at 23 cents per cubic yard. (See last annual report.)

Mr. Hammond commenced work on his contract July 1, 1881, and continued until its completion, in October, 1881; 15,012 cubic yards of sand and mud were removed. The greater part of this work was done in making a channel 115 feet wide and 5 feet deep at mean low-water across the bar at the mouth of the river. The other dredging done was at sharp points in the river between the month and Hopeland's wharf. These points were cut off, so as to make the channel easier to navigate. An old landing, composed of 93 yards of stone and 12 logs, was was also removed by the contractor.

Euston's Rocks were removed to a depth of 5 feet at mean low-water by divers employed by the day; 63 tons of rock were removed in all, at an expense of $496.

This improvement was under the superintendence of Assistant Engineer H. A. Bentley

The project, with the modification of width of channel from 150 feet to 115 feet, is completed, and no further appropriation is asked.


$4,951 01

July 1, 1881, amount available.....
July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities

July 1, 1881..

4,951 01


At the date of the last annual report a contract had been made with Mr. Henry E. Dubois for dredging under the appropriation of $25,000 by act approved March 3, 1881.

The work of excavation was commenced July 19, 1881, and prosecuted up to December 17, 1881, when 91,102 cubic yards, or about one half the contract, had been completed.

In drawing specifications for this work it was assumed that the material forming the bottom was mud, like that of the sur and that a sufficient quantity at least would be found, the removal of which would exhaust this appropriation. As the work of dredging was continued it was ascertained that in many places this covering of mud was only about 1 foot thick, and underlying this was a formation of stiff clay, with occasional ridges of sand, gravel, and small bowl. ders. In the early part of the work these ridges were only occasionally found, but they increased in size and number as the work went on. The contract called for the removal of mud only, and when these hard spots were met they were left.

It was thought that the interests of the improvement suffered under this method of proceeding, and that it would cost more to go over the work twice, as it would be necessary to do to leave the required depth of 13 feet; at the same time it was entailing a hardship on the contractor to compel him to work at such disadvantage. The contract was therefore annulled by mutual consent.

Proposals to dredge to 13 feet depth at mean low-water, and calling for the removal of mud, shells, gravel and small stones, clay and sand, and bowlders when not too large to go in dipper of dredge, were advertised for under date of January 20, 1882.

The following proposals were received and opened February 6, 1882:

[blocks in formation]

The contract was awarded to Mr. E. M. Payn, the lowest bidder. Mr. Payn commenced work March 25, 1882, and at this date is prosecuting it. The total number of cubic yards removed during fiscal year ending June 30, 1882, is 115,6978. The anchorage area between Commercial Wharf and Long Wharf of from 11 to 13 feet depth at mean low-water bas been increased about 16 acres.

This improvement is under the superintendence of Assistant Engineer H. A. Bentley

The original estimate for increased anchorage was made without a special survey, and the material was thought to be mud, and that it could be dredged with clam-shell dredges. This proved to be otherwise, and the difficulty of digging made the cost 50 per cent. more than was estimated. Hence the original estimate should, on account of the hardness of the material, and also on account of enhanced prices of labor and material, be increased from $72,000 to $108,000. Add to this probably 80,000 cubic yards at 30 cents per cubic yard (not included in above) to deepen, straighten, and widen the entrance on the south side of Goat Island to 13 feet at mean low-water (this is much desired by the steamboat navigation), we thus have a

Total cost of....
There has been appropriated...



Leaving to be provided.-..


There could be profitably expended in one year $50,000.


$24,832 85

July 1, 1881, amount available..
July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding

liabilities July 1, 1881......
July 1, 1882, outstanding liabilities....

$16,302 35

489 45

16,791 80

July 1, 1882, amount available.......
Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882.

$8,041 05 20,000 00

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.......

$28,041 05

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project........
Amount that can be profitably expended in tiscal year ending June 30, 1884.........

$87.000 00

50,000 00


No work has been done here during the past year.

The small amount of money on hand is insufficient to do anything more than make an examination, if one were needed.

In obedience to a resolution of the Senate, a report on the condition of the government wharf and docks and estimate of repairs and protection were submitted. This report was printed as Senate Ex. Doc. No. 26, Forty-seventh Congress, first session; it is appended to this report.

The appropriation of $19,000 by act of Congress of August 2, 1882, will be expended during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883, in making the repairs and cliff protection estimated for in the appended report,

An appropriation of $35,000 could be judiciously expended in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1884, in extending the main work to secure additional shelter, and in this way relieve the basin, which is at times too small to meet the demands

upon it.


126 26

July 1, 1881, amount available.....
July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities

July 1, 1881.....

61 12

July 1, 1882, amount available.
Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882.....

$65 14 19,00000

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883........

19.06.5 14

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project.......
Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884..

$35,000 00
35,00) 00

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