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Summit to mouth of Castleman..
$2, 699, 532 1, 515, 437
11, 543, 560
Total, including reservoirs and feeders...
for the Savage River route, they would have added....
Making a total of.... Adding 25 per cent., as before...
12, 193, 560 3,043, 390
15, 241,950 Contingencies, 10 per cent.....
1,524, 195 Cost of ninety-eight miles, averaging $171,083.11..,
16,766, 145 Showing an average of $12,739 more per mile than by our estimate.
The difference between the two estimates of $3,501,890, if reduced by the cost of the increased number of locks and greater length of tunnel on the Savage River route, will be but $2,003,000, reducing the average cost per mile to $147,207, indicating the more favorable character of the route in regard to cost of construction, as was stated in the description of the character of the route.
If, in further comparison of the Will's Creek and Savage River routes with reference to their costs now, we take into consideration that the Will's Creek route between Cumberland and Meyers' Mills is occupied by a railroad in operation holding almost the very ground on which the canal was located, in a valley of which a great portion is not wide enough for two such works, and wherein the canal would necessarily have to be located across the railroad several times under the most unfavorable conditions, and with a second railroad between Cumberland and Little Will's Creek, a distance of fifteen miles, the present recast of the former estimate would fall far short of the extraordinary expenses that aro contingent upon the above conditions. It may be affirined of the Savage River route that "it would not cost more than the Till's Creek route."
The tunnel on the Deep Creek route was planned for a length of one and one-third miles, but the western deep-cut approach would be five and one-quarter miles long.
The quantities given in this estimate of cost are as correct as may be, without a more detailed survey and a definite location. The line of the proposed tunnel could not be surveyed to determine its precise length, nor the character of the approaches thereto, nor the location and depth of shafts, all which were determined from the preliminary survey. It is but a reasonable presumption that a careful study of the ground would indicate a somewhat shorter tunnel by correction of chaining and plat, and indicate favorable places for the approaches thereto, that would reduce the estimate of cost.
The strata that would be pierced by the tunnel are inclined at angles of 15° to 20°, are carboniferous, and contain a portion of the “ lower coal-measures," as described in Professor Lesley's report. The unfavorable condition of the pierced strata would necessitate the lining of the water-section of the tunnel to preserve the summit feedwater.
The tunnel is presumed to be operated by steam-tngs, for the reason that a sufficient number of them can be maintained and operated to accommodate the presumed business of the canal at a cost far less than the interest on the cost of increasing the size of the tunnel, so as to provide it with towing-paths; it is, however, wide enough to be operated in both directions at the same time, as it was thought that the delays in operating a long tunnel only wide enough for one boat would be very burdensome to business. Assuming a speed of three miles per hour through the tunnel, boats arriving shortly after a convoy had started through would be detained nearly four hours, and while waiting, if the season were a busy one, boats would rapidly accumulate until there would be more than could be taken through in one convoy, and a blockade that could not be remedied would be formed; in the same manner a narrow tunnel with a towpath would cause a still more serious obstruction to business, as a convoy would consume at least three hours in passing through the tunnel, and thus there would be greater delays and unavoidable blockades. If steam should be brought to supersede horse-power on the canal, the tunel wonld be favorably conditioned for accommodating the maximun trafic that could pass through other portions of the canal.
The tunnel could be operated with an endless chain, or wire rope, worked by stationary machinery, or by pneumatic tubes fixed on the sides of the timnel in connection with fixed engines, so arranged as to tow single boats at from four to six miles per hour.
The present state of the enterprise does not warrant an investigation of these suggestions.
An examination bas been begin to determine the conditions governing the introduction of inclined planes as substitutes for locks, their economic value as to cost, and economy of time, and water-supply, and their applicability for carrying canal-transit routes over high mountain-ranges.
Of the importance to be attached to the extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Caval as one of the water-lines of transportation between the Atlantic seaboard and the great cereal-producing region of the great Mississippi Valley, nothing can be added to the volumes that have been devoted to that subject since Washington first interested himself in the scheme of improving the navigation of the Potomac River, with the ultimate purpose of bringing the products of the then West to the seaboard by this route.
The unparalleled development of the great West into a deuse population of agriculturists and collaborators renders the necessity of extension of this route urgent, and the condition of monopolies controlling the transportation of the products of the West, establishing the condition of middlemen between the consumers and producers at a ruinous cost, brings about the clamorous demands for its early completion.
The products of the region referred to may be stated at 40,000,000 tons, of which 25,000,000 tons, at least, are destined for market. The capacities for carrying this eastward are as follows, based upon the work done by the routes named : The Erie Canal carries in one year, tous
2, 640,000 The Erie Railway, tons
395,000 The Pennsylvania Railroad, tons.
880,000 The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, tons.
600,000 The New York Central Railroad...
1, 200,000 The other railway lines, say, tons
6,715,000 Showing that only about one-fourth of the products seeking a market come direct to the East, and that more than one-third seeks the cheapness of the water-line.
The necessity and utility of additional cheap water-lines of transportation are apparent. Further illustration of the utility of this route as a through line of transportation is uncalled for, in view of the forthcoming report of the United States Senate committee on lines of transportation ; but the local interests dependent on the extension of this route are worthy of special consideration.
The first consideration is the further development of the valley of the North Branch of the Potomac River above Cumberland and its several tributaries, in the progress of which the low rates of transportation by canal as compared with railroads are of the first importance.
The second important consideration is the establishment of canal transportation to the Cumberland coal-basin at Piedmont, twenty-eight miles beyond and west of Cumberland, by which convenience the cost of coal to the sea-coast market should be reduced by $1.65 per ton on present rates by railroads, and a dollar per ton on present combined rates on railroad and canal.
As a third consideration, there are extensive beds of the lower coal-series, described in the appended report of Professor Lesley, (Appendix B) on the North Branch, from the mouth of Savage River to its headwaters, a length of some thirty miles, and extensive forests of the finest of timber, both on the North Branch and the Savage rivers, already in demand, and now taken to market under great disadvantages and at heavy cost.
But the most important feature, and the one promising the greatest benefit, one that will soon be demanded as a great necessity for the extension, is the fact that the Savage River route traverses the very valuable and extensive Salisbury coal-basin, which by calculation contains 90,000,000 tons of coal that can be brought to market out of a deposit estimated at 154,000,000 tons, lying above the beds of the Castleman River, at the place where this route enters the valley. The quantity available from the lower coal-series, lying below the bed of the river, is estimated at 90,000,000 tons out of a deposit of 120,000,000 tons. The upper beds can be worked by galleries and adits nearly horizontal, are readily drained, and are identical with the great Pittsburgh, Sewickly, and Cumberland beds, and of same general quality.
Late estimates of the quantity of coal remaining of the great vein of the Cumberland basin give, for 1869, 112,000,000 tons. This basin is being exhausted at the rate of 2,000,000 tons per annum, increasing at the rate of 5 per cent. each year, and at this rate will be exhausted in about twenty years; and the next available coal-field is the Salisbury basin, only some twenty miles more distant from the eastern markets, and yet within economic distance.
The Cumberland coal is now taxed by railroad freights $3.16 per ton per two hundred and twelve miles, quite nearly one and a half cents per ton per mile. This coal could be brought to the seaboard by caval for $1.06 per ton exclusive of tolls, which would be in full business, say 30 cents per ton, a total of $1.36 per ton, a saving to the consumer of $1.80 on present prices, or nearly 36 per cent.
The Salisbury beds are opened in several places, and a railroad is graded to connect with the Baltimore and Pittsburgh line. The Keystone Coal Company are mining
and putting coal on the Baltimore and Pittsburgh Railroad by a narrow-gauge line at the rate of 150 tons per day; but the railroad monopoly obstructs tho getting of the products of this coal-basin to market, and retards and delays the operations of mining; and consequently the Cumberland Coal Companies avoid competition; all which reacts on the prices at the eastern coal-markets, to the great disadvantage of all classes of consumers, domestic and productive.
For a faithful and full report on the Salisbury coal-basin with regard to quantity, quality, and geological identity, I am enabled to refer to the accompanying report of Prof. J. P. Lesley, for the use of which I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. John Anspach, president of the Salisbury and Baltimore Railroad and Coal Company; I am also indebted to Mr. Frank T. Wilson, engineer for the company, for valuable information and professional courtesies.
That the lower coal-series can be extensively worked on the north branch above the mouth of Savage River is without question, as many places are opened to veins of 6 and 8 feet thickness, and even of greater thickness, near the head of that stream.
The importance of this extension is also apparent in regard to reaching the several coal-fields of the Youghiogheny, referred to in Professor Lesley's report. Very respectfully,
THOMAS S. SEDGWICK Col. WM. E. MERRILL,
Major Engineers, l. $. d.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT ON THE CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO
CANAL, FEBRUARY 2, 1825.
This canal may be divided in three sections-eastern, middle, and western. The eastern section extends from the tide-water in the Potomac to the mouth of Savage River, in the northern branch of the Potomac. Tie niddle section extends from the mouth of Savage River in the Potomac to that of Bear Creek in the Youghiogheny. The western section from the mouth of Bear Creek to the Ohio at Pittsburgh.
[As this section has been built, all matters relating to it are omitted.]
This section, from the mouth of Savage River in the north branch of the Potomac, extends to the mouth of Bear Creek, in the Youghiogheny, on the west side of thó Alleghanies. It includes the summit-level of the canal, and from the complicated topography of the ground, the height which must be overcome in a short space, and the ditticulty of securing a sufficient supply of water in dry seasons at such an elevation, presents the greatest difficulties which occur in the whole project.
The Little Back Bone Ridge divides the waters, which, in that part of the Allegbabies, ruins east and west; it runs parallel to the Great Back Boue, through which Savage River forces its way, and the canal must absolutely pass through this gap. Between those two ridges run Crabtree Creek, from south west to northeast, and Savage River from northwest to southeast, the former falling into Savage River four and a half miles above its mouth in the Potomac. From tho west side of the Little Back Bone falls Deep Creek and the Little Youghiogheny; the latter runs from east to west, and, after forcing its way successively through Hoop-pole Ridge and Roman Nose Ridge, joins the Great Youghiogheny. Deep Creek runs at first to the nort!ı, crossing Hoop-pole Ridge and Negro Mountain ; then, intercepted by Marsh Mountain, it turns west and falls into the Youghiogheny. The gap through which it forces its way across the Hoop-pole Ridge is only sixty-six yardy wide, and is called the Narrows.
The heads of the Littie and Great Youghioglieny, to some miles above the point where they join in a single stream, run through marshy meadows known by the name of glades. The valleys of Deep Creek and its tributaries offer the same features as low down as Marsh Mountain, from whence their course continues in a deep and narrow ravine, with steep and rugged banks. The bottom of these glades, which has been sounded in several places, presents the following layers: first, rich loam; second, sand, colored by oxydated iron; third, vegetablo detritics; fourth, alluvial clay; fifth, a horizontal bank of sandstone, 4 or 5 feet below the surface, on which the other layers all lie.
The Great Yougbiogheny, after receiving the Little Youghiogheny and Deep Creek, receives Bear Creek. The east branch of this last stream rises on the west side of Negro Mountain, and runs from south to north till it forces its way through Keyser's Ridge; it then runs suddenly west, and, after forcing through Winding Ridge, falls into the Youghiogheny. Its west branch springs from the west side of Keyser's Ridge, and joins the other at the gap, where it forces its way through Winding Ridge.
Savage River runs on a bed of sandstone; its course is rapid, and broad flats extend along both its banks. Crabtree Creek is the chief tributary stream which joins it; it runs between the Great and Little Backbone, and is formed by the junction of Crabby's Arm and Wilson's Fork, which take their sources in that part of the Little Backbone which divides their ravines from the valley of the Little Youghiogheny. Crabby's Arm runs in a varrow vale, but which is, however, wide enough to receive a canal ; its bottom is a black, alluvial soil, and its banks present a gentle slope. Wilson's Fork is more rapid, but runs in a wide and well-wooded valley. These two streams join at Swan's Mill, from whence they impetuously descend on a bed from ten to twenty yards wide. They are interrupted in two or three places by perpendicular falls, 7 or 8 feet high, and frequently by smaller rapids, which fall from 4 to 5 feet. From the Great Backbone, Crabtree Creek receives several tributaries; they are torrents which fall into it with great impetuosity. On both sides of its valleys run flats eight or ten yards wide, which are intersected by rugged bluffs, from 100 to 200 feet high, which divide them into isolated portions, the bluffs on one side of the stream lying, in general, opposite to the flats on the other, and the two banks presenting an alternate succession of the same features.
Such are the main streams which, in this section, descend from the two sides of the Alleghanies.
To conduct the canal across this summit ground we must, 1st, select the best passage for it through the Little Backbone, by leading it either from the valley of Savage River to that of Deep Creek, and from that of Crabtree Creek to the same, or from the valley of Crabtree Creek to that of the Little Youghiogheny; 2d, ascertain which of these passages presents the shortest route from the mouth of Savage River to that of Bear Creek; 3), ascertain, as the most essential element of the whole project, whether a supply of water sufficient for all the purposes of the canal can be procured at this elevation.
We shall point out the several passages which lead through the Little Backbone, beginning by those which lead from the valley of Savage River to that of Deep Creek. But, in the first place, it is necessary to state that a base-mark has been fixed on the bridge of Deep Creek, 3 feet above its bottom; to this have been referred all the levels taken on this section of the canal.
Monroe Run, a tributary of Savage River, and Meadow Mountain Run, a tributary of Deep Creek, offer the only ravines through which Deep Creek and Savage River can be connected. For this purpose it will be necessary to run a tunnel through the Little Backbone. Supposing its bed on a level with the base-mark, and a deep cut of 35 feet at each extremity of it, this tunnel would extend five miles 8334 yards in length. The greatest elevation of the ridge above the bed of the tunnel would be 213 feet. From its eastern extremity to the mouth of Monroe Run, in Savage River, the descent is 983 feet, on a length of five miles 8163 yards. From the mouth of Monroe Run to that of Crabtree Creek, in Savage River, the descent is 109 feet on a length of 2 miles 2169 yards. From the month of Crabtree Creek to that of Savage River itself, in the Potoinac, the descent is 340 feet, on a length of five and one-half miles. The level of the mouth of Savage River lies, of course, 1,432 feet below the base-mark, and at a distance of twenty-one miles 327 yards from it, ascending the ravines of Savage River and Monroe Run, and descending those of Meadow Mountain Run and Deep Creek.
Meadow Mountain Run flows tbrough glades, but Monroe Run falls down a ravine whose upper portion is very steep and narrow; it widens, however, as it descends, and presents a succession of biuffs and flats, which extend to twenty-five yards in breadth. The bluffs hang perpendicularly over the stream. At the month of Monroe Run, Savage River is only thirty-three yards wide, and a dam might easily be thrown across to form a reservoir.
This passage is the orly one which leads from the valley of Savage River to that of Deep Creek.
We shall now examine those which connect the valley of Crabtree Creek and Deep Creek. The first lies between the middle fork of Crabtree Creek and the Meadow Mountain Run, and would require a tunnel running under the Little Backbone and Hoop-pole Ridge. Supposing its bed on a level with the base-mark, and an open cut to the depth of 35 feet through the height, the tunnel would extend three miles 1,3331 yards in length. From its eastern extremity to Crabtree Creek, in following the windings of the middle fork, the descent is 1,012 feet on a distance of six miles 1,3334 yards; and from the mouth of the middle fork to the mouth of Savago River, in the Potomac, the descent is 420 feet on a distance of six miles 635 yarıls. The height of the ridge above the bed of the tunnel would be 210 feet, and the ravine of middle fork ditters
little from that of Monroe Run. Its general breadth is about 27 yards, and its banks are rugged. The whole distance from the base-mark to the mouth of Savage River would be, by this passage, nineteen miles 915 yards.
Three passages run through the Little Backbone from three branches of North Glade Run, a tributary stream of Deep Creek, to the valley of Crabtree Creek.
The first opens on the western branch of the middle fork, and would require a tannel tbrough the Hoop-pole Ridge. Supposing its bed on a level with the base-mark, and an open ent to the depth of 35 feet through the height, the tunnel would extend three miles 1254 yards in length, and the greatest huiglit of the ridge above its bed would be 144 feet.
From the second branch of North Glade Run a passage might be opened to the eastern branch of the middle fork by a tunnel of the same nature and on the same level as the former. It would extend three miles and 83 yards in length, and the greatest height of the ridge above its bed would be 184 feet. But from its eastern extremity there would be a descent of 280 feet on a distance of one mile 366 yards.
From the third branch a passage might be opened to Rock Camp Run by a tunnel four miles in length. The greatest height of the ridge above its bed would be 222 feet; but from its eastern extremity to Crabtree Creek the descent would be 728 feet on a distance of two miles 166; yards, and through a very narrow, rugged, and precipitous ravine. The north fork of Deep Creek rises near the summit of the Little Backbone at Whitsall’s Springs, 105 feet above the base-mark. The spring of Savage Lick Run, a tributary stream of Crabtree Creek, rises opposite to it. A tunnel which would join them, with its bed on a level with its base-mark, and an open cut through the height at each of its extremities to the depth of 35 feet, would extend two miles 1,083 yards in length. From its eastern extremity to Crabtree Creek the descent would be 452 feet on a distance of two miles and 100 yards, and tbe greatest height of the ridge above its bed would be 148 feet.
Three more passages have been surveyed between the tributaries of the north fork and those of Crabtree Creek.
The first unites Hinch's Arm to Glade Road Run by a tunnel one mile 1,166 yards in length on a level with the base-mark. The distance from its eastern extremity to Crabtree Creek is 1,500 yards, and the greatest height of the ridge above its bed 205 feet.
The two others unite Dry Arm and Dewickman's Arm wih small ravines of Crabby's Arm, a tributary stream of Crabtree Creek, which rise opposite to them. The tunnel which would be required at Dry Arm would extend one inile 916 yards in length, and the greatest height of the ridge above its bed would be 271 feet. The tunnel of Dewickman's Arm would extend one mile 6834 yards in length and the greatest height of the ridge above its bed would be 227 feet. These two tunnels, on a level with the basemark, are the shortest of those that we have enumerated on any of the designed routes of the canal.
Two passages have been surveyed and leveled to open a communication between Crabtree Creek and the Little Youghiogheny, the one from Crabby's Arm and the other from Wilson's Fork to the latter stream. They would each require a tunnel. Supposing its bed on a level with the base-mark, the tunnel from Crabby's Arm would extend tbree miles 1,568 yards, and the tunnel from Wilson's Fork four miles 300 yards in length, with an open cut at each of their extremities to the depth of 35 feet. The greatest height of the ridge above the bed of the tunnel from Crabby's Arm would be 444 feet, and above that of Wilson's Fork 253 feet. The distance from their eastern extremities to Swan's Mill would be two miles, with a fall of 114 feet from Swan's Mill to the month of Crabtree Creek the descent wonld be 940 feet on a distance of seven miles 966 yards; from the mouth of Crabtree Creek to that of Savage River, on the Potomac, the distance five miles 880 yards, and the descent 378 feet. Thus from the eastern extremity of the tunnel to the mouth of Savage River the total descent is 1,432 feet on a distance of fifteen miles 86 yards, and of these two tunnels the one by Crabby's Arm is the shortest.
Other passages have also been examined to open communications between Deep Creek and the waters of the Little Youghiogheny. The bed of the tunnels required for this purpose was fixed 17 feet above the level of the base-mark. One of these tunnels join Westlick Run to one of the branches of the South Fork of Deep Creek. Its length was two miles 5837 yards, and it required a deep cut on the side of Westlick Run of the length of one mile 600 yards, and another on the side of South Fork of the length of two miles 50 yards. Another tunnel might join the Little Youghiogheny itself to South Fork. It would extend one mile 1,300 yards in length, and require an open cut of one mile 1,5668 yards in length toward the Little Youghiogheny, and two miles 300 yards toward the South Fork. The height of the ridge above the first tunnel would be 143 feet, and above the second, 183 feet.
Such are the chief passages through which a communication might be opened between the wate's which descend from the eastern and western sides of the Little Backbone.