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City Document. — No. 22.
CITY OF BOSTON
CITY ENGINEEB AND CITY SUEVEYOE.
18 6 8.
REPORT OF THE CITY ENGINEER.
Office of City Engineer, Boston, Jan. 30, 1868.
To the Honorable the City Council of the City of Boston :
The following statement of matters relating to my department
is respectfully submitted, in compliance with the seventh section
of the ordinance relating to the Department of Engineering and
As this is the first annual report from this department — aside
from the one required to be made to the Cochituate "Water
Board — which has been called for by any rule, order, or ordi-
nance of the city, it may not be amiss to briefly review the origin
and progress of this department, and present an outline of its
functions and sphere of operations.
The office of City Engineer was first established by an ordi-
nance providing for the care and management of the Boston
Water Works, passed October 31, 1850. This ordinance re-
quired the Engineer to have charge of all the plans of streets,
to make, or cause to be made by his Assistants, for whom he
should be responsible, all surveys, admeasurements and levels,
and perform such other services as might be required of him by
the Mayor, the Board of Aldermen, or any Committee of the
City Council. In connection with the Water Works, the En-
gineer was required to take such charge of Lake Cochituate,
the aqueduct, lands, reservoirs and other works and property
connected with the Water Works, as the Cochituate Water
Board might from time to time direct; and perform all such
services in relation thereto as might be required of him by the
Cochituate Water Board or the City Council; he was also
required to present to the Cochituate Water Board annually, a
4 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
report of the general condition of the Water Works and of the
expenses of his department, relating to the same, and such other
matters as he or the Board may deem expedient.
The Rules and Regulations of the Water Board, as adopted
in 1851, conferred upon the Engineer the title of General
Superintendent of the Water Works, and prescribed in detail his
duties in that department. In 1861, the rules and regulations
were revised, the Engineer was relieved of much of the details
of the management of the works, and the title of " General
Superintendent" abolished. The duties, however, of the Engi-
neer, under the revised rules, remain much the same, so far as
his professional services are concerned.
Previous to the passage of the Ordinance above referred to,
the engineering and surveying for the city had been done by
such Engineers or Surveyors as different City Councils or Com-
mittees thereof might select; there was no system, and the care,
custody and arrangement of plans were necessarily imperfect.
There were, at that time, twelve volumes of miscellaneous
plans, in which official and unofficial, valuable and worthless
plans were scattered promiscuously ; two volumes of Plans and
Descriptions of the Streets of Boston, made by John G. Hales,
in 1819, by order of the Selectmen, which were never officially
adopted, and are only of value now, as showing the widths of the
several streets and alleys at that time ; two volumes of profiles
of the streets in East and South Boston, with the established
grades; and one volume of profiles of streets southwest of
Dover Street, made with reference to Ezra Lincoln's system
of drainage for that section of the city. These were nearly
all the city plans at that time, except a few large plans and
maps on rollers.
For the first two or three years after the establishment of this
department, the accumulation of new plans was so small, that a
few drawers sufficed to contain them all, and very little trouble
was found in arranging them so that any particular one could
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER.
be readily found. A simple classification into " Official Plans,"
which comprised all plans referred to in Resolves and Orders
of the Board of Aldermen or City Council, or in Contracts and
Agreements ; " South Boston Plans and Profiles" ; " East Boston
Plans and Profiles " ; " City Land Plans " ; " Plans in Progress " ;
etc., was all that was then required. Since that time, the accumu-
lation has been so rapid that a more extended classification has
been found necessary, and there are now upwards of twenty
different heads under which the plans are now arranged. These
different heads are represented by the letters of the alphabet,
each letter having one or more drawers assigned to it, in which
the plans are arranged by numbers, generally in the order of
their date. The plans are nearly all catalogued, each drawer
or class by itself, and a general index made of the whole. The
following statement shows the present arrangement or system of
classification, and the number of plans in each.
Statement showing the Classification and Number of Plans made or collected
by this Department since 1850, except duplicates and plans bound in volumes.
General Head under which Classified.
A B and E
Plans from actual survey in the City Proper,
C and F
M and S
Copies of Plans by other Surveyors "
South Boston Plans, Profiles, etc.,
East Boston " " "
D and L
Official Plans, Profiles, etc.,
Boston Harbor and Ancient Plans of Boston, etc.,
Copies of Plans from Registry of Deeds,
Miscellaneous— Back Bay, Public Garden, etc.,
Plans of City Lands, etc., S. W. of Dover Street,
School-house Plans, etc.,
Boston Harbor, etc., large rolled up plans,
Miscellaneous, " " "
South Boston rolled up plans,
Engraved City Plans " "
Unfinished Work, " "
Miscellaneous " "
Towns and Cities near Boston,
6 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
The above statements comprise the plans catalogued and indexed .
There are Land and Construction Plans of the Water Works, many
of which are duplicates of plans in the Water Department, and
which are not entered in the catalogue or index, to the number of
about three hundred. Besides the foregoing, there are complete
plans of the streets of East Boston, fifty-two in number, drawn
upon a scale of forty feet to an inch, which exhibit the survey
lines and measurements, lineal and angular ; the front lines of all
buildings, fences and other structures, with offset distances indi-
cating their exact position by figures, in relation to the true line
of the streets ; the widths of all the streets ; the dimensions of
all the blocks ; the wharves, docks, and the location of the har-
bor lines as at present established. These plans, and the sur-
veys required to prepare them, were made by John Noble, Esq.,
for many years Engineer and Surveyor to the East Boston Com-
pany. Great care was taken in their preparation, and, together
with the note-books of surveys, furnish to this Department the
means of determining at once the lines of any street. A similar
set of plans of the streets of South Boston, thirty-seven in number,
and drawn upon the same scale, have been prepared by Henry
W. Wilson, Esq., under the direction of the Commissioners
on South Boston Streets. These plans, like those of East
Boston were prepared with great care and labor, and indi-
cate the lines of the streets — except the twenty feet ways — as
determined and agreed upon by the said Commissioners, and the
encroachments, and the location of granite monuments or bounds,
one hundred and ninety-six in number, put down by order of the
Commissioners to preserve and indicate the lines, and facilitate
the labor of giving them. In addition to these sectional plans
of South Boston is a general plan of the whole, on a scale of
two hundred feet to an inch, drawn in this office, which is the
official plan of the streets, signed by the Commissioners and
referred to in their report and description of the lines of the
streets. There are also large plans on rollers, of South Boston,
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. I
made from surveys by Mr. Wilson, under the direction of this
Department. These are on a scale of forty feet to an inch,
were authorized by an Order of the Board of Aldermen, passed
March, 1858, and served as a basis for the subsequent plans
above referred to. The system inaugurated by the first City
Engineer, E. S. Chesbrough, Esq., of making duplicates of all
official plans, and binding them in volumes, has been maintained ;
and there are now six volumes of these plans containing two
hundred and fifty-seven plans ; forty-two plans already copied,
but not yet bound ; forty-nine plans partly copied ; and seventy-
one plans yet to be copied, so that, when all the official plans up
to the present date are copied and bound, there will be about
Three volumes of the grades of the streets on the Neck lands,
southwest of Dover Street, at South Boston, and at East Boston,
have also been prepared in this department ; which show the
grades worked out in detail for the curbstone on each side of
the street. The system in vogue before, and for several years
after the establishment of this office, of showing the grade of a
street by a profile on the centre line thereof, was one liable to
occasion mistakes, and for several years has been abandoned,
and the present system adopted ; which requires, in all official
plans establishing the grade of a street, a plan of the street, show-
ing the curbstones on each side, and a separate profile of each
side of the street, indicating doors, windows, etc., if the street is
There is also one volume of thirty-eight sheets of plans and
profiles of all the streets in low district, known as the Church
Street and Suffolk Street districts.
There are, of plans not made or copied in this office, two vol-
umes of plans of South Cove and miscellaneous plans, containing
about one hundred and sixty-six sheets, which were purchased
a few years since, and were formerly the property of Francis
8 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
Aside from the plans above referred to, which are in the
special charge and custody of this department, there have been
five volumes containing one hundred and thirty-one plans of the
sewers, showing their sizes, grades, location, areas of estates
assessed, etc. These plans were prepared by virtue of an Order
of the Board of Aldermen passed in August 1857, under the
direction of this department, by Wm. H. Bradley, Esq., the
present efficient Superintendent of Sewers, — at that time, an
Assistant in this department — and are in the custody of the
Sewer Department ; besides these volumes, are three hundred and
forty-eight plans in sheets, also in said Sewer Department. Also
twenty plans of the Public Lands on the Neck, showing the lots
sold, to whom and when, the dimensions, areas and price per
foot ; these are in the custody of the Public Land Department,
duplicates being preserved in this office. Also two volumes,
containing seventy plans of the School-house Lots, and one vol-
ume containing twenty-six plans of other Public Building Lots,
which are in the custody of the Public Building Department.
Also seven plans of the estates in South Boston, prepared by
Henry W. Wilson, Esq., for the Assessors' Department, and. kept
in that office. Also a large number of plans made for the
Water Department, duplicates of which have not been retained
in this office. Although the foregoing statements indicate a vast
amount of work done by or under the direction of this depart-
ment since 1850, yet a more vivid idea may be given by com-
paring the total amount done previous to 1850, as indicated by
the plans then in the custody of the city, with that done since
as indicated by the plans which have since accumulated. All
the plans in possession of the city in 1851, except Water Works
plans, were comprised in seventeen volumes j whilst those which
have since been made, if all bound in similar books, would make
one hundred and twenty-five volumes.
The following statements of the number of persons employed
in this department for each year since 1850, also of the total
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER.
annual expense for engineering and surveying for the same time,
will be found of some interest, and will also indicate a com-
paratively steady increase in the business of the office and in the
duties of the Engineer and his Assistants.
Statement of the number of persons employed under the direction of this
Department, including the City Engineer and Assistant; and also of the
amounts paid for Engineering and Surveying for each year from January
1851 to the end of the fiscal year 186G.
Jan. 1851 to May
•' 1853 "
" 1856 "
" 1857 "
" 1858 "
" 1859 "
" 1861 "
" 1862 «
" 1864 "
" 1865 "
" 1866 "
10 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
The foregoing statement comprises all the items of expendi-
ture for engineering and surveying which are to be found in the
Annual Reports of the Auditor, and undoubtedly includes every :
thing except certain payments by the Water Board for land
surveys on the line of the Works, and sundry small surveys,
which amounts do not appear in the published reports, and
could only be obtained by an examination of the books of the
Water Board. It is also possible that in my examination of
the Auditor's Reports, I may have omitted some small amounts ;
but as the object in preparing the above statement was not so
much to exhibit exact figures as to present a comparative view
of the growth of the business of the department, these omissions
may be deemed unimportant. A certain proportion of the in-
creased expense of this department since 1858 is, of course,
owing to a general advance in the wages of employes, amount-
ing to about thirty-five per cent ; an increase which is certainly
as moderate as that of the other departments, and one which
applies mainly to the subordinates in the office, and not to the
head of the department, as will be seen by a comparison of the
salaries ten years since with those of last year, from which it
appears that the salaries of the heads of the departments gen-
erally have been increased forty to one hundred per cent, while
that of the City Engineer has been increased only seven.
The policy in regard to defraying the expenses of this
department has never been uniform. In some years, the cost
of engineering and surveys for special objects has been charged
to certain departments, and paid out of the appropriation for
those departments, or from a special appropriation : for in-
stance, the cost of the surveys and plans of the streets of
South Boston and East Boston was paid from the appropriation
for laying out and widening streets ; the engineering for the
South Bay improvements was paid for from the appropriation
for the Public Land department, and for South Bay Lands.
The Sewer department paid for the surveys and plans of the
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 11
location, sizes and grades of sewers ; and so on in many other
cases. As it is not always easy to draw the line between
what may be styled current and special work, I would suggest
the expediency of an ordinance, requiring the cost of all work
done by or under the direction of this department to be paid
from its appropriation. This would ensure a uniform and
definite system, and the Auditors' reports, then, would present
to the public, under the general head of engineering, the actual
cost thereof, which is not now the case.
The Report of the City Surveyor, which fs appended, exhibits
very fully the nature and amount of work done under his
special charge, as required by the present ordinance.
The following statement shows the nature of the work which
has been under my special direction and supervision.
Sovth Boston Flats.
Estimates have been made, by request of the Mayor, of the
cost of building Eastern Avenue, from the foot of Summer Street
to the end of " section one," including a bridge over Fort Point
Channel ; and of extending B Street from First Street to said
Eastern Avenue. Considerable time and attention have also
been devoted to the consideration of schemes and plans for the
concentration of the freight business of the Southern and West-
ern roads, at tide-water on these flats, and the general question
of the occupation thereof.
Annexation of Roxbury.
By request of the Commissioners appointed by the Mayor to
consider and report upon the question of the annexation of
Roxbury, a plan was prepared of Boston proper and Roxbury,
showing the sewers built and proposed in the vicinity of the
boundary line between the two cities, and the location and areas
12 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
of the low districts in each city which are below a proper
drainage level. This plan, and such surveys as were requisite,
were made early in the year, and upon very short notice. The
plan, so far as the names and location of the streets in Roxbury
are concerned, was hastily compiled from a plan by H. F.
Walling, made in 1856, and, of course, contained many inaccu-
racies and omissions. A new plan has since been prepared,
showing Boston as it now is, with all the streets, courts, places,
squares, churches, school-houses and other prominent public
buildings ; the location of the horse-railroads, fire-alarm boxes,
etc., etc. This is now in the hands of the lithographer, and
will soon be published. Besides the preparation of the plan
above referred to, for the Commissioners, a great number of
calculations of areas, etc., were made by their order, and a
variety of estimates and calculations were made by request of
the Cochituate Water Board, relative to the distribution of
water, and the cost thereof.
Albany Street Wall.
Plans and specifications for this structure, two hundred and
seventy-one feet in length, from Dover Street towards Troy
Street, were prepared in 1866; but the work was not com-
menced until early in 1867. A contract was made by the Com-
mittee on Paving with Boynton Brothers, and the work has been
satisfactorily completed, at a cost, including superintendence, of
South Boston Streets.
All surveys required by the Commission on South Boston
streets have been made by Henry W. Wilson, Esq. ; the official
plan, however, hereinbefore referred to, was made in this office,
under my direction, during the past year.
• This work was commenced in 1865, and the amount expended
to January 1, 1868, has been as follows, viz :
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 13
To H. W. Wilson and Assistants
For Stone Monuments and setting the same
For Compiling City Records ....
For Stationery, Drawing Paper and Materials .
Amount expended to January 1, 1868 . $7,548 03
To this add H. W. Wilson's bill,
rendered January 1, 1868, but
not yet paid .... $768 75
Labor, etc., Setting Monument . 7»50
Compensation of Commissioners
and Clerk .... $6,000 00
Making the total cost of Surveys,
Plans, Monuments, etc. . . $14,324 28
The foregoing amounts were or are to be paid from the appro-
priation for laying out and widening streets.
Surveys of Public Building Lots.
Surveys and plans of eight Station-house lots, twenty -two
Engine-house lots, and five of other public buildings have been
made during the year for the Public Building Department.
This work of making complete surveys and plans of all the pub-
lic building lots was commenced in 1865, and would have
been completed before the present time, but for the pressure of
other work of more immediate necessity requiring the services
of the party specially assigned to this particular work. Dur-
ing the present year, it is probable these surveys and plans will
be completed, including those in the newly-acquired district of
New Lunatic Hospital.
Levels have been taken over about ninety-five acres of the
land in Winthrop, purchased as a site for a new hospital for the
14 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
insane, and a plan prepared, showing the contour of the ground
as intersected by horizontal planes, at intervals of two feet.
This plan will be of great service in determining the most
suitable position of the structure, — in case it is built, — and in
deciding on the best manner of grading the grounds.
A plan has been made for extending Broadway from Federal
Street, in South Boston, to Albany Street at its junction with
Way Street, and thence to a point on Washington Street, oppo-
site Pleasant Street. The plan proposed, and upon which the
estimates were based, provided for the extension on a high
grade, crossing Foundry Street, the Old Colony and Newport
Railroad, Fort Point Channel, Lehigh Street and the Boston
and Albany Railroad, by iron bridges. The portion between
Federal and Foundry streets to be filled solid, the filling to
be retained by substantial stone walls ; the portions between
Foundry Street and the Old Colony and Newport Railroad, and
between Fort Point Channel and Lehigh Street, to be built
upon cast-iron columns, in a manner similar to the bridge in
Berkeley Street, over the Boston and Providence Railroad; the
portion between Lehigh and Albany streets, to be filled solid
and retained with stone walls, the same as the section between
Federal and Foundry streets. The estimated cost of the struc-
tures, according to the plan above referred to, was $395,000.
The duties of the City Engineer, in connection with the Water
Works, have been greatly enhanced by the great work now in
progress at Chestnut Hill, and a very considerable portion of
his time has necessarily been required in connection with this
work alone. As a detailed statement of the progress of this work
during the past year will be published in my Annual Report to
the Cochituate Water Board, it is unnecessary to particularize
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 15
now, and I will only say that the work has been prosecuted with
all possible vigor, and more was accomplished last year than I
anticipated. "With equal energy, the work will be nearly, if not
quite completed by the close of the present year.
During the year, surveys have been made of lands on the
margin of Dug Pond, in Natick. Several examinations of cer-
tain portions of the Aqueduct have been made. Observations,
for two months, at the East Boston Reservoir, were taken, to
determine the points of leakage, and the amount, and a plan for
repairs has been prepared and submitted to the Board. A plan
for certain alterations in the Pipe Bridge across Mystic River,
to accommodate the extension of the Mystic Water Works to
Chelsea, has also been prepared, in conjunction with the engineer
in charge of said extension.
In connection with the annexation of Roxbury, considerable
time has been devoted to the preparation of estimates and cal-
culations in reference to a proposed extension of the pipes in
that district, the sufficiency of the supply, etc., etc.
It will be seen by reference to the sixth section of the Ordi-
nance relating to the Department of Engineering and Surveying,
that it is made the duty of the City Engineer to make an ex-
amination, annually or oftener, of all the bridges, and report as
to their condition, etc.
This duty is a new one imposed upon this department, and, so
far as the Report is concerned, has never before been assigned
to any department.
The following is a list of the bridges which the city has to
maintain, viz :
TO SOUTH BOSTON.
Dover St. Bridge, across the mouth of the South Bay.
Federal Street Bridge, across Fort Point Channel.
Mt. Washington Avenue Bridge, across Fort Point Channel.
16 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
TO EAST BOSTON.
Chelsea Street Bridge, across Chelsea Creek.
Meridian Street Bridge, across Chelsea Creek.
Point Shirley Bridge, across Chelsea Creek.
Albany Street Bridge, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
Ferdinand Street Bridge, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
Tremont St. Water Pipe Bridge, over Boston & Albany R. R.
The first six bridges are over tide-water, and are in the care
of the several superintendents, under the direction of the Com-
mittee on Bridges.
The Albany and Ferdinand Street bridges are in the care of
the Superintendent of Streets, under the direction of the Com-
mittee on Paving.
The Tremont Street Bridge supports the water mains, and is
under the care of the Water Board.
Dover Street Bridge.
This bridge was built by a Corporation, under the name of
the "Proprietors of the Boston South Bridge," at a cost of
$56,000, and was opened to public travel October 1st, 1805.
It was conveyed to the city by deed, dated April 19, 1832, and
made free and a public highway.
In 1858-9, the portions inside of the Commissioners' lines were
built solid, and that over the flats and channel, outside of said
lines, was rebuilt as a pile structure. The total cost, including
a new pier and house for the Superintendent, was $62,564.97.
The average annual cost of repairs for a term of seven years
immediately preceding the rebuilding of the bridge was about
$2,600.00, and for a term of seven years ending with the fiscal
year 1866-67, the average annual cost of repairs was $2,394.45.
This bridge is now in very fair condition, and will require no
extensive repairs the present year. The pier on the southerly
side of the bridge, west of the draw, is in quite a shaky condi-
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 17
tion, and, whenever the bridge is widened, as proposed, to sixty
feet, should be rebuilt, or materially strengthened.
A proposition to widen this bridge, in connection with Fourth
Street in South Boston, and Dover Street, as far as Harrison
Avenue, was considered by the Committee on Streets of last
year, and the estimated expense was $22,000.00.
Federal Street Bridge.
This bridge was built in 1827-28, by a corporation called
" The Boston Free Bridge Corporation." It was surrendered
to the city in September 1828.
In 1857-58, the bridge was widened, and, with the exception
of such of the piles as were sound and in good condition, was
substantially built anew, including piers, new sliding draw,
horse power machinery, stable, etc., at a cost of $50,842.56.
The average annual cost of general repairs on this bridge, for
a term of six years, ending April 30, 1857, was $2,292.36; and
for a term of seven years, ending April 30, 1867, it was
The principal repairs required on this bridge, the present
year, will be on the draw and machinery and the piers. The
tracks, upon which the draw rolls, need levelling up ; in some
places new rails and wheels are wanted, and in replacing the
wheels — both the travelling wheels and the cog-wheels — it
would be well to provide duplicates, to be kept on hand, in case
of accident. Some repairs are also needed in the running gear
under the barn. A portion of the westerly pier needs replauk-
ing; the westerly truss of the draw should be recovered; guard
timbers, projecting beyond the surface of the planking of the
water ways, should be put in ; and sundry small repairs made
on the gates and railing.
A proposition to widen this bridge, in connection with
Federal Street, to a width of seventy feet, was considered by
18 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
the Committee on Streets, of last year, the expense of which
was estimated at $24,500.00.
Mount Washington Avenue Bridge.
This bridge was built in 1854, and accepted by the city April
30, 1855. The total cost to the city was $61,607.70. There
was expended for general repairs, for eleven years, ending
April 30, 1867, $26,920.65, being an annual average expense of
There will be a considerable amount of repairs required upon
this bridge the present year, chiefly upon the draw. The chords
of the trusses are in very bad condition, the ends of many of the
braces are rotten, and the wood-work generally needs renewing.
The stringers and timbers which form the bulkhead on the out-
side of the sidewalks are in many places rotten and pressed out
of place. The railing needs repairs in some places, and some
measures, perhaps the driving of spur-shores, will be necessary
to resist the crowding of the bridge on the westerly side of the
channel towards the draw. The bridge and draw have been
repeatedly cut off, and yet the movement still continues. Some
portions of the piers require re-planking, and it is very likely a
portion of the flooring of the bridge is defective, and will have
to be renewed. A more careful examination of the flooring will
be made soon, which will determine this point.
Meridian Street Bridge.
By an Act of the Legislature, passed May 15, 1855, Henry
D. Gardner and others were made a corporation by the name
of the East Boston Free Bridge Corporation, and authorized to
build a bridge across Chelsea Creek, from Condor Street, in
East Boston, to Pearl Street, in Chelsea. The franchise
became the property of the East Boston Company, and the
bridge was built under the superintendence of a joint committee
of the City Council, and afterwards purchased by the city.
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 19
The total cost to the city, including surveys, plans, models,
amount paid the East Boston Company, and the additional
amount expended for piers, guards and gates, was $56,889.85.
It was opened for travel in December 1856. There was
expended for repairs during nine years after it was built, the
sum of $11,545.64, — an average annual expense of $1,282.85.
An examination of this bridge, in 1866, revealed the fact
that it was in a positively dangerous condition, and unsafe for
public travel, and it was decided to rebuild the entire structure,
except the draw and pier, which it was then thought could be
made good with slight repairs.
Plans and specifications were made in this department, and a
contract made with William A. Kenrick, July 2, 1866. By
request of the Chairman of the Committee on Bridges, I
re-examined the draw, and reported to him, as follows, viz :
" Office of City Engineer,
"City Hall, Boston, March 28, 1867.
"Charles R. McLean, Esq.,
" Chairman of Committee on Bridges:
" Sir, — I have examined the draw of the Meridian Street
Bridge, and find its condition to be very much worse than it
appeared a year ago, when examined in connection with the rest
of the bridge. It was then thought that very slight repairs would
be needed ; but, since the removal of the old bridge and a portion
of the flooring of the draw itself, the concealed defects have become
apparent, and it appears that the bottom chords of the trusses are
so badly decayed that new ones will be necessary for the safet} 7 of
the structure. There will also be required some additional braces
in the trusses, some new timbers in the gallows-frame, and an
additional suspension rod. There will also have to be new and
more substantial fender-guards, to protect the bridge from vessels
approaching the draw. The estimated expense of repairing the
draw and building the new fender-guards is $7,000.
" Respectfully submitted.
" X. Henry Crafts,
' ' City Engineer.
20 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
Accordingly, almost the entire frame-work of the draw was
re-built, and new fender-guards were built. The bridge was
completed, and open to travel early in 1867. The work was
superintended by Mr. B. F. Prescott, under the direction of the
Committee on Bridges and the City Engineer, and is believed to
be one of our most substantial and well-built pile structures.
The total cost of the bridge, as rebuilt, and the repairs on the
draw, amounts to $73,749.53.
No repairs of any great amount will be required this year,
unless it may be on the moving gear of the draw.
Chelsea Street Bridge.
This bridge was built in 1834, by Benjamin T. Reed and
others, who were incorporated as proprietors of the Chelsea Free
Bridge. It cost $8,277.76, and was opened to public travel in
October 1834. In 1848 it was re-built, at a cost of $4,678.15,
by the Ferry Company, who had previously become the pro-
prietors. May 6, 1850, the Mayor and Aldermen, by virtue of
an Act of the Legislature, laid out that portion of the bridge
within the limits of Boston, as a public highway. In 1855, by
virtue of an order of the City Council, there was paid to the
town of Chelsea $8,473, on condition that said town would give
a bond to the City of Boston in the penal sum of $10,000, to
keep that portion of the bridge and road, in the limits of the
town, in good order and repair for the future.
This bond was given July 12, 1855, and the bridge is now a
public highway, which the two cities of Chelsea and Boston are
bound to keep in repair.
The cost of repairs on this bridge, since 1850, has been
$9,721.61, an annual average of $648.10.
The bridge itself is now in very good repair, and will need
very little outlay this year ; but the draw and pier are in very
bad condition, and should be re-built. The chords and braces
of the trusses are rotten, so also are most of the floor timbers.
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 21
"When the draw is re-built, I would recommend that it be made
wider, the present width being only twelve feet.
Chelsea Point Bridge.
This bridge was built by Joseph Burrill and others, who
were incorporated in 1835, as the Proprietors of Chelsea Point
Bridge, and was opened to public travel in the fall of 1839.
Its cost was $1,100.
That portion of the bridge within the limits of the city was
laid out as a public highway July 1, 1850. In 1851 the bridge
was re-built at a cost, to the City of Boston, of $5,720.73.
The repairs since 1851 have been very slight, not averaging
$100 a year.
The stringers and bulkhead of this bridge are rotten and
need renewal, otherwise the bridge is in fair condition.
Albany Street Bridge.
In 1856-7, a wooden bridge, with a pile structure for the
approaches, was built over the Boston and Albany Railroad at a
cost of $23,231.48. This kind of structure was adopted in lieu
of an iron bridge with stone abutments and retaining walls, on
account of the costly plan which was then proposed for the
latter structure. In 1863, the bridge was reported in bad con-
dition, and I was called upon to examine it, and it was found
that the piles, which had been coated with coal tar, with a view
to their preservation, were already very much decayed with dry
rot, and in many places the caps of the piles had been broken
by the weight of filling or by heavy loads. The coal tar coat-
ing was removed from all the piles, and the decayed portion cut
away. Mud sills were put in, and timber shoring used where
the piles were much weakened. The expense of these repairs
was $1,238.12. In 1866, the bridge itself was strengthened, at
a cost of $300. These arc all the repairs that were made on
the old structure.
2*«? CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
In May 1867, the Board of Aldermen authorized the erection
of an iron bridge, with stone abutments and retaining walls,
and this department was called upon to prepare plans and
specifications. A plan was accordingly prepared for a wrought-
iron lattice bridge, the bars to be made of angle-iron, and the
span of the bridge to be sixty-two feet. Subsequently, an
agreement was made with the Boston and Worcester Railroad
Corporation, by which the span was increased to seventy-three
feet, to admit of the widening of their tracks, the Corporation
agreeing to pay the additional cost.
A new plan was then made, substituting for the lattice bars
panels of boiler plate, thus making a solid plate girder, similar
to those erected by the Railroad Corporation and by the city, at
Tremont Street. Specifications were also drawn and printed ;
but a less costly plan on the lattice principle having been
submitted to the committee having the matter in charge, by Mr.
Clemens Herschel, it was decided to adopt that. Plans and
specifications for the abutments and retaining walls were, also
prepared ; and, in July, a contract was made with Messrs. Clapp
and Ballou for their erection, and for the removal of the old
This contract has been so far completed as to allow of the
erection of the bridge, which is now in progress, under a con-
tract made in September with Messrs. McKay & Aldus. It is
probable that the entire work will be completed, and the street
open to public travel, by the first of March. The cost of the
entire work to January 1, 1868, including superintendence, was
Ferdinand Street Bridge.
This structure was built in 1864-5 by J. E. & N. Brown, by
virtue of a contract which was approved by the City Council,
but was never executed. It is an iron structure known as
Bolles's patent, resting upon stone abutments. It was accepted
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 23
in 1865, and has received no repairs since that time, except
painting of the iron work, which was done last year at a cost of
$90.00. There is no heavy travel over this bridge, and
although it is far inferior in point of stiffness to the plate-girder
bridge over the railroad at Tremont Street, it is a very good
bridge for the locality.
Tremont Street Water Pipe Bridge.
This structure was built in 1866-67, at the same time that
the Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation built the adja-
cent road-bridge. The cost of the bridge and the abutments
was $11,245.28; which was paid from the appropriation for
laying out and widening streets. The cost of removing and
relaying the water pipes was defrayed by the Water Depart-
ment. By the present arrangement, the sidewalk on the
■westerly side of the bridge, which was formerly obstructed by
an elevated platform covering the pipes, with steps at each end,
is now entirely clear; and at the same time, the water pipes are
now easily accessible for repairs, while formerly they were
encased in an iron box or tube, made of boiler-plate, and laid
so close together that it was extremely difficult to get at them
to make any repairs. No repairs have been required on this
bridge during the past year.
Berkeley Street Bridge (over the Worcester Railroad).
Although this structure is not one for the care and mainte-
nance of which the city is responsible, yet the several petitions
for the acceptance of the street, including the bridges, which
have been presented from time to time, have furnished the
occasion for examinations of this bridge, with especial reference
to its fitness and safety.
Reports and estimates in relation to this structure have been
made to the Committee on Streets, and to the Mayor, at different
CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
times ; and propositions have been made by the President of
the Water Power Company, in reference to suitable repairs of
the bridge, or a rebuilding of the same ; but no definite result
has yet been reached. As this street has already become a
great thoroughfare and of great public convenience, it is very
important that it should be rendered safe ; and it is hoped that
satisfactory arrangements may be made at an early day, by
which the street and bridge may be put in good and safe
Statement of the Expenses of the Department of Engineer-
ing and Surveying for the year ending Dec. 31, 1867, as
paid from the appropriation for the department.
Salaries of City Engineer and City Surveyor,
Assistants, Surveyors, Levellers, Draughtsmen,
Rodmen, etc. .
Incidental expenses, viz., car fares, tolls, travelling
expenses, and small supplies for office
Books, stationery, drawing paper and materials
Instruments, and repairing same .
Braid for binding, and cloth for backing plans
Plan of estates on Blackstone, Centre, Brattle and
Elm streets, and Dock Square (Alexander Wads
Iron sounding rods
Wooden stakes .
Repairs and small supplies (not included in inci
■ dentals) ....
Expenses of Committee
REPORT OF CITY ENGINEER. 25
The following amounts for engineering and surveying have
been paid from other appropriations :
Chestnut Hill Reservoir.
Salaries of resident Engineer and assistants,
from January 1, 1867, to January 1, 1868,
Draughtsmen on gate house, plans, etc.
Incidental expenses, instruments, etc.
South Boston streets, bills rendered for work
done in 1867, but not yet paid .
Add amount, as above, paid from appropriation
for this department $20,191 21
Total for engineering, for the year 1867 . $26,287 05
The whole number of persons employed during
the past year, and paid from the appropriation
for this department, was .... 20
The number employed on the engineering and
draughting for Chestnut Hill Reservoir was . 5
Besides the foregoing, a party of three, under Mr. H. W. Wil-
son, has been employed a portion of the time on surveys for the
South Boston Commission, and for the extension of Broadway.
N. HENRY CRAFTS,
REPORT OF THE CITY SURVEYOR.
City Surveyor's Office, Boston, Jan. 7, 1868.
To N. Henry Crafts, Esq., City Engineer:
Sir, — In conformity with the 15th Section of the Ordinance
relating to the Department of Engineering and Surveying, I
submit the following
The following surveys for street widenings, extensions, etc.,
have been made under my direction during the past year : —
The estates on Fort Hill have been surveyed the past year,
with the exception of those abutting on Oliver, Belmont, Battery-
march and Hamilton streets, and Washington Square, which
were surveyed previously ; and plans of the same have been
nearly completed, showing the buildings, the proposed, laying
out of new streets, and the widening of the present ones.
Profiles of these streets have also been made, showing the
proposed grades to which the streets will have to be cut down.
It will be necessary, before the work progresses much farther,
to run base lines over the hill, located from fixed monuments,
that will not be disturbed by the removal of the hill, in order to
re-locate the new lines of the streets after the buildings have
been demolished, and the streets cut down to grade.
For the past year, it has required a party, consisting of an
REPORT OF CITY SURVEYOR.
engineer and one assistant, to watch the progress of the excava-
tion in Oliver Street, Washington Square and Belmont Street, to
give grades and measure the work done by the contractors.
The excavation in these streets has been completed to grade.
It is apprehended, however, that in the coming spring consider-
able quantities of earth will slide off from the steep side slopes
into these streets, by the action of the frost. Should this be
the case, it will probably be necessary, before this earth is
removed, to have it carefully measured, and an accurate account
kept of the quantity.
A survey of this street between the foot of Summer Street and
First Street in South Boston, and plans showing the estates on
both sides of the street with the proposed line of widening on
the easterly side to seventy feet, with the takings from each es-
' tate — the street being now about fifty feet in width.
The Board of Aldermen passed a resolve to widen this street
in May, but it was not acted upon in the Common Council till
near the close of the year, and then failed to pass.
Also a survey and plan of Federal Street between Williams
and High streets, showing the line of widening with the takings
from each estate.
Another plan of this street was made, between Milk and Sum-
mer streets, showing the fronts of the estates, prepared for the
purpose of making the assessments under the Betterment Law.
A survey and plans showing the estates on both sides of the
street between Congress and Summer streets, with the widening
to fifty feet and takings from each estate on the northerly side
between Congress and Federal streets.
This street was widened on the northerly side between Con-
gress and Federal Streets by a resolve approved July 16, 1867.
28 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
A survey and plan of this street with the estates on both sides
of it, and the widening and takings from each estate on the
southerly side between Federal and Congress streets.
This street was widened on the southerly side by a Resolve
approved July 12, 1867.
A survey of several takings on this street between Williams
and Purchase streets, where the city has widened during the
A survey from " Church Green " to Federal Street, and a"
plan showing the estates — made for the purpose of fixing upon
a contemplated line of widening on the northerly side between
High and Federal streets.
No widening made.
A survey of this street between Hanover and Salem streets,
and plan showing the estates on both sides, and the widening
principally on the easterly side, making the street about forty
feet in width when wideued. Widened by a Resolve approved
May 11, 1867.
Also a plan of the street from North to Salem Street, made
for the purpose of making the assessments under the Betterment
A survey of this street between Milk and Water streets, and
a plan showing the estates on the easterly side through to Con-
gress Street, and the widening on the same side, making the
street forty-eight feet in widih. Not widened.
REPORT OF CITY SURVEYOR.
Dorchester Street, (Washington Village.)
A survey and plan for the widening of this street, varying
from forty-five to fifty feet in width, between Middle Street and
the Old Colony and Newport Railroad bridge.
Widened between Middle and Tuckerman streets by a Re-
solve approved July 15, 1867.
Extension of Kilby Street.
A rough survey for the proposed extension of Kilby Street,
from State Street to Faneuil Hall Square, and several plans
showing the estates with various routes for the proposed exten-
sion of that street; but as it was decided by the Board of
Aldermen, after several hearings, not to extend this street, no
accurate survey and plans were made.
A survey of the estates on both sides of this Avenue, and a
plan, showing the proposed line of widening, and the takings
from each estate on the westerly side, making the avenue about
forty-three feet in width. Not widened.
A survey of this street and the estates on both sides, with a
plan, showing the widening to forty -five feet, and the takings
from each estate, also a discontinuance of a portion of the street.
Widened by a Resolve approved November 8, 1867.
A survey for the purpose of ascertaining the areas of the
estates on both sides of the street between Kneeland and Warren
streets, and a plan of the same made early in the year to facili-
tate the making of the assessments under the Betterment Law.
30 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
A survey and plan of the street, with the widening on the
Carter Estate, at the corner of Washington Street. Widened
by a Resolve approved March 29, 1867.
Also another plan of the street, showing the fronts of the
estates for the purpose of making the assessments under the
A survey for the widening of this street between Boylston
Street and the Boston and Albany Railroad Bridge, and plans
showing the takings required from each estate to make the street
sixty feet in width. The general plan of the street, with the
estates, was made several years ago. Not widened.
Extension of Broadway.
A survey for the proposed extension of Broadway, sixty feet
in width, from Federal Street in South Boston to Washington
Street opposite Pleasant Street, and plans, showing the abutting
estates and the takings from each estate. Also profiles of por-
tions of Lehigh, Way, Albany, Curve, Hudson and Tyler streets,
showing the proposed grades it would be necessary to raise
those streets to. if Broadway should be extended at "high grade "
as proposed, passing over Foundry Street, the Old Colony &
Newport Railroad, Lehigh Street and the Boston & Albany
The Board of Aldermen passed a resolve in November to ex-
tend this street from Federal to Albany Street, but the Common
Council non-concurred and the subject was referred to the next
City Council (1868).
REPORT OF CITY SURVEYOR. 31
Church Street District.
A rough survey and plan of tins territory, with all the estates,
was made in the early part of the year. This plan showed all
the buildings and the proposed widening of the streets, generally
to forty feet in width. Another plan was also made, after the
completion of the above plan, showing the proposed laying out
of the territory into new streets and lots. These plans were
made for a temporary purpose, only to be used by the Committee
on the Church Street District and by the City Council during
the discussion of the question as to what action the city should
take — whether to raise the grade of the territory and widen the
streets, or to take all the property within the District and
demolish the buildings and lay out new streets and lots.
In the mouth of November, the City Council passed a Resolve
in favor of taking all the property lying within this District,
under the Church Street Act (so called), "for the purpose of
raising the grade of said territory, and laying out new streets
and avenues thereon." This was merely an expression of
opinion of the City Council, without actually effecting any result.
By the advice of the City Solicitor, it was deemed necessary
that there should be an accurate survey made, and a plan of the
streets, and of each estate in this District, with a description of
each parcel of land, before the city could take the property; as
a description of each parcel of land to be taken, giving the
bounds and dimensions of the estate, is required by the Act to
be filed in the Registry of Deeds within sixty days from the
time the property should be taken.
This accurate survey was ordered immediately after the pas-
sage of the Resolve above referred to, and two parties of
Surveyors were put to work at once, and continued on the same
without interruption, working days and evenings till the last week
in December, when it was found impossible to complete the plan,
32 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
so that the subject could be brought before the City Council of
1867 in a tangible form. The surveys are all completed, but
the plan is not yet finished, as there are a great many conflicting
boundary lines to be first settled, and the ownership of the fee
of the unaccepted streets ascertained.
The above statement shows some very extensive surveys for
street improvements, more so than have been made during any
one year since the City Engineer's Office was established in
1850, — especially the surveys of Fort Hill, Church Street District,
the widening of Federal Street from the foot of Summer Street
to First Street, in South Boston, the extension of Broadway, and
the widening of Tremont Street from Boylston Street to the
Boston and Albany Railroad Bridge. There have been so
many large surveys, some of which were goiug on at the same
time, that in order to complete them as soon as they were
wanted, it has been found necessary to require the assistants at
times to work evenings on the plans, and to pay them for extra
This increase of work is owing, undoubtedly, in part, to the
passage of the Betterment Law in 1866, which necessitates the
widening and improvement of streets on a larger and more com-
plete scale (in order that the City may derive any benefit from
it) than under the old law.
The above list of streets that have been surveyed and plans
made, show the principal work that has been done under my
especial charge as City Surveyor during the past year; but there
has been a great amount of work done besides, in this depart-
ment, of a miscellaneous nature, such as the giving of grades
and lines of streets, surveys and plans for the Paving, Sewer,
Public Building and Public Land Departments, surveys and
plans for Water Works, measurement of contractors' work,
drafting of plans, etc.
REPORT OF CITY SURVEYOR. 33
Duties of the City Surveyor.
Besides the duties performed by the City Surveyor in taking
charge of the surveys, etc., above enumerated, a large portion of
his time is occupied in acting as Secretary of the Committee on
Laying out and Widening Streets, and in keeping the books and
performing the duties in relation to widening streets under the
Betterment Law, as provided in the Ordinance relating to the
Department of Engineering and Surveying, as follows :
" Section 12> Said Surveyor shall act as Secretary of the Com-
mittee on Laying Out and "Widening Streets, of the Board of
Aldermen, and shall furnish said committee, or such commission
as may hereafter be intrusted by the City Council with the con-
sideration of matters appertaining to the laying out, widening, or
extending streets, with such plans and information in relation to
any projects under consideration by them as they may require.
He shall keep a full and accurate record of all their doings ; and
he shall have special charge of all surveys and plans relating to
the laying out, widening, extending and grading of streets.
" Section 13. Said Surveyor shall prepare all orders, resolves,
and other papers relating to street widenings, extensions, and
alterations which said committee may require ; and shall furnish
the City Solicitor with all necessary descriptions for deeds of land
bought or taken to lay out, widen, or extend a street, or for any
special contracts or agreements relating thereto.
" Section 14. Said Surveyor shall keep a set of books showing
all the debits and credits to each estate, the whole or a portion of
which may be taken to lay out, widen or extend a street, or which
may be assessed under any Betterment Law ; and if, in the opinion
of the said committee, the work of keeping such a set of books and
other records relating to street improvements, requires any special
clerical assistance, the said Surveyor, with the consent and
approval of said committee, may employ a suitable clerk, whose
salary shall be fixed by said committee, and paid from the appro-
priation for laying out and widening streets. All bills for assess-
ments made under any Betterment Law shall be deposited by said
Surveyor with the City Treasurer for collection."
34 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
Survey of Roxbury.
As soon as practicable, I would recommend that an accurate
survey of all the streets in Roxbury should be commenced and
carried forward as fast as the current work in this Department
will permit ; and the lines of the streets determined upon as far
as they can be, from monuments on the ground, and from the
plans and records of that city.
And I think it will also be found necessary to have profiles
of all the streets made, showing the buildings, steps, fences, etc.,
so that grades can be fixed where they are not already estab-
lished, and where, in some cases, it will be found advisable to
change and revise the old grades formerly established.
The annexation of Roxbury must necessarily increase the
work in this department very considerably.
East Boston Streets.
I would recommend that the lines of the streets in East Boston
be permanently fixed by stone monuments placed in the ground
in a similar manner to those fixing the lines of the streets in
Notices of intention to build.
There have been received, at this office, Notices of intention
to build five hundred and twenty-four buildings during the past
year — two hundred and seventy -four in Boston Proper, one
hundred and ninety-six in South Boston, and fifty-four in
East Boston. The year previous (1866) there were received
Notices of intention to build three hundred and seventy-two
buildings; showing an increase of one hundred and fifty -two
buildings in 1867 over 1866.
Undoubtedly more buildings have been built than the above
notices. indicate, as some persons omit to give notice, — the Or-
dinance requiring such notice to be given only on public streets.
THOS. W. DAVIS,
ALFRED MUDGE & SONTTTTY PRINTERS, 34 SCHOOL STREET.
34 CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22.
Survey of Roxbury.
As soon as practicable, I would recommend that an accurate
survey of all the streets in Roxbury should be commenced and
carried forward as fast as the current work in this Department
will permit j and the lines of the streets determined upon as far
as they can be, from monuments on the ground, and from the
in a s
U HC* v.# UUI/UUl T L±1\J1 \J UUlLUHi^u mvtu WWU ftJU.HU LJiCl 11
notices indicate, as some persons omit to give notice, — the Or-
dinance requiring such notice to be given only on public streets.
THOS. W. DAVIS,
FOR THE YEAR 1869.
ALFRED MUDGE & SON7TTTY PRINTERS, 34 SCHOOL STREET.
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
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