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ith the |[omplrnunts of 

JV. Henry Crafts, 

City Engineer. 




City Document. — No. 15. 






Office of City Engineer, City Hall. 

Boston, January 15, 1871. 
To the Honorable City Council : , -^ ^., "* 

I have the honor to present, in compliance with the sixth sec- 
tion of the ordinance relating to the City Engineer's Depart- 
ment, the following report, viz: — 

Statement of expenses of Department as paid from the de- 
partment appropriation : 

Balance of appropriation for 1869-70, ex- 
pended from January to May, 1870. . . $3,452 88 
Amount ofappropriation for 1870-71. . . 15,000 00 



Salaries of City Engineer, assistants. 

draughtsmen and rodmen 



Instruments and repairs . 

. 648 


Drawing paper and materials . 

. 632 


Stationery, note books, etc. 

. 444 


Reference books, pictures and frames 216 


Printing and advertising . 

. 157 


Travelling expenses, horse-keepir 



. 579 


Horse, buggy, harness, etc. 

. 775 


Incidental expenses. 

. 274 


Expenses of Committee . 

. 584 






Unexpended balance Jan. 1, 

. $4,306 


City Dooument. — No. 15. 

The following statement shows the amounts paid since Jan- 
uary 1, 1870, for engineering, from special appropriations: — 


Chestnut Hill Reservoir: pay-rolls 

and incidentals .... $4,017 22 
Roxbury extension (Wards 13, 14 

and 15) : pay-rolls and incidentals 
Deer Island water-pipe: pay-rolls 

and incidentals 
Dorchester extension and new main 

to South Boston .... 
East Boston : new flexible pipe across 

Chelsea creek ... - 



484 42 



154 56 



Atlantic avenue: pay-rolls and inci- 
dentals $1,470 59 

Broadway extension: pay-rolls and 

incidentals 1,091 93 



Pay-rolls and incidentals 


Pay-rolls and incidentals 

Total from special appropriations 
Add amount paid from the 
Department appropriation 

Total for engineering in 1870 

;,838 32 

$2,562 52 
555 27 

620 38 
$10,576 49 

14,145 89 

$24,722 38 

Report of City Engineer. 5 

The number of persons employed and paid from the depart- 
ment appropriation was on the 1st of January, 1870 (in- 
cluding the City Engineer) 13 

The present number is 17 

The Chestnut Hill party, on the 1st of January numbered 5 
One of the assistants was transferred to the surveys for 
extension of the water works in Dorchester in May j but during 
a portion of the months of June, August, September and Octo- 
ber, was recalled to Chestnut Hill. 

On the 10th of November, the Chestnut Hill party was dis- 
banded, — the last pay-roll being made up to that date. Two 
of the party remain connected with the department. The Res- 
ident Engineer, Henry M. Wightman, Esq., holds the position 
of Assistant City Engineer, and W. F. Learned, Esq., has the 
supervision of the extensions of the water works in Roxbury 
and Dorchester. 

The following statement exhibits the operations of the de- 
partment during the past year, and such general information 
relating to the various works and structures finished and in prog- 
ress, as I have thought would be of interest, and comply with the 
provision of the ordinance relative to this report. 


Chestnut Hill Reservoir. 

This great work, which has so largely exceeded in magnitude 
and cost the original designs and estimates, was so far comple- 
ted on the 25th of October last as to be ready for the recep- 
tion of water in the lower, or, as it is now called, the " Bradlee 
Basin." The engineering operations connected with this work, 
and extending over a period of seven years may, it seems to me, 
be appropriately recorded and described in this report, and 
be found of sufficient interest to warrant the occupation of 
the required space. 

Surveys for a suitable site for this reservoir were made in 
1863, and in November of that year three plans were submitted 

6 City Document. — No. 15. 

to the Water Board. The first was a plan for a reservoir on 
the southerly side of the Woonsocket division of the Boston, 
Hartford and Erie railroad ; the second was a plan of the site 
of the present Lawrence basin, and the third was a plan of the 
present Bradlee basin, but only included the portion on the 
northerly side of Beacon street, which then divided what is 
now the Bradlee basin. To this last plan was afterwards 
added the other portion of thia basin, which was on the south- 
erly side of Beacon street. 

By the first plan a water area of but forty-one acres could 
be obtained, and that only by building a dam parallel to and 
adjoining the railroad, and this dam would, at the easterly end, 
have been twenty-four feet above the track, and the foundation 
for nearly the entire length of the dam was of the worst de- 
scription, being of quicksand. By the second plan the water 
area was forty-four acres, but the depth of water would have 
been but twelve feet, which is not sufficient to prevent the 
growth of subaqueous vegetation. An excavation of five feet 
in depth, over nearly the whole extent of this reservoir, was 
necessary, and this was considered and afterwards proved to 
be a very expensive work. 

By the third plan a water area of fifty -two and one-half 
acres could be obtained on the northerly side of Beacon street, 
and on the southerly side, an area of forty-one and one-half 
acres, the two forming a basin ninety-four acres in extent ; this 
third plan was the one adopted by the Water Board upon my 

During the following year but little was done by this depart- 
ment in connection with the reservoir, with the exception of 
some further rough surveys and approximate estimates of the 
cost of doing the work. 

In 1865, the City Council having made in 1864 an appro- 
priation for the purchase of land for a site for the reservoir, 
and having procured an act of the legislature authorizing the 

Report op City Engineer. 7 

construction of the same, a party was detailed from this office, 
under the charge of Henry M. Wightman, who had made the 
previous preliminary surveys, to make an accurate survey of 
the whole territory and plans for the building of the reservoir. 
During the progress of these surveys, it was decided by the 
Water Board to connect the Lawrence basin with the site 
already adopted. The expense of draining this basin in a new 
direction, as its natural drainage would have been prevented by 
the construction of the reservoir upon the site selected ; the dif- 
ficulty of making the dam between the two perfectly tight, so 
that no claim should arise for damages from its owner; the 
question of damages which would probably arise for diverting 
the natural drainage, and beyond all these considerations, the 
desire of the Board and myself to construct a reservoir which 
should be ample to meet the future wants of the city, were the 
reasons for the addition of this basin to the original plan. 

The area surveyed was about three hundred acres in extent. 
The property lines were carefully determined, and a complete 
topographical survey made of the whole territory. The plans 
were made with great accuracy and contour lines for every two feet 
in height were traced upon them. These plans were the basis for 
all the subsequent work upon the reservoir. The location of 
the banks was determined by means of profiles made at right 
angles to its proposed direction, upon which the most favorable 
position for the banks was fixed ; these points were then trans- 
ferred to the plans and connected by straight lines and curves 
which formed the lines for the reservoir banks. These lines 
were of course subject to alterations should the material in cut- 
ting or the foundation in filling prove them to be not the most 
economical. All the curves of this reservoir are regular, being 
either simple, compound or reversed, connected by straight lines. 
The accuracy of these surveys and plans may be judged by 
the fact that the lines of the banks, driveway, etc., as laid out 
from the base lines of the survey and by scale measurements 
from the plans, rarely varied a foot. 

8 City Document. — No. 15. 

These plans were not fully elaborated upon the commence- 
ment of the work upon the reservoir in the spring of 1866, as 
the party employed upon the work was small, and they were in- 
terrupted by the bad weather and the necessity of making plans 
and descriptions of the land bought, and by the sickness of the 
superintendent of the work, Mr. Knowlton, which rendered the 
presence of the Resident Engineer necessary at the site of the res- 
ervoir where arrangements were being made for constructing the 
necessary buildings, such as grading for the stables and board- 
ing-house for the men, draining, and clearing the land of trees. 

By working night and day upon the plans, they were com- 
pleted so that no delay was occasioned in prosecuting the work 
on the reservoir. The plans for the location of the banks having 
been completed, the question of disposing of the surface water 
drainage remained to be settled, there being considerable 
diversity of opinion upon the subject. Two plans were finally 
submitted, embodying the difierent views. By one of these 
plans it was proposed to divide the drainage at the Lawrence 
brook, and to convey one portion in a northerly direction in an 
open catch water drain a distance of 2,100 feet, from which 
point a brick drain was to conduct it under the conduit, a dis- 
tance of two hundred feet, and then an open catch water drain a 
further distance of 1,235 feet to Chandler's ice pond. 

The other portion of the drainage was to be conveyed in an 
easterly direction and on the same route occupied by the pres- 
ent drain, but was to have been an open catch water drain for 
a distance of 2,200 feet, and a brick drain for the balance of the 
distance (about 3,800 feet) to the brook near the intersection of 
Beacon and Rockland streets. 

By the other plan submitted, the drain was to commence at 
the influent Gate House and continue entirely around the reser- 
voir on the westerly, southerly and easterly sides to the brook 
near the intersection of Beacon and Rockland streets, a distance 
of 7;754 feet. It was to be built of brick, underground the entire 

Report op City Engineer. 9 

distance, and varying in size from two feet six inches in diam- 
eter to six feet four inches diameter, with suitable catch basins 
and inlets for the water. This latter plan, although much the 
more expensive, was after careful consideration of the subject 
adopted, and the work commenced on the 10th of May, and the 
entire drain was completed on the 27th of November, 1867. 

The building of a driveway around the reservoir having been 
agitated during the summer of 1866, and proving to be very 
popular with the citizens, several plans and estimates were sub- 
mitted to the Water Board by the engineer. There was great 
diversity of opinion upon the subject in the Board, some of the 
members being opposed to the project, and others differing in 
their views as to the proper width to construct it. The engineer 
was finally directed to prepare a plan and estimate upon the 
best location that could be selected, and of a width not less than 
eighty feet. In preparing this plan the engineer ascertained 
that in some places the width of eighty feet would greatly add 
to the expense of the driveway, and having represented to the 
Board that a width of sixty feet in some places would greatly 
lessen the expense, a committee of the Board, consisting of 
Messrs. Norcross and Bradlee, were appointed to go over the 
proposed location, which had been staked out, and decide upon 
the width at these places. 

This committee having attended to their duty, a plan and 
estimate was made, and submitted to the Board, and by them 
recommended to the City Council, who on the 9th of Octo- 
ber, 1866, passed the necessary orders for its construction. 

This driveway is constructed upon the plan of the Central 
Park roads, but diflfers from them in having a greater thickness 
of rough stone for the lower stratum, and a less thickness of 
crushed stone and gravel for a top* dressing. 

Plans showing all the details of the gate houses were made 
in this office, and the specifications for the cut granite and for 
building the gate houses were made in 1867, and the interme- 

10 City Document. — No. 15. 

diate gate house was commenced. Before the work upon this 
gate house began, it was necessary to remove four hundred 
feet of the conduit, and convey the water around the gap thus 
formed, that there should bo no 'interruption of the supply to 
the city. 

This object was accomplished -by the construction of a wood- 
en flume, the plans for wiiich were made by the Engineer, and 
so built as to be readily taken apart aud put together again in 
any place where needed. Some difficulty was experienced in 
making its connection with the conduit perfectly tight, but by a 
liberal use of puddling clay, this object was accomplished and 
the flume was in constant use for about two years, and was then 
taken apart and is now stored at the reservoir. 

Surveys and plans for the main pipes from this reservoir 
were made during the fall and winter of 1867 and spring of 
1868. In order to select the most favorable route, and to show 
the various routes proposed, a tract of country was surveyed 
from Rockland street in Brighton, to Cypress street in Brook- 
line, and between Boylston street, and Tappan street, and the 
Woonsocket Division of the Boston, Hartford & Erie R. 8,. and 
Beacon street, an area about one and one-half miles long by one- 
quarter of a mile wide, all of which was levelled over, and a 
topographical plan made upon which was laid out no less than 
five distinct routes. Profiles and cross-sections of these were 
made and submitted to the Water Board, aud the route No. 5, 
on the general plan, showing the routes, was finally decided upon. 
Some additional surveys were made to show the feasibility of con- 
structing a road over this route, and several propositions were 
made by the Water Board to the town authorities of Brookline; 
but the project was finally abandoned, and the land necessary for 
the pipe route was taken, .under the act of the legislature, 
giving the city authority to lay the pipe. 

In addition to these special surveys, the current work at the 
reservoir was continued without intermission. Lines and grades 
were given for every piece of embankment, for the drain, the 

Report op City Engineer. 11 

main pipe, the gate houses, driveway, etc., and a constant super- 
vision exercised by the engineer over the "work, that no unsuit- 
able material should be used in the embankments or ^ate houses, 
and that the construction should in all cases conform to the plans. 
Montlily estimates were made of the amount of slope wall built, 
the amount of clay delivered for puddling, and of coping stone 
for the slope wall. Estimates involving a great amount of labor 
were made at three different times, of the cost of completing 
the reservoir. Levels were taken over the bottom of both 
basins, and their capacity calculated for each inch in depth, and 
tables made containing the length of water line, area and ca- 
pacity for each inch in depth, and the total capacity for each 
inch in depth. 

In addition to the work done at the reservoir, plans, specifi- 
cations and contracts were drawn in this office for buildius: 
the gate houses, for the main pipe and its connections, for the 
stables and other temporary buildings at the reservoir. 

The engineering force at this reservoir consisted for the 
larger portion of the time of the resident engineer, one assistant 
engineer, two rod men and one axeman, which was, I think, 
smaller than any force ever employed on a work of its size 
and importance. 

The resident engineer was twice obliged to change his assis- 
tant, once by the illness and subsequent death of his assistant 
Samuel C. Horn, and the second time by a severe accident to 
his assistant Wilbur F. Learned, who while giving a line for the 
building of the effluent gate house, fell from the wall, a distance 
of about twenty feet, causing such injuries that he was disabled 
for a period of six or seven months. 

The lower, or Bradlee basin of this reservoir was completed 
and the water let into it on the twenty-fifth of October, 1870, 
and the branch office of this department at the reservoir, for 
five years under the charge of Henry M. Wightman, the resi- 
dent engineer, was discontinued on the lOlh of November. 

12 City • Document. — No. 15. 


These works were completed ia February last, and the 
engines first started February 25th, to supply the Highland 
district. On the 4th of June, the Beacon-hill high service dis- 
trict was connected to test the pipes and play the fountain on 
the common. On the sixth the supply was regularly commenced, 
and, except for occasional repairs, has continued to the present 
time. A description of the manner of connecting the two dis- 
tricts and other details relating thereto, will be found in my 
annual report to the Cochituate Water Board in May last (City 
Doc. No. 51). From the engine records, I have compiled the 
following table, which exhibits the operations of the pumps 
since the first of March : — 

Report of City Engineer. 


•■[BOO JO pnnod 
J3d padoind A^i^utin^ 


ID ei 0> Cq (M 

I-H 1-1 <N 

C^ rH r1 

'Xv.p jDd posn 
[BOO iunoiuB aSuaaAy 


e<i iH (N <N 

D^nntra jad suoijni 
•0A3J JO "o^ aSsjaAV 

•yBjp ^[jnoq ^8B3i 

t- iCl t- lO Ol lO 
to d CO CO 00 00 

IjBjp X[jnoq isa^Bajo 

•IjBjp Xjanoq 
ummtaini aSBJOAy 

"IjBjp Xpnoq 
rantuixeai o^BjaAy 

CO 00 CO o 

O CO lO Ci 











lUjUiB aSBjaAB jf [jno2 

^iraoraB aSBjaAB iiipQ 

•amp Sni 
•durad aSBjaAB iS[iB(j 

<M CO -7t< 

r-f O ■* 

•Bxtni Satdrand ibjox 

C» O O r-l 0> 1-1 

a <^ a 

«• 3 ^ 

ho -e 

•-s ■< OQ 

1 a 

o o 

14 City Document. — No. 15. 

This table presents some interesting and rather important 
facts relative to the amount of water puniped, either to supply 
waste or leakage. From June 6th to January 1st, there has 
not been a single hour of the day or night (except when the 
water was shut off for repairs), that it has not been found 
necessary to keep the pumping engine working to maintain the 
proper level in the stand-pipe; and the least draft in any single 
hour during the aforesaid period of over six months, was 11,- 
066 gallons on the 13th of July, between the hours of one and 
two A. M., an amount equal to 40 per cent, of the hourly aver- 
age for the entire month. But a fairer comparison would be, 
to take the average of the smallest hourly drafts in each month, 
and compare that with the hourly average for the whole term 
of nearly seven months. From this comparison it will appear 
that the average of the smallest hourly drafts in each month, is 
17,810 gallons, and the average hourly draft for the whole term 
is 27,280 gallons. In this case the percentage is increased 
from 40, as before stated, to 65J. It is manifestly impossible 
that such an amount of water can be required for legitimate 
uses, and that it must be attributed to careless or wanton waste, 
or to leakage in the gates which separate the high and low ser- 
vice districts. I am of the opinion that both causes contribute 
to the unparalleled results of night consumption indicated by the 
foregoing figures ; but that the leakage above referred to is the 
chief cause. If this be so, then we have not absolutely lost or 
used the water; but have pumped, probably, double the amount 
required to amply supply the entire high service. 

The daily average amount of water pumped for the high ser- 
vice since June 6th, when the Beacon-hill district was con- 
nected, was 650,200 gallons to supply a population of not over 
10,500 at a liberal estimate, and where the requirements are 
almost exclusively for domestic uses. Compare this rate of 
consumption with that of East Boston as determined by obser- 
vations recorded in the following table which I transcribe from 

Report op City Engineer. 


my annual report to the Cochituate Water Board in May last 
(City Doc. No. 51), — bearing in mind that the East Boston 
observations were made in severely cold weather when there 
would naturally be some waste to prevent freezing; and remem- 
bering also that, the East Boston district requires a very con- 
siderable amount of water for manufacturing and shipping 

Consumption of water in East Boston from observations talcen at East Boston Reservoir, 
from 9 o'clock, A. M., Dec. 24, 1S69. to 9 o'clock, A. M., Dec. 25, 184e. 


December 24. 

9 o'clock, A.M. 







December 25. 
1 o'clock, A.M. 


ft. in. 

20 11 

20 8 

20 5 

20 3 

20 1 

19 11 

18 9 

19 7 

19 6 

19 3 

19 2 

19 1 

18 11 

18 9 

18 8 

18 7 

18 5 

18 4 

18 4 

18 4 

18 2 


17 9 

17 7 

17 6 





Total Con- 




Total, ' 882,215 

16 City Document. — No. 15. 

" It appears from the foregoing table, that the average hourly night 
draught from 9 o'clock, P. M., the 24th, to 4 o'clock, A. M., the 25th, was 
15,000 gallons ; that there were only two hours during the whole twenty- 
four when the observation indicated no draught; that the average hourly 
draught during the seventeen hours, not reckoned above as night hours, 
was nearly 46,000 gallons, and the maximum hourly draught was from 9 
to 11 A. M., and from 5 to 6 P. M., the 24th, and from 6 to 7 A. M., the 
25th — the average of the four hours being 65,571 gallons. 

The total for the twenty-four hours was 882,215 gallons, and, calling the 
population 25,000, the consumption per head would be about thirty-five 

By reference to the preceding table of operations at the 
high service pumping works, it will be seen that the daily 
average amount pumped in December was 735,274 gallons, an 
amount equivalent to seventy gallons per inhabitant, or just 
double the rate per head actually used in East Boston as per 
the foregoing table. 

Observations, continued for more than a year, of the amount 
of water actually used, as determined by meter measurement, 
in seven different families, (members of the Water Board) show 
an average consumption of twenty-five gallons per head in 
twenty-four hours. In the estimates which I submitted to the 
Water Board in May last of the probable requirements of the 
Beacon-hill high service, I mapped out the proposed district 
and procured from the Water Registrar a schedule of all the 
establishments within the district using the water, and the num- 
ber of occupants in each dwelling-house, tenement house, hotel, 
etc. The population of the district as thus determined was 
called, in round numbers, 6,000 and I allowed forty gallons per 
day to each inhabitant, making the daily requirements 240,000 

The district was subsequently enlarged, but to a very limited 
extent, and if I were to revise that estimate to conform to the 
enlargement, I should simply add to that amount, (240,000 gal- 
lons,) the amounts actually used by all the hotels, restaurants, 
club-houses, tenement-houses, and public buildings, using large 

Report of City Engineer. 17 

quantities as determined for the past year by meter measure- 
ment. This amount, as kindly furnished by the Water Reg- 
istrar, amounts to 68,200 gallons per day. The amount would 
then be, 308,200 gallons per day. If to this we add the 
average amount actually pumped per day for the Highland high 
service, as shown by the records for May, before the Beacon-hill 
district was added, which was 82,640 gallons ; the total require- 
ments would then be, 390,840 gallons per day, by a most 
liberal estimate, and only fifty-three per cent of the average 
daily amount actually pumped in the month of December. 
There are probably fifty gates in all, required to separate the 
high and low service, with a diiFerence in pressure on the two 
faces of forty pounds, and upwards, per square inch ; and, un- 
less all these gates are perfectly tight, it is evident that, with 
such a pressure, the leakage must be very large from the high 
to the low service ; and it is this, in my judgment, and not a 
wasteful use, that causes the enormous requirements of the high 

The pumping records show that the hour of greatest draft 
generally falls between eight and nine o'clock A.M., and that 
the hour of least draft, between the hours of two and three 
o'clock, A M. Thinking it might be interesting to know the 
relative consumption on dijQferent days of the week, I have 
taken considerable pains to compile the following statement : — 


City Document. — No. 15. 

Statement of the average daily number of gallons of water 'pumped 
for the high service supply on each day of the weelc from June 
to December inclusive, arranged to illustrate the comparative 
draught on the several days of the week. 









































































From the foregoing statement it appears that the days of the 
week arranged in the order of the greatest average consumption 
stand as follows : — 

No. 1. — Mondays, average 

No. 2. — Saturdays, " 

No. 3. — Wednesdays, " 

No. 4. — Tuesdays, " 

No. 5. — Fridays, " 

No. 6. — Thursdays, " 

No. 7. — Sundays, " 

720,001 galls. 

694,935 « 

671,573 " 

669,600 " 

664,060 « 

663,932 " 

603,149 " 

The average consumption on Mondays is l^^o P^^ ^^^*' 
greater than on Sundays, and about 8 per cent, greater than the 
average of the Tuesdays, "Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 
which do not vary much from each other. 

Before the Beacon-hill high service district was connected, 
the night consumption (from twelve o'clock midnight to five A. 
M.) was found to average ten per cent, of the day consumption. 

Report op City Engineer. 19 

Since the Beacon-hill district was connected the proportion of 
night to day consumption has increased to twenty per cent. 


The surveys and plan referred to in my last annual report as 
being then in progress have been completed, and a full descrip- 
tion of the same, and of the method of supplying the district, 
may be found in my annual report to the Cochituate Water 
Board in May last. 


During a portion of the months of August and September a 
party under the charge of Wilbur P. Learned were engaged in 
surveys to locate the buildings and determine the elevations of 
all door-sills above a plane of fifty-five feet above " tide marsh 
level. " A plan was subsequently prepared similar to that of 
the Beacon-hill high service, and an estimate of the cost sub- 
mitted to the Water Board, of supplying the necessary pipes, 
gates, etc. to connect the present pumping engines with this dis- 
trict, and separate the high from the low service. The following 
is a copy of the estimate then submitted, viz : — 


Boston, Sept. 7, 1870. 
N. J. Bradlee, Esq. 

President Cochituate Water Board. 
Dear Sir : — The following report and estimate relative to supplying 
the high service of South Boston by the pumping engines, is respect- 
fully submitted. I have drawn the division line between the high and 
low service substantially as in the case of the Beacon-hill high ser- 
vice, — that is, to include all houses in the high service whose door-sills 
are at a level of fifty-five feet or more, above " tide marsh level." The 
districts are shown on the plan herewith submitted, and the number 
of houses in each. The Independence-square district has only twenty- 
two houses whose door-sills are above grade 55, and the highest one is 
at grade 69. This district is all built over. The Telegraph-hill district 
has three hundred and seven houses whose door-sills are above grade 55, 
and the highest one is at grade 108. The vacant land in this district will 

20 City Document. — No. 15. 

accommodate three hundred and fifty more houses, so that ultimately 
there may be in tliis district six hundred and lifty-seven liouses. The 
present requirements of tliesc districts I estimate at about 120,000 gal- 
lons per day, and the ultimate requirements about 200,000 gallons per 
day. In estimating the size of pipe required to supply the ultimate 
requirements, I have assumed a maximum draught per hour of thirty 
gallons per house, which is the amount determined by actual measure- 
ment at your house on a washing day, If this draught were kept up 
for the entire twenty-four hours, the amountconsumed would be about 
500,000 gallons. 

The route for the supply pipe is from the 30-inch main at Tremont 
street; thence through Dover street over the Dover-street Bridge, ahd 
through Fourth street and connecting with the distribution pipes on 
the easterly side of Dorchester street. The distance is about 7,500 

I find by calculation that an 8-inch pipe of the above length will 
deliver the maximum amount required as above stated with a loss of 
head of about twenty-five feet. Assuming the average effective head on 
the 30-inch pipe to be two hundred feet (and it will be more than that, 
if the stand-pipe were kept full), — then deducting the loss by friction 
in the 8-inch pipe, there will be an effective head on the high service 
distribution pipes of one hundred and seventy-five feet above "tide 
mai*sh level," and as the highest cistern now is about one hundred and 
fifty feet above said level, there will still be a surplus head of twenty-five 
feet above the present highest house, and with the stand-pipe full, this 
would be increased some twenty or more feet. 

I am of the opinion, therefore, that an 8-inch pipe will serve amply 
all the future needs of the South Boston high service. 


7,500 feet of 8-inch pipe .... at S2.75 $20,62500 

Syphon at Dover-street Bridge ... 7,500 00 

3,245 ft. of 6-inch pipe within the districts at SI. 75 5,678 75 

1,700 " " 6-inch pipe to connect the districts " 2,975 00 

420 " " 4-inch pipe .... at $1.25 525 00 

25 6-inch gates all set complete . . at $60.00 1,500 00 

1 4-inch gate all set complete ... at $45.00 45 00 

4 8-inch gates all set complete ... at $75.00 300 00 

$39,148 75 

Say in round numbers $40,000 00 

Repokt op City Engineer. 21 

Should the high service pipes in Dorchester be extended to supply 
the high districts on Meeting-house and Jones's hills, the proposed 
8-inch pipe for South Boston could be connected at Jones's hill instead 
of at Tremont street. In that case the length of 8-inch pipe required 
would be about 8,000 feet; but the cost of a syphon would be saved, 
and as the route is unpaved, there would be about forty cents per 
running foot saved on the entire length of 8-inch pipe. These two 
items would reduce the foregoing estimate, making the cost by the 
Dorchester route about S0,000 less than the Dover-street route. 

(Signed) K. H. CRAFTS, 

City Engineer. 

It was decided by the Water Board, and approved by the 
City Council, that it would be inexpedient to incur so large aa 
expenditure, until the efficacy of the new 20-inch main had been 


In my last report I alluded to certain questions which had 
delayed action in the work of laying the pipe to Doer Island as 
authorized by an order passed 1869. 

The question of what sized pipes would be requisite under 
certain contingencies, such as the location of the lunatic asylum 
at Winthrop, and the providing of an adequate fire supply at a 
proper elevation to suppress fires at Deer Island, were then 
under consideration by me, and a full report on the subject 
was made to the Water Board, February 16, 1870, in which I 
recommended certain changes in the size of pipe previously esti- 
mated upon, — and presented a variety of calculations bearing 
upon the question of the comparative loss of head involved la 
supplying a definite quantity of water to Deer Island in a given 
time^ through different sized pipes, arranged in various ways, in 
order to determine what arrangement of them would supply 
the required amount with the least sacrifice of head, and not 
exceed in cost the amount already appropriated. The Chief 
Engineer of the Fire Department was consulted as to the 

22 City Document. — No. 15. 

proper supply in that locality, in case of an extensive conflagra- 
tion, and lie thought two hundred gallons per minute, delivered 
above the highest part of the building, would be an ample sup- 
ply. As two hundred and twenty-five gallons per minute 
amounts to just one-half a cubic foot per second, a quantity con- 
venient to use in the calculation, I used tliat amount as rep- 
resenting the maximum requirements. 

The calculations made it evident that a single line of six-inch 
pipe, upon which the first estimate was based, would be inad- 
missible, as the total loss of head involved in delivering the 
required amount in the given time would amount to one hun- 
dred and fifty-two feet. 

From seven other assumed cases, I selected the one which 
has been substantially followed so far as the sizes of the pipe 
are concerned, — but the recommendations which I made, rela- 
tive to using wrought-iron cement-lined pipe for the sizes below 
twelve inches in diameter, in order to keep within the amount 
appropriated, the Water Board, after investigation and inquiry, 
thought it unadvisable to follow ; therefore an additional ap- 
propriation to cover the cost of cast-iron pipe of increased size 
was asked for, and $21,000 was granted, making the whole ap- 
propriation $75,000. 

The plan which I proposed was as follows : — 

1st. Lay that portion of the line which is within the limits of 
East Boston (from Chelsea street to the Causeway, — 4,700 feet) 
with twelve inch cast-iron pipes, and pay the expense from the 
current annual appropriation for the Water Works. 

2d. From the easterly end of the aforesaid twelve inch 
pipe lay 9,070 feet of ten inch wrought-iron cement-lined pipe 
to Beach street in Winthrop. 

3d. From Beach street to " Shirley Gut" lay 11,405 feet of 
eight inch wrought-iron cement-lined pipe. 

4th. Across the " Gut'' from low- water to low- water lay 
about two hundred and fifty feet of cast-iron flexible-jointed six 
inch pipe (Ward's joint). 

Report op City Engineer. 23 

5th. From low-water on Deer Island to the southwest cor- 
ner of the House of Industry about 1500 feet six-inch cement- 
lined pipe. 

The estimated cost of the work as above proposed, below the 
limits of East Boston, was $53,613.90. 

The changes which have been made from the foregoing plan 
are as follows : — 

1st. The entire line is laid with cast-iron pipe. 

2d. Instead of a single line of six-inch pipe across " Shirley 
Gut," a double line of eight-inch pipe has been laid, connected 
by suitable branches above high-water mark and provided with 
gates so that either or both lines can be used or cut off entirely. 

3d. Instead of 1,500 feet of six-inch pipe on Deer Island 
there has been laid ^000 feet of eight-inch pipe. 

In July a contract was made with Mr. George H. Norman, a 
widely known contractor and builder of Gas and Water works, 
to furnish and lay the pipes of the following sizes and weights, 
and approximately of the lengtlis prescribed, viz : — 

2,000 lineal feet of 12-inch pipe to weigh 75 lbs. per foot 
9,070 " " 10 « " " « 65 " " « 

11 405 " " 8 " " " " • 42 " " " 

1,500 " " 6 " " " " 33 " " " 

A double line of six-inch flexible-jointed pipe across the 
" Gut " from Point Shirley to Deer Island, said flexible pipe to 
be of such style or pattern as shall be satisfactory to the city 
engineer. The contractor was also to furnish and set all gates, 
hydrants, branches, blow-oflfs, and air-cocks, the city to furnish 
the gates and hydrants, and the necessary boxes -and covers. 

The entire work was to be completed on or before the 1st of 
October, and the amount to be paid $60,000.00. 

A provision is made for allowances for deviations in the 
lengths of the several sizes of pipes, from the foregoing 

24 City Document. — No. 15. 

Unavoidable delay in procuring the pipe, has prevented the 
finishing of the work, and there still remain a few connections 
to be made before the water can be let on and the pipes 

The amount of pipe laid on the island to the present time, 
is 2000 feet of eight-inch. The field work in connection 
with this line of pipe, has been under the charge of Mr. Henry 
Manley, who has staked out the entire line, given the grades, 
and kept account of the lengths of the different sizes laid. 

In addition to this work, Mr. Manley has made the necessary 
surveys and plans to determine and exhibit the manner of dis- 
tributing the water at the Island, and to locate the hydrants. 

The work of laying the submerged pipe across the Gut, was 
sub-let to John F. Ward, C. E. of Jersey City, the patentee and 
proprietor of a ball and socket joint, which has been success- 
fully tested in various parts of the country. The pipes were 
put together on the beach at Point Shirley, and by means of a 
cable attached to a capstan-windlass placed on the Deer Island 
side, both lines were successfully laid. 

This part of the work occupied only a few days, and was 
done in October. 


Early in the year, a schedule was prepared of all the pipes, 
hydrants, gates, etc., that would be required to complete the entire 
distribution of the water in this section of the city. This 
schedule was carefully examined, and compared with the map, 
by Mr. Lewis of the Water Board, Mr. Jones, Superintendent of 
the Eastern Division, and myself, and a reduced schedule, cov- 
ering such streets and sections as in our judgment would pay 
six per cent interest on the cost, was prepared. This latter 
schedule was still further cut down with a view of clos- 
ing the special extension account, and defraying the expense o4' 
all further extensions in the district from the annual current ap- 

Report of City Engineer. 25 

This idea, however, did not find favor with the City Council, 
and a special appropriation of $125,000.00 was made in April 
to cover the cost of the extension of the works in Roxbiuy. 
Had a special appropriation been askfed for early in the year in 
accordance with the schedule then prepared, a considerable 
saving of time would have been made and contracts for the 
necessary pipes made in season to have avoided the delay in 
their delivery, which occasioned so much inconvenience in the 
execution of the contemplated work. 

During the year the lot on which the stand-pipe was built, 
now called Highland Park, has been partly graded, a driveway 
and footpaths built ; and a retaining wall on the Fort avenue 
side. Surveys and plans were made to facilitate an exchange of 
land between the city and S. M. Allen, on the easterly side of 
this Park, and considerable time was given to setting out lines 
and grades for the improvements at this locality. 

All the water-pipes laid in Roxbury during the year have been 
measured, and their positions, with all gates, hydrants, branches 
and air-cocks, located and delineated upon the plans in the office. 
Special plans, upon a large scale, have also been made of the 
more complicated connections showing the exact position of the 
different sized pipes, gates, etc., with reference to well-defined 
surrounding objects. These plans enable the superintendent or 
his assistants to locate and find any desired gate without liability 
to mistake, and also to see at a glance the arrangement of the 

The following is a statement of the work done by the Super- 
intendent of the Eastern Division as measured by this depart- 
ment from Jan. 1, 1870, to Dec. 31, 1870, inclusive: — 


City Document. — No. 15. 



pipe . 

m • 


1,361 feet 

(1,287 ft. Dorchester Hain, 

74 ft. Beacon-hillHigh Service.) 

16 " 




2,873 « 

12 « 



• • 


10,966 " 

6 " 


• • 


17,592 " 

4 « 


• • 


8,649 " 


41,441 " about 1{^. miles. 



30-iacli gates . 


for Beacon-hill High Service 

24 " " . 


il tC l( 11 li 

16 " " , 


12 « " . 


6 " " . 


4 " li • 



Lowry Hydrants 
Lowell " 


. 90 
. 6 


All the engineering field-work connected with this section has 
been under the control of Henry Manley, Esq. 


The surveys alluded to in my last report as then in progress, 
consisting of the location of all houses and buildings likely to 
require water; the determination of the heights of the door-sills 
of all buildings higher than fifty feet above " tide marsh level " ; 
the taking of levels of all streets and making profiles of the 
same ; the defining of the dividing line between high and low 
service, etc., were continued under the direction of Henry Man- 

Report op City Engineer. 27 

ley, Esq., with frequent interruptions on account of the weather, 
and the pressure of current work until May, when Mr. W. F. 
Learned, from the Chestnut Hill Reservoir corps, with a special 
party, was assigned to the control of the completion of the 
surveys, and also to give lines and grades for laying the pipes 
and keep a record of all pipes laid, gates and hydrants estab- 
lished, and delineate the same on plans prepared for that pur- 
pose. As before stated, Mr. Learned was unavoidably called 
away to Chestnut Hill Reservoir during a portion of June, 
August, September and October ; and also to make surveys for 
the proposed South Boston high service j and although the cur- 
rent work in the Dorchester district — such as giving lines and 
grades for laying pipes, keeping the record as before described 
— has been kept up, the progress of the surveys has been mate- 
rially retarded. About twenty miles of roadway have been 
levelled over, and profiles of streets to tlie number of fifty have 
been made. This work will be continued the present season 
until finished. 

By the kindness of Thos. W. Davis, Esq., City Surveyor, I 
have been permitted to copy the plans of the streets of Dor- 
chester which have been made under his direction. These plans 
are drawn to a scale of forty feet to an inch, and have been of 
great use in the laying out of the work, and the position of the 
pipes, gates, hydrants and complicated connections can be very 
clearly delineated upon them. 

There have been 16 of these sectional plans copied, cover- 
ing the entire section of Dorchester in which it is proposed to 
lay the water pipes the coming season. 

Early in the year I prepared a plan for the general arrange- 
ment of the water pipes, gates, hydrants, etc. , and made a sched- 
ule of the requirements. From this I made out a list of those 
streets or portions of streets in which the water would proba- 
bly be taken, and submitted the same with a rough estimate of 
the cost to a committee of the "Water Board. Circulars were 

28 City Document. — No. 15. 

distributed over this district with a view to ascertain the prob- 
able number of water-takers. The total number of responses 
was five hmidred and six, of which one hundred and seventy- 
four answer yes, two hundred and six answer 720, and one hun- 
dred and twenty-six are doubtful. 

The petitioners in this district were not satisfied to have these 
returns accepted as a sufficient basis for a refusal on the part 
of the Board to extend the pipes. 

By invitation, the premises of the petitioners and the section 
canvassed as aforesaid were visited by the Board and City En- 
gineer, and the imperative necessily for the water by several 
manufacturing establishments was made clearly apparent. I was 
directed to complete with all despatch the plan then in progress 
showing the location of buildings within certain lines, and to 
submit an estimate of the most economical method of distribu- 
ting the water, and the probable income. 

Accordingly on the 1st of June, I submitted a plan and an 
estimate. A copy of the latter is herewith submitted as follows, 
viz: — 

Office of City Engineer, City Hall. 
Boston, June 1st, 1870. 

N. J. Bradlee, Esq., President Cochituate Water Boo.rd. 

Sii-: — I present herewith a plan of Dorchester, showing the number 
and location of buildings on that portion of the low service where 
there is a probability that the water will be taken ; also the location 
and size of distribution pipes which would he required to supply the 
district aforesaid. 

I have included only such streets and portions of streets as would 
pay six per cent interest upon the cost of a six-inch cast-iron distri- 
bution pipe, calling the cost of the same $1.80 per running foot all 
laid and reckoning an income from each house of SIO on an average. 

The total length of 12-inch pipe required as per this plan is 53,270 
feet- of 6-inch pipe about 46,000 feet. The population of this district, 
I have estimated at from 8,000 to 10,000; the present requirements not 
over 500,000 gallons per day, and the prospective requirements ten 
years hence, allowing an annual increase of five per cent in the popu- 

Report of City Engineer. 29 

lation, at 900,000 gallons. To supply this amount I have provided two 
12-incli feeders, one through Stoughton, Pleasant and Savin Hill 
streets, to Dorchester avenue; the other through Norfolk avenue and 
Cottage street to Dorchester avenue. These two pipes will be ample 
for all the requirements for ten years, and probably before that time 
another line from Grove Hall avenue through Quincy street, will form 
an additional feeder; so that, in my judgment, no larger main will be 
required for this section for ten or more years. I submit the following 
estimates of the cost of laying the aforesaid lengths of pipe. 


53,270 feet of 12-inch cast-iron pipe . . at $4.00, $213,080 00 

46,000 " 6 " •" " • . « 1.80, 82,800 00 

300 Lowry hydrants complete ..." 110.00, 33,000 00 

Gates, etc _ 10,000 00 

$338,880 00 


53,270 feet of 12-inch wrought-iron and cement, at $2.60, $138,502 00 
46,000 " 6 " " " " " 1.40, 64,400 00 

300 Lowry hydrants complete ... at 110.00, 33,000 00 

Gates, etc 10,000 00 

$245,902 00 

In the foregoing estimates I have reckoned the number of hydrants 
at the full proportion as established in Eoxbury, viz: one to about 
every three hundred feet. So large a number of hydrants is undoubt- 
edly not required at present; but it may be a question whether it 
would not be economy to locate and establish them as the pipe is laid. 
The number of houses, stores, factories, etc., in the district in question, 
is 1,335, and it is not unreasonable to assume that, in two years, the 
income from these houses, etc., will amount to $15,000. 

The income from hydrants will more than cover the interest on 
their cost. So that, if we call the cost of laying the pipe and establish- 
ing the gates, as per estimate No. 1 (reckoning all the pipes as six- 
inch), $188,686; six per cent will be $11,321 16. 

If wrought-iron and cement pipe be used, the entire cost of pipes 
and gates will be $212,902 (not reckoning the twelve-inch as six-inch) 
and six per cent of this will be $12,774.12 ; while if the estimate of 
cost be based on all six-inch, it would amount to $148,978 ; six per 

30 City Document. — No. 15. 

cent of which is $8,938.08. Prom all the information I have been 
able to gather in regard to wrought-iron and cement pipe, I am satis- 
fied that, when jiroperly made and laid, using good materials, and 
under proper restrictions as to supervision, it is as good, if not better, 
than cast-iron; and that, under such conditions, the use of this pipe 
cannot be pronounced an experiment. At all events, if, as in the 
present case, a saving of nearly $100,000 can be effected, it seems to 
me that it is worth while to let a Committee of your Board, and the 
Superintendent of the Eastern Division, investigate the matter and 

Very respectfully yours, 
(Signed) N. H. CRAFTS, 

City Engineer. 

A petition was subsequently presented to the Board of Al- 
dermen by residents of Ward 16, asking for an extension of 
the water-pipes into that Ward. This was referred to the 
Committee on Water, June 13th. 

By request of the committee, I furnished them with all the 
information and figures which I had previously given the Water 
Board, and I also presented to said Committee a revised esti- 
mate of cost, as follows, viz : — 

Office of City Engineer, City Hall, 
Boston, July 14, 1870. 
Walter E. Hawes, Esq., Chairman Committee on Water: 

Sir — In the estimate which I submitted to the Cochituate Water 
Board, dated June 1st, 1870, of the cost of introducing the Cochituate 
Water to certain sections of Ward 16, 1 figured the prices of pipe at 
what was then deemed the current rates. I have recently received 
actual propositions for doing the work, and beg leave to submit a 
revised estimate, based upon said propositions, — 

estimate no. 1 (cast-iron). 

53,270 feet of 12-inch cast iron pipe, at $2.90, . . $154,483 00 

46,000 " 6 " " " " 1.65, . . 75,900 00 

300 Lowry hydrants complete, at $110.00, . . 33,000 00 

Gates, etc 10,000 00 

Total, $273,383 00 

Report of City Engineer. 31 


53,270 ft. of 12-in. wrought iron and cement pipe, at S2.30 $122,521 00 

46,000 " 6 » " " " " 1.20 55,200 00 

300 Lowry hydrants complete, at . . $110.00 33,000 00 

Gates, etc 10,000 00 

Total, $220,721 00 

Eespectfully submitted, 
(Signed) N. Henet Crafts, 

City Enr/ineer. 

July 14th, the committee reported in favor of the plan pro- 
posed, and recommended the use of the cement-lined pipe ; but 
as the Water Board had full power in the matter, the committee 
reported an order covering- the Engineer's estimate for cast-iron 
pipe, and recommending a loan of $275,000 00. 

This order was amended so as to provide in addition to the 
Engineer's schedule the laying of a twenty-four inch pipe from 
Hampden street to Upham's corner and a twenty-inch main from 
Upham's corner to the reservoir in South Boston, the entire ex- 
pense not to exceed $375,000.00. 

The amended order was passed ; also an order authorizing the 
Treasurer to borrow the aforesaid amount. 

The orders were passed, and approved by the Mayor July 
19th, 1870. 

Contracts for the pipe were made as soon as possible, but 
none were received so that work could begin until the last of 
September, and since then the delivery has been tardy, and not 
so much has been accomplished as was anticipated. 

The amount of work done under the preceding Order is as 
follows : — 

2,298 feet of 21-inch pipe in Dorchester 
1,287 " 24 « « Roxbury 
4,315 " 20 " " South Boston 
2,993 " 12 « " Dorchester 
2,845 « 6 « " " 

32 City Document. — No. 15. 


1 24-incli gate 3 6-inch gates for blow-offs. 

1 20 " 12 Lowrj hydrants. 

5 12 " 


In August I was directed by the Committee on Water to 
consider and report what changes should be made in the sizes 
of the water pipes in East Boston, in order that an efficient 
supply might be furnished in case of large fires. 

At a meeting of the Water Committee tliere was plenty of 
evidence adduced by the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department 
and several Assistant Engineers of the inadequacy of the supply 
on several occasions. At this meeting I submitted a plan 
showing the present sizes and location of the pipes in East 
Boston and of the hydrants also, and stated verbally the 
changes which I thought should be made. The Superintendent 
of the Eastern Division, B. W. W., was present, and suggested 
an additional change in Meridian street. My plan as thus 
amended was thought to be ample by the Committee and the 
Engineers, to remedy the difficulty complained of, and 1 was 
directed to report my plan in writing, with an estimate of the 
cost of executing the same. 

On the 15th of August I submitted a report and estimate, 
which may be found accompanying the report of the Water Com- 
mittee. (City Document No. 79, 1870.) 

The amount of my estimate was $33,o69.50. Tlie Committee 
reported an order requesting the Cochituate Water Board to 
make the changes estimated for; also an order to borrow 
$35,000.00 to cover the expense. 

The report and orders were referred to the Cochituate 
Water Board, who reported, Oct. 20th, 1870 (City Doc. No. 92), 
recommending a modified plan at a reduced cost of $20,172.00, 
— recommending that the expense be charged to the appropri- 
ation for the Fire Department, 

Report of City Engineer. 33 

An order authorizing changes according to tho modified plan 
at an expense not exceeding $21,000.00. to be charged to the 
Fire Department, was introduced in Common Council Oct. 20, 
1870, and laid on the table. 


The necessity for this work which is now in progress is fully 
set forth and explained in City Document No. 99, 1870; and as 
I cannot well state the matter more concisely, I take the liberty 
of quoting that Document. 


City Hall, Cochituate Water Board Office, 

October 27, 1870. 
To the City Council: 

The Cochituate Water Board most respectfully represent to the City 
Council that the main pipe now crossing Chelsea Creek to East Bos- 
ton is broken so as to cause a large waste of water, thereby affecting 
the supply in that locality; and the Board, after a thorough examina- 
tion, have unanimously decided that it is inexpedient to attempt to 
repair it, but recommend that a new pipe be laid according to a plan 
proposed by the City Engineer in his estimates of Sept. 21 and Oct. 19, 
1870, a copy of which is herewith submitted. 

As there has been no appropriation made for this purpose, we most 
respectfully request that the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars be 
appropriated to pay the expense of laying the same. 

Respectfully submitted, 


President Cochituate Water Board. 

34 City Document. — No. 15. 


In Common Cotjncil, Kov. 3, 1870. 

The Joint Standing Committee on Water, to whom was referred the 
request of the Cochituate Water Board for an appropriation to cover 
the expense of laying a new main pipe from Chelsea to East Boston, 
having considered the subject, would respectfully recommend the pas- 
sage of the accompanying order, providing for the transfer of twenty- 
five thousand dollars from the reserved fund for that purpose. 

The Committee have carefully examined the subject, and recognize 
the necessity for prompt action, as fully explained in the communica- 
tion from the City Engineer, hereto annexed. 

For the Committee, 



Ordered: That the Cochituate Water Board be authorized to lay a 
new main pipe across the creek between Chelsea and East Boston at 
an estimated expense of twenty-five thousand dollars, and that the 
Auditor of Accounts be authorized to transfer said sum for that pm'- 
pose, from the Reserved Fund. 


Office of City Engineer, City Hall, 
noveiviber 2, 1870. 
Walter E. Hawes, Esq., 

Chairman Committee on Water: 
Dear Sir, — In compliance with your request, the following state- 
ment relative fo the main pipe between Chelsea and East Boston is 
respectfully submitted: — 

Report of City Engineer 35 

In August last a leak was discovered in the 20-inch submerged pipe 
in the creek between Chelsea and East Boston. The services of M. B. 
Tower, Esq., and a corps of divers, were immediately secured; and 
after several days' labor, the leak was found to proceed from a crack in 
one of the straight flanged pipes immediately under the bolts and close 
to the flange. The crack was found to be about 18 inches in length, 
extending partly around the pipe, and the opening was not more than 
a sixteenth of an inch in width. The water issued in a sharp stream 
and with great force, manifesting itself by ebullition at the surface. 
There seemed to be no feasible way of repairing the break without en- 
dangering the entire supply for East Boston; and the Water Board, 
after consultation with the City Engineer and the Superintendent of 
the Eastern Division, decided to suspend further operations, and di- 
rected the City Engineer to furnish estimates of the cost of laying a 
new 30-inch pipe from Chelsea to East Boston by way of the Meridian 
street Bridge, or such other route as he might deem expedient. This 
was on the 31st of August. On the seventh of September the City 
Engineer submitted a communication with estimates covering the cost 
of a 30-inch pipe, and also of a 24-inch pipe, by two different routes. 
The following is a copy of said communication: — 


Office of City Engineer, City Hall, 
September 7, 1870. 

N. J. Bradlee, Esq., 

President of Cochituate Water Board: 
Dear Sir, — In compUance with the vote of your board, the follow- 
ing estimates and suggestions are respectfully submitted: 

Estimate for a 30-inch pipe, via Meridian St. Bridge. 

3,000 feet 30-inch cast-iron pipe, laid at S13.50, $40,500 00 
2 syphons complete and in position . . 20,000 00 
1,124 lineal feet of bridge and housing at $10.00, 11,240 00 
Gates and contingencies .... 3,260 00 

Total ^- $75,000 

36 City Document. — No. 15. 

Estimate for a 30-inch pipe, via Chelsea St. Bridge. 

8,645 feet of 30-inch pipe, laid at S13.50, $116,707 00 

2 syphons complete and in position . . 15,000 00 
400 lineal feet of bridge and housing at SIO.OO, 4,000 00 
Gates, branches and contingencies . . 4,293 00 

Total $140,000 00 

As I was requested by your vote to estimate the cost of a thirty-inch 
pipe, I have done so; but I think a brief statement of facts will con- 
vince your Board that a twenty-four-inch pipe will be ample for the 
requirements of East Boston for a great many years. From actual 
observations, the present average consumption of water in East Bos- 
ton, is about one million gallons per day. Now suppose the Institu- 
tions at Deer Island and Winthrop require 500,000 gallons per day, 
and that the East Boston requirements are quadrupled, then this pipe 
will have to deliver 4,500,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. By 
calculation, I find that a twenty-four-inch pipe will deliver 4,500,000 
gallons in twenty-four hours with a loss of head of only three feet. 

I should therefore recommend a twenty-four inch pipe instead of a 
thirty-inch, and submit the following estimates of cost: — 


3,000 feet 24-inch cast-iron pipe, laid at $9.00, $27,000 00 
2 syphons complete and in position . . 20,000 00 
1,124 feet bridge and housing . . at $10.00, 11,240 00 
Gates, branches and contingencies 3,760 00 

Total .... $62,000 00 


6,645 feet 24-inch cast-iron pipe laid at $9.00, $77,805 00 
2 syphons complete and in position, 15,000 00 

400 feet bridge and housing at $10.00, 4,000 00 

Gates, branches and contingencies . . 3,195 00 

Total • $100,000 GO 

I beg leave to suggest in connection with this matter the advisabil- 
ity of laying a 24-inch pipe alongside of the present 20-inch across the 
creek. I have seen a drawing of a flexible joint, which I think will be 
superior to any now in use, and considerably cheaper. I am not yet 
prepared to submit a definite estimate; but I am quite confident that 
for $40,000 a new 24-iach pipe can be laid across the creek, and the 

Report op City Engineer. 37 

present one repaired. The width of the channel where the present 
pipe crosses is about 400 feet, and tliere would have to be that length 
of flexible pipe. By the Meridian St. Bridge route there would be 
about 260 feet of pipe within the syphons; and by the Chelsea Street 
Bridge route there would be about 200 feet in the syphons. 

(Signed) N. HENRY CRAFTS, 

City Engineer.^'' 

At a meeting of the Water Board held on the 7th of September, the 
above communication was received and laid on the table, and a vote 
passed directing the engineer to report on the best manner of crossing 
the creek with a new submerged pipe and an accurate estimate of the 
cost. On the 21st of September the engineer, after corresponding with 
the proprietor of the patent flexible jointed pipe known as the " Ward 
joint," submitted an estimate, of which the following is a copy. 


Office of City Engineer, City Hall, 

September 21, 1870. 
N. J. Bradlee, 

President, Cochituate Water Board : 

Dear Sir, — The following estimate of the cost of laying a new 

24-iuch pipe across Chelsea Creek to East Boston is respectfully 


650 feet of flexible jointed pipe at S24 .... S15,600 00 

980 " ordinary 24 in. *' S13 . . . . 12,740 00 

4 gates, boxes and setting 2,200 00 

Dredging and trenching 1,600 00 

Piling, boxing and fender guard 8,820 00 

Total ^40,960 00 

The price of the flexible pipe as given above is fixed by a definite 
proposition made by John F. Ward, Esq., of Jersey City. 


City Engineer. 

38 City Document. — No. 15. 

The City Council having, by an order passed October 4, directed 
the Committee on Water to examine into the condition of the main 
pilie leading from Chelsea to East Boston, a subsequent examination 
was made by the City Engineer, the Superintendent of the eastern 
division, and a Sub-Committee of the Committee on Water, of that 
portion of the pipe which is laid upon piling above low-water mark, 
from the channel on each side, to the adjacent streets. These por- 
tions of the pipe were scraped, chiselled and drilled at various points, 
and in no place was there found to be less than three-fourths of an inch 
of good iron. It was therefore decided by the Sub-Committee, the 
Engineer and the Superintendent that it would be inexpedient to 
duplicate the pipes across the flats; but that the channel section should 
be relaid and connected with the present mains as shown on the 
accompanying plan made under your direction. 

On the 19th of October, by request of the Committee of the Water 
Board on the eastern division, I appended to my estimate of Septem- 
ber 21st, the following modification: — 

" October 19, 1870. By connecting the flexible pipe with the present 
20-inch pipe at the edge of the channel instead of in the streets, the 
foregoing estimate would be reduced to $25,000 00. 

« (Signed) N. H. C." 

In my judgment, no time should be lost in laying a new submarine 
pipe as above proposed. When this is done, the repairs upon the 
broken pipe can be safely made, in the manner shown on the accom- 
panying plan. 


'City Engineer. ''"' 

The Order reported as above was passed Nov. 8th, 1870, 
and the Water Board received propositioQS from Messrs. Ward 
and Craven, and from Mr. George H. Norman, for doing the work. 
The contract was awarded to Mr. Norman, who agreed to lay 
the new pipe, and repair the old one, for $24,000.00 ; the new 
one to be completed by the 5th of December, and the old one 
to be repaired with all reasonable despatch, afterwards. The 
work of laying the new pipe is not yet completed. The 
trench has been dredged across the bed of the creek an average 
depth of six feet ; the line of pipe is all put together upon skids 
on the East Boston flats; but the work of sinking the same must 

Report op City Engineer. 


be postponed until the ice clears away. Probably by the middle 
of February the new line will be in operation. 

Since the leak was discovered there has been considerable 
vague talk about the quantity of water lost, some setting the 
leakage as high as a million of gallons per day. The Superin- 
tendent of the Eastern Division and myself, determined to ascer- 
tain exactly what the leakage amounted to, and a plan was de- 
vised by Mr. Jones, the Superintendent, by which the leakage 
was actually measured by meters. The result was that, instead 
of a million gallons per day, the amount — if the pressure were 
constantly on the pipe — would be only 192,000 gallons in 
twenty-four hours, and as the pressure is removed for, probably 
more than half the time, the actual los3 of water cannot exceed 
100,000 gallons. 


The following is an approximate estimate of the average 
daily consumption of water by the city, not including East 
Boston : — 







12,525,000 gallons 
14,052.000 " 
14,952,000 " 
14,697,000 " 
13,791,000 " 







16,392,000 gallons. 
17,107,000 " 
16,848,000 " 
16,528,000 " 
14,575,000 " 
14,094,000 " 

Average for whole year, 14,943,000. 
On the first day of January tlie consump- 

tion was 
On the 14th 

15,561,000 gallons 
14,607,000 " 

The total amount of water wasted at the outlet dam during 
the year, was 4,818,971,000 gallons; equal to an average of 13,- 
202,660 gallons per day, or within less than a million and a half 
gallons per day of the amount actually used. It would have been 


City Document. — No. 15. 

impossible to have saved one-eighth of this amount, even with 
the dam raised two feet higher; but enough would have been 
saved to have prevented the serious apprehensions which have 
been entertained of an inadequate supply. The following state- 
ment shows that our recently experienced fears of a short sup- 
ply had no better foundation than those that were entertained 
in December, 1864, and previously in January, 1862 : — 

Month and Tear. 

it 1 

cs o 

^ o § 
o o 

> a as 


1862. January . . 

1864. December . 

1870. December . 

1871. January 14th 





In my report to the Cochituate Water Board in Jan. 1864, 
after alluding to the remarkably low stage of the water, I used 
the following language, which may well be repeated at this 
time, viz: " Wo should be admonished by the experience of 
the past year, — when, with a rainfall of 42 ^^^ inches, our 
supply ran so low, — of the danger we should incur, if the 
rainfall should happen to be as small as in 1822, which was 
only 27y\ inches. The want of adequate storage room has 
probably been more forcibly exemplified in this year's experi- 
ence than ever before," etc. 


In January, soundings were taken for a sea-wall at Deer Isl- 
and, extending southwardly from the steamboat wharf, at a point 
about 240 feet from the shore, a distance of 300 feet, with a 
return towards the shore of 25 feet. Plans and specifications 

Repo]5t op City Engineer. 41 

•were prepared, and in February a contract was made with Messrs. 
Clapp and Ballon to build the wall for $29.44 per linear foot. 

The water on the line of the wall averaged 3 feet deep at 
mean low- water, and a trench 13 feet wide was excavated to 
hard bottom, — about 2 J feet. This trench was filled with large 
stone, and upon this foundation the wall was built. It was 12 
feet wide at the boittom, 4 feet wide at the top, 21^ feet high on 
an average, with a batter on the front of one in twelve. The 
tops of the caps were placed at the level of 16 feet above mean 
low-water. The work was commenced April 5, and finished in 
October. The amount of the final estimate was $9,568.00. 
August 18, a farther contract was made with the same parties 
to build so much of a return wall, from the end of the wall 
already built to the shore, as could be laid from the stone sloops, 
— the wall to be of the same general character as that already 
laid, except that no dredging was required and the dimensions 
of the wall diminished as it approached the shore. 

The work under this second contract was finished about the 
1st of November, at a cost, including $32.00 paid for hauling 
stone, of $2,305.00, making the total cost of the wall $11,873.00 . 
The appropriation for this work was $12,000.00; unexpended 
balance $127.00. Henry Manley, Esq., had charge of this work. 


This work was alluded to in my last report as so nearly com- 
pleted, that by May 1st we might expect to see it finished. By 
the terms of the contract, the contractors were to set an edge- 
stone, and pave the sidewalk with brick. But as the contrac- 
tor for filling the street in rear of the wall, was by the terms of 
his contract obliged to use the sidewalk to run his cars over, it 
was decided to release the former from his obligations to com- 
plete the sidewalks at the time appointed, and to pay him for 
the balance of the work, withholding a sum ample to complete 
the entire work. 

42 City Document. — No. 15. 

The final estimate was made May 1st, covering the entire work 
and withholding the amount necessary to finish the sidewalks. 

Mr. Manley, the assistant in charge of this work, has by my 
directions kept up a series of observations during the entire 
season, to determine the eiFect of the filling in the rear, upon 
the stability of the wall. 

The figures show a very slight movement, except in one 
place, where the dredging was omitted and the mud was deeper 
than usual. The rate of movement is rapidly decreasing, and 
the deposit of additional stone ballast in front of this piece of 
wall, v?ill, I think, render it secure against further movement. 


The work under the contract fi^r filling this avenue with 
material from Fort Hill, commenced October 27th, 1869. The 
contractor, B. N. Farren, Esq., completed the entire work Octo- 
ber 12 th, 1870. 

The final estimate of the amount of earth removed was 
82,850 cubic yards, at seventy-five cents, $62,137.50. Monthly 
estimates were made of the amount removed, and the work of 
supervision of the filling of the avenue was performed by my 
assistant, W. F. McConnell, Esq. 


Assistant McConnell has, from the commencement of this 
work, had charge of all the engineering field work. During 
the early part of the year this work required a very consider- 
able share of his time and attention ; but as the work has pro- 
gressed, the requirements have diminished, and at the present 
time the work is so near completion, that very little attention 
from this department is required. 

The abutments and retaining walls were completed about 
the first of March by the contractors, Messrs. Clapp and Ballou. 
The final estimate amounted to $65,304.74. 

Report op City Engineer. 4.3 

Great care "was taken in the matter of lines and grades upon 
the iron portion of the structure, in order that all the parts 
should come together well, and I am happy to say, that, with 
the valuable assistance and co-operation of the local superin- 
tendent, ]\Ir. Dexter Pratt, in this matter, the structures have 
been admirably fitted to the lines and grades. 

In my last annual report I gave a full and minute descrip- 
tion of this structure, and its condition at the beginning of the 
year. It was my intention to have given a description of oper- 
ations during the past year, and a statement of the present 
condition of the work; but I find this labor all saved to mo 
and most admirably done by the superintending engineer, Mr. 
T. Willis Pratt, in a report made to the Committee on Paving, 
dated December 2Tth, 1870 (City Doc. No, 120, 1870). As 
this report is in the nature of a sequel to the description of the 
work and its condition, as given in my last year's report, I take 
the liberty of inserting it in this place. 


CiTT Hall, Boston, Dec. 27th, 1870. 
George O. Carpenter, Esq., Chairman of Committee on Paving. 

Sir: In compliance with your request, and also the usual custom at 
the close of the year, I have the pleasure of making the following 
report upon the cost, present condition, and time of completion of the 
iron bridge now building for the extension of Broadway across Fort 
Point Channel. 

At the time of the surrender of the contract by the Mosely Company 
in September, 1870, there had been paid to said Company the sum of 
$314,480. According to the terms of the contract, payments were to 
be made on the 1st and 15th of each month, for work done and mate- 
rials furnished. The committee of 1889 authorized the placing of 
extra flanches upon all the large screw piles, on the recommendation 
of the City Engineer and the consulting Engineers, Gen. J. G. Foster 
for the Harbor Commissioners, and myself. This was done by the 
Mosely Company, and the payment of the cost, $9,116.56, is included 
in the above amount, having been paid with the estimates as provided 
in the contract. Deducting this amount from the gross amount paid 

44 City Document. — No. 15. 

at the time of the surrender, and we have $305,373.44 as the amount 
paid on account of the contract to September 15th, 1870. The value 
of the contract was $331,708.70, therefore the hahxuce to complete the 
work when the Mosely Company failed was $26,335.32. 

Since that time we have expended for labor and materials, as per 
approved pav-rolls and bills, to and including December 15th, 1870, 
the sum of $15,499.34; leaving a balance of $10,835.93 to complete the 
structure. The bill for extra work by the Mosely Company contains 
two other items for oak piles and guard timber amounting to $1,547, 
which have not yet been admitted as correct, though not absolutely 
rejected. I feel almost certain that we can finish the whole within the 
amount authorized to be paid. Of the present condition of the work 
I have to say: The whole extension, from Federal street to Albany 
street, we may consider under five divisions. First, between Federal 
and Foundry streets and between Lehigh and Albany streets, the 
road-bed has solid earth filling protected by heavy abutments and 
bank walls of good masonry. All the masonry is finished; and the 
roadway is completely graded and paved from Federal street to Foun- 
dry street. From Lehigh to Albany street the roadway is not up to 
grade, though a little gravel dressing would make it passable. 

Second Division: Consists of the small bridges of fifty or more feet 
span, over Lehigh street and Foundry street, which are substantially 
complete and have received the pavement. 

Third Division: Consists of the portion supported on iron columns 
and small screw piles, four hundred and forty feet between Foundry 
street and Old Colony railroad, and two hundred feet from Lehigh 
street into the dock below the Boston & Albany railroad tracks. These 
l^ortions are substantially complete, and have received the pavement 
and sidewalk; some fencing is still unfinished, and as yet no braces 
have been put in between the columns. 

Fourth Division : Consists of the two arched spans of one hundred 
feet each. These are all in place, with the floor beams all in, and plank- 
ing laid almost complete. There is still the fences to put on, and the 
ends which match with the draw are to be formed after the draw can 
be turned round. Bracing of the supporting columns under the arches 
is also to be done after the draw is turned and adjusted to the line of 
the roadway. 

Fifth Division: Consists of the drawbridge and ceiitre pier, with its 
adjunct the fender pier. The centre pier, consisting of nineteen col- 
umns or screw piles of cast-iron, one and one-fourth inch thick, and 
two feet internal diameter, filled with concrete, and properly connected 

Report op City Engineer. 45 

and braced, is complete. The fender pier is also completed. Of the 
drawbridge, the arches, tower, and suspending rods are in place, and 
three-fourths of the flooring is complete. The draw is standing in its 
open position over the fender pier and is supported on staging. When 
the flooring is in and completely secured, the draw can be turned ex- 
perimentally, so that the bearings and ends of the draw, and large 
arch spans can be fitted to each other, and the machinery and sup- 
ports tested to their utmost capacity. This part of the work must 
necessarily be nicely and carefully done, and more so at this season of 
the year when the low temperature prevailing contracts the material 
used to the smallest dimensions, and at the same time makes the em- 
ployees very uncomfortable by exposure and contact with the iron. 

The specifications require two hot-air engines of three horse-power 
each. I have not as yet engaged any, but have temporarily connected 
one of the hoisting steam-engines (used for pile driving) to experi- 
ment with. We have the offer of a hot-air engine on trial for a 
time, but the trial of the steamers first will determine the power 
required to move the draw, after which the other can be introduced 
and permanently adjusted, in the house in the centre pier. With com- 
fortable working weather I think we can put in the braces named above, 
adjust the ends of the draw, fit up the t)earings, set up the fences, 
gates, etc., etc., during the following month of January, 1871, so 
that early in February the bridge may be opened for travel. Owing I 
to the very confident proposition of the contractor in the first instance, 
to finish this work on the first of December, 1869, the impres-; 
sion on the public mind was that it was a work' of not much 
magnitude, for which a high price was to be paid. In reality, it 
is the greatest iron bridge ever undertaken in New England, embrac- 
ing some of the most intricate engineering operations, requiring great 
care and prudence in conducting the preparations, and constant watch- 
fulness at all times. I am pleased to state that thus far no accident 
has occurred to the injury of any individual on any part of this work. 
We have over eleven hundred feet in length of iron work which is sixty 
feet in width. The draw necessitates that the structure be made in 
three separate parts, and the contingency arises, how to manage the 
contraction and expansion of the material, so that the draw shall not 
be bound tight in the summer, under a high state of expansion, or left 
too loose in winter when the material is most contracted. The mode 
proposed by the engineer of the contracting parties, your superintend- 
ent considered did not meet the case, and another plan was proposed; 
considerable discussion ensued; but it was not thought advisable at 

46 City Document. — No. 15. 

that time (late in the year of 18G9) to hastily clecicle a question which 
might possibly be left until the final completion of the super-structure. 
However, the foundations for the proposed remedy, consisting of piles, 
were authorized by the committee of 18G9; the piles were driven and 
the bills paid. The committee of 1870 have not authorized any extra 
expenditures, and none have been asked for during their term. It is 
unfortunate that we are to complete this work during the cold season, 
on account of the difficulty of calculating for the effect of expansion 
when the hot weather comes on. We can put the draws in workable 
condition, and leave the remedy to be applied during the warm sea- 
son, when the real effects and necessities more plainly show them- 

In conclusion I desire to say, that thanks are due to Mr. Dexter 
Pratt and the employees under him, for the flxithfulness with which 
they have performed all their duties, both when under the Mosely 
management and also when transferred to the care of the city, under 
the Committee on Paving. I also desire to thank your Committee for 
the confidence reposed in myself, from the first of this year, and in 
having intrusted me with full power to complete the work under the 
contract or otherwise. 

Kespectfully submitted by 

SuperinUnding Engineer Broadway Bridge. 

Although not personally responsible for the superintendence 
of the construction of this work, vet — as the contract requires 
tliat the city enj^incer shall be one of the parties to whose satis- 
faction the work shall be done — I have felt it to be my duty to 
inspect the work from time to time, and have had occasion to 
consult and advise frequently with both the superintending en- 
gineer and the local superintendent, and I desire to say that, 
in my judgment, more reliable and efficient agents in a work 
of this character and magnitude, and in their respective spheres, 
it would be difficult to find. If the work intrusted to their care 
is not well done and a success, iD will be no fault of theirs. 

At the date of this writing (January 15th) I Qnd the work 
in such condition that it is safe to predict its entire completion, 
except the permanent grading between Lehigh and Albany 

Report of City Engineer. 47 

streets, by the first of March. This latter section may be tem- 
porarily graded so as to be passable, until such time as it may 
be decided whether Broadway is to be extended directly to 
Washington street, at its junction with Pleasant street, or via 
Way and Castle streets, to Washington street and thence to 
Tremout street. 


After the grading of Oliver street, which was completed in 
August 18G9, the work on the main body of the hill was com- 
menced on the easterly side at the level of Purchase street, 
under a contract for filling Atlantic avenue, made with B. N. 
Farren, on the 27th of October, 1869. As before stated under 
the head of " Atlantic avenue Jilling" this work was completed 
October 12th, 1870. 

March 1, 1870, Timothy Hannon began to remove earth 
from the hill — excavating by hand labor, under a contract to 
fill the docks west of Atlantic avenue and between Central and 
Long wharves. This filling was completed May 10th, 1870. 
The final estimate as certified by the City Engineer amounted to 
8,122 cubic yards at sixty cents, $4,873.20. 

July 1, 1870, Mr. John Souther began to remove earth from 
the hill under a contract to fill the dock west of Alantic avenue 
and between India and Central wharves. He used a steam ex- 
cavator and completed his work December 31st, 1870. 

The final estimate, as certified by the City Engineer, amounted 
to 4G,800 cubic yards at fifty-five cents, $25,740.00. 

About the middle of October, B. N. Farren and Martin Hayes 
began to remove earth from the hill, each under an independent 
contract to fill the docks west of Atlantic avenue and between 
Long and Commercial wharves, — Mr. Farren using a steam exca- 
vator, and Mr. Hayes working by hand. Monthly estimates are 
made by Mr. McConnell, assistant in charge, from measurement in 
the bank of all the material thus far removed, and said estimates 
certified by the City Engineer. 

48 City Document. — No. 15. 

Nov. 21, 1870, John Souther began to remove earth from 
the hill under a contract for filling in the SuiTolk-strect District. 

This work was started by hand, but since the completion of 
Mr. Souther's contract for filling the dock, before referred to, the 
steam excavator used on that work has been transferred to this. 

Under the several contracts above referred to, that portion 
of the hill east of Oliver street and above the level of Pur- 
chase has been entirely removed ; the section bounded by Oliver 
street, Milk street, Broad street and Washington square has been 
cut down to the established grade. So also has the section west 
of Oliver street, between Milk street and Pearl place. 

Mr. Farren is now working on the east side of Oliver street* 
and Mr. Souther on east side of Oliver street from it towards 
Broad street. Mr. Hayes is taking off the top of the hill on the 
west side of Oliver street. These three contracts are being 
vigorously prosecuted, and at the present time there is double 
the amount removed monthly that has been heretofore since the 
commencement of the work in 1866. 

Messrs Farren's and Hayes's contracts are to be completed 
May 1, 1871. The time of completing Mr. Souther's contract 
depends upon the operations on the Suffolk-street district; but 
the amount he is to remove is not to exceed 80,000 cubic yards. 

The amounts of earth removed under these three contracts to 
Dec. 20, 1870, the time of taking the measurements for monthly 
estimates, are as follows : — 

By B. N. Farren 1 7,000 cub. yards 

Martin Hayes 22,800 " " 

John Souther 3,000 " " 

The contract price of Mr. Souther's work is $9.60 per 
square, or $1.20 per cubic yard. 

A contract has been made with Albert Boschke to remove 
all the earth that will be left after the completion of existing 
contracts. He is to begin work Feb. 1, 1871, and to remove 

Report op City Engineer. 49 

1000 squares per month until finished, and to receive $2.50 per 
square. The material is to be used in filling flats on the north- 
erly shore of South Boston, belonging to riparian owners. 


Plans and specifications were prepared for this work early in 
the year ; proposals were invited and the contract awarded to 
N. C. Munson, Esq. Mr. Munson sub-let the work to Messrs. 
Blake and Parker, who began the work June 1. 

The wall is of granite, of the style of work kno^n as •' rubble 
masonry," and laid in cement mortar. It is capped flush with 
the sidewalk with a 12^' x 12'' granite cap. 

By the original plan and contract the entire wall — beginning 
at the northerly abutment of the Berkeley-street bridge, and 
extending along the easterly side of said street to Providence 
street, thence by the southerly side of Providence street about 
685 feet — was to rest upon piles; but upon further examination 
they were considered unnecessary for the lighter portion of t!ie 
wall on Providence street. It was accordingly decided to leave 
them out of that part of the wall, and to put the bottom of the 
wall at grade 7.00 above mean low- water, or four feet below the 
B. & P. R. R. grounds. The piles under the Berkeley-street 
wall were cut ofi" at grade 5.00. 

The contract was amended July 6, 1870, to provide for this 
change, and, in consideration thereof, the city paid the contrac- 
tor $450.00. This allowance was made because the contractor 
had made provision for doing all the work, and the abandon- 
ment of this portion of the contract would otherwise have been 
at a loss to him. 

By request of the Boston & Providence Railroad Co. the 
Providence-street wall was terminated at a point one hundred 
and fifty feet west of the point fixed by the original plan and 
contract. The contract was again amended August 9th, 1870, 
and the contractor allowed for the change $250.00. 

50 City Document. — No. 15. 

The entire wall was completed about the first of September, 
and the final estimate as certified by the City Engineer was as 
follows : — 

2,820 cu. yds. excavation at 40c. . . . $1,128 00 

239 Piles at $3 717 00 

1,400 cu. yds. rubble masonry at $6.70 _. 9,380 00 

704 lineal feet of coping at 40c. . . 281 60 

$11,506 60 

Consideration for amendment to contract July 6, 
1870 450 00 

Consideration for amendment to contract Aug. 9, 

1870 250 00 

$12,206 60 

The grading of the streets behind the wall was done by Mar- 
tin Hayes. * The final estimate of same was made Sept. 20th, 
1870. Assistant McConnell had charge of the field-work and 
estimates on this work. 


In January, test-pits were sunk to ascertain if the character 
of the soil would be suitable as a foundation for the abut- 
ments of the proposed bridge in extension of Shawmut avenue 
over the Boston and Albany Railroad. Additional pits were 
sunk in October on the site of the northerly abutment, and by 
the courtesy of Mr. Firth of the -Boston and Albany Railroad, 
the use of the northerly track of said road was granted for that 

Levels have been taken to determine the exact height of the 
Boston and Albany Railroad tracks and the clear headway at 
the several bridges. 

In November and December a large gravel bank at Needham 

Report op City Engineer. 51 

was surveyed, the same to bo used for filling the Suffolk-street 
District. The contractors for filling this district, Messrs. Man- 
uel & Haynes, have not, as yet, begun operations at this bank ; 
but are purchasing gravel of the Boston and Albany Railroad 
Co., from their bank at Newton. 

Measurements and examinations of the cars used for hauling 
the gravel to the District, have been made for purposes of esti- 
mating the quantities delivered. 

By direction of the Committee on the Suffolk-street District, 
plans were prepared early in the year for two abutments, a cen- 
tral pier, and an iron bridge for the extension of Shawmut 
avenue over Orange street, and the tracks of the Boston and 
Albany Railroad. The plan, as then contemplated, was to 
leave Orange street at its present grade, as du avenue of access 
to the grounds of the railroad company ; to place the southerly 
abutment on the south side of Orange street, a central pier about 
on a line with the southerly abutment of the Washington-street 
bridge, and the northerly abutment on the site of the present 
retaining wall on Indiana place. These abutments and pier to 
rest on pile foundations. 

Subsequent examinations, above referred to, proved that a 
good foundation could be obtained by excavating to about the 
level of mean low-water; so the plans were modified to dis- 
pense with piling. The plan first drawn for the superstructure 
contemplated a system of wrought-iron girders placed four feet 
apart under the roadway and five feet apart under the sidewalks, 
to be built continuous over the central pier and to have a depth 
of three feet at the centre of the spans and two feet six inches 
at the abutments. These girders were to be tied together at 
top and bottom, and X bridged at intervals with angle iron. 

The whole distance from abutment to abutment is about 113 
feet, and the width of the roadway 60 feet. By the plan pro- 
posed there are no main girders or trusses projecting above the 
level of the roadway as in most of the bridges, and the roadway 
is entirely clear of obstructions. 

52 City Document. — No. 15. 

In August I submitted an estimate of the cost of tlio abut- 
ments, pier and bridge according to my original plan to the 
Chairman of the Committee on Streets. 

The masonry was estimated . . . $18,447 00 
The superstructure 30,240 00 

$48,687 00 
Or, in round numbers .... $50,000 00 

By direction of the Committee on the Suffolk-street District 
the plans were re-drawn so as to cover only one span, — that 
from Indiana place over the railroad, — as there seemed to be a 
probability that Orange street would be raised, and, in that case, 
the space between the central pier and the southerly abutment 
would be filled solid. The plans were to be so arranged, how- 
ever, that the second span could be added if negotiation with 
the railroad company for the raising of Orange street should 
fail. New plans and specifications were accordingly prepared 
in October; and, Nov. 3d, proposals for the stonework were ad- 
vertised for. The contract for this portion of the work was 
made with Mr. Charles W. Parker, of Rockport, on the 26th of 
November; the work to be completed on or before May 1, 1871. 

Dec. 7, proposals for the superstructure were invited, and 
bids received ranging from $13,900.00 to $22,286.41. 

The contract was awarded to G-. "W. and F. Smith, they being 
the lowest bidders, and ^the agreement executed Dec. 30, 1870. 

The contractors are to commence putting on the structure by 
the 1st of May, or as soon as the abutments are ready, and to 
complete the work within thirty days. 

Report of City Engineer. 


The following is a list of the Bridges which the City has to 
maintain in whole or in part : — 


* Albany street bridge, over the Roxbury Canal. 

* Dover street " across entrance to South Bay. 

* Broadway " over Fort Point Channel (now building). 

* Federal street " " " « 

* Mt. Washington Av. bridge, over Fort Point Channel. 

* Meridian street 

* Chelsea street 

* Neponset • 

* Granite 

* Commercial street, 

Mill Dam, 

over Chelsea Creek. 

'' Neponset river to Quincy. 
" " " to Milton, 
from Breed's Island to Winthrop. 
over Creek at Cora'l st. Dorches'r. 
" Neponset river at Lower Mills. 
" " « " Upper Mills, 

over Sluices connecting the " Full 
Basin " with Charles River. 
Longwood Avenue bridge, over Longwood Creek and the 
Brookline Branch Railroad. 



Albany st. bridge, over Boston and Albany Railroad. 

Tremont st. " (water pipes) over " " " " 

Shawmut av. " (now b'ld'g) over " " " " 

Ferdinand st. bridge, 

Berkeley st. " 

Columbus av. " 

Dartmouth st. '• 

Berkeley st. " 

Dorchester st. " 

Broadway " 

over Boston and Albany Railroad. 

" Boston and Prov. Railroad. 
" Old Colony and Newport " 
" Lehigh and Foundry streets. 

* Bridges provided with draws, or opening for the passage of vessels. 

54 City Document. — No. 15. 

All the bridges marked with an asterisk in the first list and 
the Winthrop bridge are, or will be, when completed, in the 
charge of Superintendents, under the direction of the Commit- 
tee on Bridges. 

All the others except the water-pipe bridge at Tremont street 
are in the charge of the Superintendent of Streets, under the 
direction of the Committee on Paving. 


There is no official superintendent of this bridge; but Mr. F. 
Winchester is emploj^ed by the Committee on Bridges, and by 
the Committee on Harbor, receiving $300 per annum from the 
former, and $200 from the latter. 

There has been expended in repairs on this bridge, $1,164.86. 


No radical repairs have been made on the draw of this 
bridge as I recommended in my last report; but considerable 
work has been done to keep the draw in a movable condition. 
The piers have been extended southwardly, replanked, and oak 
ribbons or girders fitted to the sides. The cost of this work, 
including stock and labor, was $2,077.50. The ordinary repairs 
for the year amounted to $1,729.80. 


I have nothing to add to the statements made in my last re- 
port relative to this structure, except, perhaps, that subsequent 
reflection has confirmed the opinions there expressed " that the 
expense of permanent foundations and an iron superstructure 
as an adjunct of the present patched-up bridge and at its 
present grade would be quite unwarrantable." I am strongly in- 
clined to the opinion that an iron structure resting upon screw- 
piles, placed in piers or rows forty to fifty feet apart, and at a 
grade sufficiently high to place the running gear and machinery 

Report of City Engineer. 65 

above the reach of tide-water and ice, will bo found cheaper in 
the end than any attempt to widen the bridge and draw, in its 
present condition. A plan has been prepared, showing a pro- 
posed arrangement of a screw-pile pier; but no estimates of 
cost have yet been prepared. 

The cost of repairs on ,this bridge during the past year 
was $3,641.39. 


It was found necessary to make quite extensive repairs of 
the drawbridge, involving the stoppage of the travel for several 
days. The wheels were all removed and their running faces 
turned down true. A new wrought-iron band was attached to 
the axle-rods on the side of the wheel next the centre pivot, and 
braced to the former band on the outer side of the wheels. The 
tracks were levelled, and heavier wrought-iron plates interposed 
between the track plates and the oak plank beds. 

These changes made the draw move easier for awhile; but 
the superintendent complains that it still runs very hard. 

The cost of the repairs on this bridge during the year 
amounted to $2,091.76. 

The draw will have to be replanked, the concrete sidewalk 
repaired, and some of the loose plates under the tracks secured 
by stouter lag screws. A portion of the draw pier also needs 


Very little has been required or done on this bridge during 
the year; the repairs amounting to only $43.56. The draw- 
bridge and the planked portions of the approaches will have 
to be replanked or partially so this season, ^ 


An examination of this structure was made early in the year, 
and the concealed defects alluded to in my last report were 

56 City Document. — No. 15. 

made quite apparent. By direction of the Committee on 
Bridges, I prepared a plan of proposed repairs, and specifica- 
tions and schedule ; but it was extremely difficult to prescribe 
the amount of old material that should be replaced with new 
without having the bridge entirely stripped. I proposed to the 
Committee that, in view of the uncertainty of the amount of 
stock and labor required, it would be good policy to purchase the 
stock and employ day labor ; but it was decided to let the work 
by contract. Accordingly — 

Proposals were invited on Specifications calling for a definite 
amount of new stock and the labor required to substitute it for 
the old. 

The contract was awarded to Salma E. Gould, of 
East Boston, for $3,130 00 

There was a subsequent agreement to pay for 
removal of earth covering .... 500 00 

For keeping the bridge open during repairs . 100 00 

$3,730 00 

The removal of the earth covering, which was about twenty 
inches deep, showed the flooring almost entirely rotted away, as 
I expected ; but the removal of the planking exposed a much 
worse state of afiairs among the stringers. By direction of the 
Committee, Mr. Gould removed all the stringers which I con- 
demned, and an exact schedule of all extra stock ordered, was 

The bill for extra stock and labor amounted to $1,990.44, 
making a total of $5,720.44 paid to Mr. Gould. Other pay- 
ments made the total cost of rebuilding . . $5,824.44. 


An examination of this structure was made in company with 
the Committee, in February, and I reported to the Committee in 
writing as follows : — 

Report op City Engineer. 57 

This bridge is about thirty feet wide, and, including the draw, 
about one hundred and fifty-three feet long from the northerly abut- 
ment to the Quincy line. The opening for vessels is about thirty 
feet. The bays are irregular in width, from fourteen to twenty 
feet. The piles are about seven and a half feet apart, and are 
very poor. The caps and planking are in fair condition. The 
abutment and the bulkhead on tho westerly side are in an unfit 
condition to hold the filling of the street : both have given way, and 
been patched up in a very bungling manner. The draw is sound, 
but very lightly built. The piers are in a wretched condition: 
the side-planking is almost entirely gone, and the piles so poor 
that they would hardly hold a new planking. The piers are too 
short by fiifty feet. The filling in of the abutment has crowded 
the bridge so that the piles all lean towards the draw. 

The structure as a whole is in such condition that it would be 
poor economy to spend anything on repairs, and I should rec- 
ommend rebuilding the whole structure, abutments, bridge and 
piers at the earliest moment, as a measure of safety and economy. 
The draw opening should be thirty-five feet in the clear. 
The draw should be a pivot counterbalanced draw. The 
bridge and approaches should be made, at least, fifty feet 
wide. The piers should be about one hundred and fifty feet 
long and twenty feet wide. There should also be about one 
hundred and twenty feet, lineal, of fender-guard. 

The expense of rebuilding as above thoroughly, would be 
approximately, as follows, viz : 

(Plan No. 1.) 

Abutment $1,558 00 

6000 sq. feet of piers . @$1.00, 6,000 00 
4,500 " " " drawbridge @ 2.50, 11,250 00 
3150 « « " bridge @ 1.50, 4,725 00 

120 lineal feet fender-guard, (§ 10 1.200 00 
Planking sides of piers . . 800 00 

$25,533 00 


58 City Document. — No. 15. 

(Plan No. 2 — repairs.) 
The least that can be done, without throwing money away, 
would be to drive new oak piles along the entire front of the 
piers and replank the sides ; rebuild the abutment and retain- 
ing wall, and build one hundred and twenty feet of fender-guard. 
The cost of these items would be about, . $7,500 00 

(Plan No. 3 — repairs.) 

Another way to improve without an entire renewal — leaving 
the present draw as it is, — would be to rebuild the abutment 

and retaining wall $1,558 00 

Eebuild and replank sides of pier . . . 6,800 00 
Rebuild 70 feet in length of the bridge, 50 feet wide 5,250 00 
Build 120 feet fender guard .... 1,200 00 

14,808 00 

This structure should be examined by the committee, and 
some action taken this year. The repairs have cost $353 52 

Geanitb Beidge (over neponset river). 

The repairs on this bridge have been very light, amounting 
to only ........ $60.82 


In my last report I suggested that a widening of this structure 
would be an improvement. During the summer I was called upon 
to furnish an approximate estimate of the cost of widening the 
bridge to a width of fifty feet by the Committees of Paving and 
Streets. A rough estimate was then made for extending the 
piers and arches and for building a retaining wall : the cost of 
the whole I figured at $10,500 00. As some objections were 
subsequently made to obstructing the waterways by extending 
the stone piers, I proposed to the Committee a structure of iron 
that would obviate the objections raised. Plans are now in 
progress for this work. 


Report op City Engineer. 59 


This bridge has required no repairs during the past year, and 
will need but little the present — say a partial replanting, and 
repainting the iron-work, which is full light, and should not bo 
allowed to waste by rust. 


In reference to the condition of this structure, I reported to 
the Committee on Bridges, Feb. 19, L870, as follows, viz: — 

" The total length of this bridge, including the draw, is about 
two hundred and twenty-seven feet. The draw is located about 
forty-six feet from the northerly abutment, and the opening is 
twenty-six feet wide. 

" The width of the bridge on the northerly side of the draw is 
forty-seven feet at the abutment and thirty-six feet at the draw. 
The width south of the draw is about thirty-three feet. The 
draw is light but sound, and the caps and planking on the por- 
tion north of the draw are in passable condition ; and that is 
about all there is of the whole structure that is good for anything. 
The piles are all spruce and there are hardly any fit to remain. 
The entire southerly portion of the structure is not safe. 

" There seems to be no good reason for maintaining a bridge 
of any kind at this place; but it would undoubtedly be impru 
dent for the city to attempt to fill up the creek by solid filling 
at this time. The expense would be very great for the enclos- 
ing walls, filling and damages, which would undoubtedly be 
claimed by the shore owners on the creek. 

" The cost of enclosing walls and solid filling would be about 
$20,000.00; of earth fiUmg without walls, about $12,000.00. 

" A new structure (exclusive of the draw), built with oak piles, 
would cost about $8,000.00 ; if built with spruce piles, $5,000.00. 

"I should recommend rebuilding with spruce piles according 
to the last plan, which I think will last, with slight repairs, 
until the basin and creek are filled." 

60 City Document. — No. 15. 


In my last report I stated that " plans had been prepared for 
covering these sluices in a safer and more substantial manner, 
with either a wooden or iron structure, whichever shall be 
decided most suitable under the circumstances." 

By direction of the Committee on Paving, specifications were 
drawn for the wooden structure, — proposals invited, and the 
contract awarded to Boyuton Brothers for $8,400.00. Extra 
work was done to the amount of $421.60, making the total 
cost $8,821.60. 

During the progress of the work, the foundations of the gate- 
house, on the southerly side of the mill-dam covering the gates, 
became undermined, the building and gates fell over into the 
basin, thus leaving the ends of the piers exposed to the danger 
of further undermining. In fact one or two had already settled. 
Soundings were taken which showed that the tremendous force 
of the tide rushing through these contracted openings had ex- 
cavated a pit twenty feet in depth above the sluices, and had 
already eaten its way for some distance beneath the apron of 
the sluices. Vigorous measures were at once taken by the 
superintendent of streets, and the space already excavated was 
filled with stone to the level of the apron or floor of the sluice- 


In my last report, I stated that surveys, levels and plans 
were in progress for a new structure. The plans, as prepared, 
contemplated an abandonment of the present wooden trestle- 
work ; changing the bed of the present creek so as to conduct 
its waters through a masonry culvert twenty feet in width j said 
culvert to l)e placed parallel with the railroad and in the rear of 
the easterly abutment of the bridge over said railroad. The cul- 
vert and abutment being built and the necessary wing-walls, the 
entire roadway east of the easterly abutment was to be filled 

Report of City Engineer. 61 

solid, and the portion over the railway to be spanned by an iron 
bridge similar in. construction to that previously described as 
being built over the Boston and Albany Railroad on the ex- 
tension of Shawmut avenue. 

Estimates were made and submitted to the Committee on 
Paving; but the reduction of the appropriation, asked for by 
the Committee, prevented immediate action The bridge was 
subsequently reported unsafe by the Police, and I was called 
upon to report, if possible, a mode of temporary repair which " 
should make the bridge safe for a few years. A plan was pro- 
posed and endorsed by E. ri. Philbrick, consulting engineer for 
the town of Brookline. The work was done in accordance 
with said plan by Joseph Ross, Esq. 

The total cost was $3,480.83, of which the town of Brook- 
line paid about one-half. 


The necessity of making very thorough repairs upon this 
bridge was urged by me in my last annual report, and after a 
thorough examination of the structure by the committee, the 
necessity was fully recognized, and I was directed to prepare 
plans and specifications, which I did, and submitted the same 
with a preliminary estimate of the cost to the committee. No 
formal vote was passed by the committee approving the plans ; 
but they were deemed generally satisfactory, and I was directed 
to lay them before the Harbor Commissioners for approval. 
The Commissioners passed only upon the plan of piling proposed, 
and that was approved. 

I proposed for the drawbridge an entire new structure above 
the foundations, of substantially the same dimensions as tte 
present one as to length and width. The trusses were to be of 
wood and iron like the present one, except that they were to 
be of the style known as the "Pratt truss." My reason for 
proposing wooden trusses was, that I presumed the bridge 

62 City Document. — No. 15. 

would be considerably lighter, and also less expensive. Subse- 
quent investigations, however, satisfied me that, for structures of 
equal strength, the difference in weight between wood and iron 
is less than I had supposed, and, in view of the increased dura- 
bility of iron over wood, it would be better to incur the addi- 
tional first cost. 

The estimates, however, had been submitted to the Committee 
on Bridges for doing the work according to my original plan for 
' the sum of $G0,000.00, and an order introduced in the Board 
of Aldermen, authorizing the committee to make the repairs, 
etc., at an expense not exceeding my estimate, and authorizing 
the Treasurer to borrow the sum of $60,000. 

When these orders reached the Council, the following proviso 
was appended : — 

*' Provided, that no portion of this money shall be expended 
until the Committee on Bridges shall have advertised for plans 
and proposals for rebuilding said bridge, and a contract made 
with responsible parties to complete the entire structure for 
$60,000,00, or less, wpow a plan satisfactonj to the City Engineer." 
This proviso was attached in Common Council, May 26, and 
passed by a vote of 49 yeas, to 1 nay. In Board of Aldermen, 
May 30, the order, as amended, was concurred in by a unani- 
mous vote. 

At a meeting of the Committee held soon after the passage of 
the foregoing orders, the following notice submitted by the City 
Engineer, was approved by the Committee, the same to be pub- 
licly advertised : — 



Plans, specifications and sealed proposals will be received at 
the oflice of the City Engineer, until Thursday, June 30th, at 
12 o'clock, M., for making all necessary alterations and re-con- 

Report of City Engineer, 63 

struction on the Mount Washington Avenue Bridge, draw, draw- 
pier and abutments. The right is reserved to reject any or all 
plans and proposals. 

By order of the Committee on Bridges. 

WALTER E. HAWES, Chairman:' 

At the same meeting the Engineer desired instructions from 
the Committee as to what disposition should be made of the 
plans already prepared by him. Should they be withheld from 
public inspection, and parties desiring to submit plans of their 
own, be told to go and examine the bridge for themselves, and 
get their own information as best they could, and make their 
own suggestions ; or, should I offer free access for all who de- 
sired to examine the plans already made, and inform them that 
they were free to bid upon the plans as they were, or to submit 
any new plan or modification of the old one, and bid upon 
those ? 

It was unanimously agreed by the Committee and myself, that 
the plans already made, and all information in the possession of 
the Engineer should be placed at the disposal of all parties, and 
that parties applying be informed that it was the desire of the 
committee that the bridge in its present condition should be ex- 
amined, and that full liberty was accorded to make any changes 
or modifications in the style of drawbridge, or methods of repairs 
suggested by the Engineer, it being the wish of the Committee to 
secure the best plan for doing the entire work within the limits 
prescribed by the order. 

I stated to the Committee that I would afford every facility 
in my power to parties desiring to bid or submit plans, and 
that I was not so tenacious of my own plan or so conceited in 
reference to my own ability in the matter as to preclude an 
impartial judgment upon the plans of others. 

The advertisement for plans, specifications and proposals was 
inserted in the papers June 14, and parties given until the 30th 

64 City Document. — No. 15. 

to prepare plans and specifications. The time was afterwards 
extended to the 6th of July, and during this interval every 
facility in my power was impartially given to all parties who 
desired information as to what I deemed requisite to put the 
bridge in first-class order, preserving what was already good. 

On the sixth of July the proposals were opened by the com- 
mittee at the office of the City Engineer. 

There were nine propositions received from seven different 
parties, one party making three separate propositions. There 
were five different plans of drawbridges submitted, besides the 
original one prepared by the Engineer. In every case but one 
the City Engineer's plan for repairs of the approaches to the 
draw were used and estimated upon by the parties submitting 
proposals. At this meeting the plans were partially examined 
and discussed, a schedule of the proposals made, and the speci- 
fications and proposals filed and indorsed. The committee 
adjourned to meet on the following Monday, the eleventh, it 
being understood that the Chairman and Engineer should, in 
the mean time, visit New York and vicinity to examine iron 
drawbridges and the methods of operating, and also to afford 
the Engineer an opportunity of critically examining the several 
plans submitted. The visit was made and we came home fully 
decided to discard the original plan of a wooden truss and to 
confine the selection to those plans of iron that came within the 
limits of $60,000, prescribed by the order. 

On Monday the Committee met 'at the office of the clerk of 
Committees. The City Solicitor was present at the opening 
of the meeting ; the chairman, the clerk of Committees and the 
City Engineer were present during the entire session, and the 
other members of the Committee were present most of the time. 
The City Solicitor's opinion was asked in reference to the powers 
of the Committee under the order, and the proper course to pur- 
sue. His reply was, in substance that the order conferred no 
power upon the Committee to make a contract, and that, having 

Report op City Engineer. 65 

advertised for and received plans and proposals, it was the 
duty of the City Engineer to indicate which plan he preferred, 
and then, if the committee coincided, to report to the Board oi 
Aldermen, an order authorizing a contract to be made for the 
execution of such plan. 

There were two propositions covering the original wooden 
trussed drawbridge of the City Engineer and his plans for the 
remainder of the work, and one for a " Howe truss " wooden 
drawbridge, and the Engineer's plan for the rest of the work. 

These three were set aside, as the Engineer expressed his 
preference for the plans of iron trusses or girders. Two of 
the plans and propositions, covering the cost of very substan- 
tial iron drawbridges combined with the Engineer's plan for the 
rest of the work were also set aside as the proposals exceeded 
the sum of $60,000. 

One proposition was set aside as not conforming to the re- 
quirements of the advertisement, covering only a portion of the 
work. And another proposition was not deemed admissible, 
as it was a bid made by one party upon plans submitted by 

The (plans and propositions were now reduced to two, one 
covering the cost of a drawbridge with iron cords and ties, and 
wooden diagonal bracing, combined with the Engineer's plan 
for the balance of the work. The other was for a drawbridge 
with plate iron girders, combined with a modification of the 
engineer's plan for the rest of the work. Of the two plans I 
decidedly preferred the latter, the girders being entirely of iron, 
and it was, in fact, simply a modification of my original plan, 
with iron girders substituted for the wooden trusses. The dif- 
ference in cost, however (the one I preferred costing $4,700 
more than the other), caused me to hesitate before expressing 
my preference to the Committee ; but, recalling the Solicitor's 
opinion, I felt it to be my duty to express to the Committee my 
reasons for preferring the more costly of the two plans, and, as 


66 City Document. — No. 15. 

both were within the limit of $60,000, let the Committee decide. 
By the terms of the Order the plans must be satisfactory to the 
City Engineer ; and the Committee, feeling that they must be 
governed in the matter of selection by his choice, voted to 
recommend to the Board of Aldermen the passage of an order 
authorizing the Committee on Bridges to contract with Messrs. 
Ross and Lord for rebuilding Mt. Washington avenue bridge, 
piers and abutments in accordance with plans and specifications 
submitted by them and approved by the City Engineer, for the 
sum of $56,000. 

An order was accordingly introduced in Board of Aldermen 
that afternoon, and after long discussion was recommitted. 

July 25th. The same order was reported back by a major- 
ity of the Committee, and after being discussed considerably, 
was passed. 

I have been more prolix, perhaps, in reciting the history of 
this matter than the subject itself would warrant ; but, recalling 
the somewhat heated controversies in relation to it, and the 
insinuations of favoritism, if not unfairness, in awarding the con- 
tract, or rather in making the selection, — and desiring to cor- 
rect, if possible, the effect of some inaccuracies of statement 
made during the discussions of the matter, T have felt it to be my 
duty in this connection to state the facts in the case as they 
actually were. 

The whole difficulty in this matter was well stated by a mem- 
ber of the Board of Aldermen during the discussion when he 
said, " that, by allowing the adoption of this amendment, the 
difficulty had arisen of everybody bidding upon his own plans 
without competition." 

The contract with Messrs. Ross & Lord was signed August 
11th, the understanding being that the bridge was to be closed 
to public travel so that work could be commenced Aug. 20th 
and finished Dec. 1st; but, to accommodate certain special 
business on Boston Wharf, the time for closing the bridge was 

Report of City Engineer. 67 

postponed so that the contractor was delayed about a month. 
The work is nearly completed. The approaches to the draw 
are finished and the iron girders of the new draw are in position. 

The plan of repairs is substantially the same as the one 
originally proposed by me, the modifications being very slight. 
The top surface of the bridge at the draw has been raised three 
feet, and the approaches finished on a grade falling each way 
from the draw at the rate of 1 ^^o^o feet per hundred. The bridge 
was stripped of everything above the stringers, and a new pile 
driven in each pier between the old ones, making seven new 
piles to each pier. The new piles were capped with a 14'''X 14:" 
hard pine cap at a suitable height above the old caps to con- 
form to the new grade. New stringers were put on the new 
cap over the old stringers and supported at two intermediate 
points in each bay upon the old stringer by hard pine posts 
or struts properly tenoned and secured; thus keeping the 
strength of both. The flooring is of six-inch Burnettized spruce 
covered with a water-tight covering of asphaltum concrete, and 
crowned in the middle of roadway. The contract required that, 
upon this concrete there should be placed a pavement of wooden 
blocks ; but objections being subsequently raised by truckmen 
using the bridge a good deal for heavy travel, that wood pave- 
ment in that place would be very objectionable, authority was 
given the Committee to amend the contract and substitute small 
granite blocks for the wood. 

The change was accordingly made and the bridge is paved 
with stone. The curbs are of cast-iron similar to those of the 
Berkeley street and the Broadway extension bridges. New 
oak ribbons have been put on each side of the draw-pier and 
said piers are entirely replanked. New piles have been driven 
and the piers strengtiiened at the ends. Additional piles have 
also been driven under the centre of drawbridge, in front of 
the abutments at each end of the bridge, and at several other 
points where the old ones were deemed by the Engineer unfit 

68 City Document. — No. 15. 

to remain. A portion of the southerly abutment was rclaid, 
and the northerly one was thoroughly braced with oak piles at 
its base. 

The fender guard has been strengthened and recapped, and, 
in short, the entire bridge above the old stringers has been 
rebuilt in a most thorough and substantial manner. 

The drawbridge is entirely new above the piling and plat- 
form, and is placed about three feet higher than the old one 
so as to keep the tracks and wheels out of the reach of tide 
water and ice as before stated. The general plan is precisely 
the same as my original one, except that in place of the trusses 
of wood there are substituted plate iron girders. These main 
girders are one hundred thirty-six feet long and support the 
entire roadway and sidewalks; they are eight feet high in 
the centre, and three feet at the ends. These girders rest at 
their centres, upon the ends of a plate-iron box-girder, com- 
posed of three vertical plates or webs, connected at top and 
bottom with horizontal plates and angle irons, and having verti- 
cal and diagonal angle-iron stiffeners and interior cross brac- 
ing. This cross girder is proportioned to carry the entire 
weight of the bridge — one half resting on each end — and 
transmit the same to a centre pivot, eight inches in diameter, 
and provided with a screw so that the entire weight of the 
bridge may be borne by the centre pivot. A turn-table with 
tracks and wheels in the usual style is provided; but it is 
designed to carry the bulk of the weight upon the pivot, the 
wheels to take only enough to keep the bridge steady. It is 
anticipated that this arrangement will be superior to any of 
the plans in use on the other bridges, where the bulk of the 
weight rests upon the wheels and generally upon one or two. 

The original contract price for doing this work was 
$56,000.00; the Committee were subsequently authorized to ex- 
pend $3,200.00 additional for Burnettizing plank, and substitut-- 
ing stone pavement for wood. 

Report of City Engineeb. %9 

The amount paid on this contract to Jan. 1st, 1871, is 


This structure is in good condition as to safety; but the 
entire iron work should be repainted. The abutments have 
cracked badly, and present an appearance of instability ; but 
there has been no settling, and the cracks were occasioned by 
a slight spreading of the wing, or retaining walls, which are 
bonded into the abutments. These wing walls were not bal- 
lasted, and the filling of the street in the rear with objectionable 
material, and its subsequent settlement has pressed these walls 
out, carrying portions of the abutments with them. The move- 
ment has ceased, and has not amounted to enough to injure the 
stability of the walls or abutment in the least. 


Nothing has been done to this bridge during the year except 
to replank it. The iron work should be repainted, and the 
approach on the northerly side replanked. 


The roadway has been partially replanked and raised ; but 
the horse railroad tracks remain at the old level. These should 
be raised so that the surface of the roadway may be uniform. 
As it is, it not only looks badly, but is unsafe. The web of 
the middle girder is badly rusted, and should be thoroughly 
scraped, cleaned, and painted. The web-plates are only one- 
tenth of an inch in thickness, and the attachments none too 
strong ; hence the necessity of preserving the little iron there is, 
and not allowing it to rust away. Painting over rust and mud 
will do little good; the iron should be clean when the paint is 
applied. The space between the wooden curb and the web of 
the girders, should be filled in, as it is now only a receptacle 
for mud and filth, which comes directly in contact with the iron 
of the webs where tba lower cord attachments are made. 

70 City Document. — No. 15. 


The superstructure is in good condition. The abutment on 
the southerly side has settled and cracked badly at the east end, 
and slightly at the west end. Some iron cramps properly 
applied would prevent a further movement. 


This bridge has been replanked; but not enough longitudinal 
crown was given to shed properly the rainfall. The lower cords 
and all the iron work beneath the floor should be painted. 

AT THEIR junction). 

This bridge is in good order, and will need no repairs this 


This bridge is in good condition, having required no repairs 
during the year. Some slight alterations, however, were made 
in order to lay the new twenty-inch main for South Boston. 


Plans and specifications for a new ferry drop and tank were 
prepared in the summer by request of the Directors, and the 
drop has since been built in conformity with said plans. It is a 
stronger and better structure than any built hitherto, and gives 
good satisfaction. 

Respectfully submitted. 


City Engineer. 


Illlllilllll , ^ 

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