[Document 25 — 1881.]
CITY OF ^^m BOSTON.
FOR THE YEAR 1880.
Office of the City Engineer, City Hall,
Boston, February 1, 1881.
To the Honorable City Council ; —
In compliance with the sixth section of the ordinance
relating to the Engineer's Department, the following report
of the expenses and operations of the department for the
year 1880 is respectfully submitted.
The duties of the City Engineer may be classified under
the following heads : —
A. — Those pertaining to the City Engineer's Department
proper, which consist in the superintendence of the filling of
new streets and of districts, in the care and maintenance
of bridges, in designing and superintending the construction
of new bridges, retaining-walls, city wharves, etc., and in
miscellaneous work called for by committees of the City
Council. (City Engineer's Department.)
B. — Superintendence of the Sudbury River, Cochituate,
and Mystic Water Works, including charge of new con-
structions for these works. (Water Works.)
C. — Charge of the building of a new system of works
for bringing an additional supply of water from Sudbury
River. (Additional Supply.)
2 City Document No. 25.
D. — Charge of the construction of a system of intercept-
ing and ontlet sewers. (Improved Sewerage.)
E. — Charge of the engineering work in connection with
the Back Bay and other proposed parks. (Parks.)
The expenses incurred under the lieads C. and D. are paid
wholly from special api3ropriations ; one under the charge of
the Water Board, the other under the charge of the Joint
Special Committee on Improved Sewerage.
(A.) — City Engineer's Department.
The following is a statement of engineering expenses from
January 1, 1880, to January 1, 1881 : —
Amount expended from department appro-
priation for 1879-80 .... $6,765 54
Amount exijended from department appro-
priation for 1880-81 .... 19,276 23
Total expended from department appro-
priations $26,041 77
Amount expended from special and other
appropriations . . . . . 2,074 60
Total $28,116 37
Condition of department appropriation ; —
Amount of appropriation for financial year
1880-81 $26,000 00
Amount expended to January 1,1881 . 19,276 23
Unexpended balance, January 1, 1881 . $6,723 77
From special and other appropriations : —
New main Cochituate Water Works.
Pay-rolls $807 50
Pay-rolls and incidentals .... 575 50
Pay-rolls and incidentals . . . . 691 60
Total $2,074 60
Report of City Engineer.
CLASSIFICATION OF EXPENSES.
Salaries of City Engineer, assistants, drauglits-
meu, transitmen, levellers, rodmen, etc.
Engineering instruments and repairs of same .
Drawing paper and materials
Stationery and printing stock
Reference books, maps, photographs, and frames,
Printing and binding .....
Travelling expenses, including horse-keeping,
etc. . . . . . . .
Horse and new caariage . ! . .
Incidental expenses and small supplies .
" Blue Process " printing and materials
Committee expenses .....
The number of persons employed and paid from the de-
partment appropriation was, on the first of January, 1880
(including the City Engineer), 18. The present number is
22. The operations of the department for the year, together
with such general information relating to the various works
and structures, finished and in progress, as is thought to be
of interest, are given in the following statements : —
The largest portion of the work done on the tide-water
and inland bridges, during the year, has been in the way of
The city's portion, with the exception of the draw and its
foundations, of the Chelsea bridge over the main channel of
the Mystic river, has been entirely rebuilt.
Two new street bridges are in process of construction, —
the bridge over the Boston and Albany Railroad on the ex-
tension of Broadway, and the Beacon-street bridge over the
Park water-way. In the Back-Bay park the foundations
are being put in for an arched bridge on Boylston street,
over the Park pond.
The ordinary repairs of the bridges in charge of the
Committee on Bridges have been made by day's labor,
under the same system adopted by the committee of last
year. Mr. S. S. Lewis has been the superintendent of the
work, receiving for this service, and for furnishing a team
and transportation for his men, $100 per month, and $2.00
4 City Document No. 25.
per day for labor furnished. His work has comprised all
the carpentering, painting, and odd jobbing required on the
bridges. Machinists' and blacksmiths' work, pile-driving,
stone-work, paving, calking, and concrete-laying have been
done by day's labor, but by agreement after competition.
The spruce lumber required for repairs has been furnished
by Mr. John W. Leatherbee, the lowest bidder, and the cou-
ti'actor for several past years. He has furnished 245,880
feet B.M., for $13.90 perM., under his contract of 1880,
and 3,279 feet B.M., for $11.90 per M., under his contract
of 1879. The other kinds of lumber required have been
bought of the lowest bidders under competition, and in the
The total cost of repairs made under the direction of this
department on the tide-water bridges has been $25,565.02.
Repairs have been made under the supervision of this
department upon many of the inland bridges, at the request
of the Superintendent of Streets. This work has been done
by day's labor, and with materials purchased in the open
market. The total cost of these repairs has been $2,501.66.
The usual annual examination (required by Section 5 of
the ordinance relating to the Engineer's Department) of all
bridges within the city limits open to team and foot travel
has been made ; and the results of this examination, in
regard to the condition of the bridges as to safety and need
of renewal or repairs, are given in the following pages.
The following is a list of the bridges inspected. The
number is one greater than last year, owing to the two por-
tions of Chelsea bridge, which now have about a quarter of a
mile of solid street between them, being considered as sepa-
Those marked with an asterisk are over navigable
waters, and are each furnished with a draw ; —
I. — Bridges wholly supported by Boston.
Ashland street, "Ward 23, over Boston &, Providence
Athens street, over N.Y. & N.E. Raih-oad.
Berkeley street, over the Boston & Albany Railroad.
Berkeley street, over Boston & Providence Railroad.
*Broadway, over Fort Point Channel.
Brookline avenue, over Muddy river, Ward 22.
*Cbarles river, from Boston to Charlestown.
*Chelsea (South), over South Channel Mystic river.
*Chelsea street, from East Boston to Chelsea.
Columbus avenue, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
Report of Citt Engineer. 5
*Commercial Point, or Tenean, Ward 24.
*Congress street, over Fort Point Channel.
Dartmoutli street, over Boston & Albany and Boston &
* Dover street, over Fort Point Channel.
♦Federal street, " " " "
Ferdinand street, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
Huntington avenue, over " " " "
*Maldcn, from Charlestown to Everett.
*Meridian street, from East Boston to Chelsea.
Mill-dam, over Back-Bay sluices.
*Mt. Washington avenue, over Fort Point Channel.
Newton street, over Boston & Providence Railroad.
Public Garden, foot-bridge.
Shawmut avenue, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
Swett street, east of N.Y. & N.E. Railroad.
Swett street, west of N.Y. & N.E. Railroad.
*Warren, from Boston to Charlestown.
West Chester park, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
West Chester park, over Boston & Providence Railroad.
Winthrop, from Breed's Island to Winthrop.
II. — Bridges of which Boston supports the Part
WITHIN its Limits.
♦Cambridge street, from Brighton (Ward 25) to Cambridge.
Central avenue, from Ward 24 to Milton.
*Chelsea (North) , from Charlestown to Chelsea.
*Essex street, from Ward 25 (Brookline) to Cambridge.
*Granite, from Dorchester (AVard 24) to Milton.
Long wood avenue, from Ward 22 to Brookline.
Mattapan, from Ward 24 to Milton.
Milton, " " " " "
*Neponset, " " " "Quincy. '
*North Beacon street, from Ward 25 to Watertown.
*North Harvard street, from Ward 25 to Cambridge.
Spring street, from West Roxbury (Ward 23) to Dedham.
♦Western avenue, from Ward 25 to Cambridge.
♦Western avenue, from Ward 25 to Watertown.
Ill — Bridges of which Boston pays a Part of the
Cost of Maintenance.
Albany street, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
♦Canal, from Boston to Cambridge.
Dorchester street, over Old Colony Railroad.
♦Prison Point, from Charlestown to Cambridge.
♦West Boston, from Boston to Cambridge.
6 City Document No. 25.
IV. — Bridges supported by Railroad Corporations.
1st. — Boston (& Albany Railroad.
Brighton Avenue, Ward 25.
Market street, Ward 25.
2d. — Boston di Maine Mailroad.
3d. — Boston & Providence Railroad.
Beach street, Ward 23.
Belle vue street. Ward 23.
Centre street, or Hog Bridge, Ward 23,
Centre and Mt. Vernon streets. Ward 23.
Dudley avenue. Ward 23.
Park street. Ward 23.
Sharon street. Ward 23.
4th. — Boston, Revere Beach, & Lynn Railroad.
5th. — Eastern Raihoad.
6th. — N'ew York & New England Railroad.
Forest Hill avenue. Ward 24.
Harvard street. Ward 24.
Norfolk " a ii ,
Norfolk .< u «t
Washington street, Ward 24.
Report of City Engineer. 7
7ih. — Old Colony Railroad.
Ashmout street and Dorchester avenue.
Cedar Grove cemetery.
Savin Hill avenue.
I. Number wholly supported by Boston . . 30
II. Number of which Boston supports the part
within its limits . . . . . 14
Iir. Number of which Boston pays a part of the
cost of maintenance ..... 5
IV. Number supported by Railroad Corporations : —
1. Boston & Albany ...... 5
2. Boston & Maine ...... 2
3. Boston & Providence ..... 7
4. Boston, Revere Beach, & Lynn ... 1
5. Eastern ....... 2
6. New York & New England . . . . 13
7. Old Colony 5
Total number ...... 84
1. — BRIDGES WHOLLY SUPPORTED BY BOSTON.
Ashland-street Bridge (over Boston & Providence
Railroad, Ward 23).
This bridge is in good condition. The abutments need
repointing, and the girders should be painted during the
No repairs have been made the past year.
Athens-street Bridge (over New York & New Eng-
No repairs have been made, but the bridge is in good
order. It will probably require painting this season.
Berkeley-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany
This bridge is not equal in strength to the bridges of more
recent construction. It was built by the Moseley Iron
Bridge Works for the Boston Water Power Co., and came
into the possession of the city when the street was accepted.
8 City Document No. 25.
Since then it has been strengthened and is now in good con-
dition, but its position on a wide thoroughfare brings it in
the route of many large processions, and while no special
signs of weakness have been discovered, it requires careful
watching, and should be replaced before many years by a
The abutments are built of Roxbury stone, laid dry, and
fire very poorly constructed.
The roadway has been sheathed.
Total cost of repairs, $116.18,
Berkeley-street Bridge (over Boston & Providence
The roadway of this bridge has been sheathed during the
On Dec. 5 a derailed engine struck three of the cast-
iron supporting columns, knockin'g them out of position, but
fortunately doing no other damage to the bridge. The
repairs were made by the railroad company.
The iron-work will probably require repainting in the
spring ; otherwise the bridge is in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $536.66.
* Broadway Bridge (over Fort Point Channel).
The main item of repairs during the year has been a new
under floor for the draw. This consists %f 3|-inch white
pine, calked and paid ; the draw is now in excellent
The sheathing of all the truss spans has been renewed
during the year.
The wood pavement between the draw and the Lehigh-
street span is in bad order, and must be renewed in the
spring. The draw-pier, as mentioned in previous reports, is
in a somewhat insecure condition, due to the gradual de-
struction by worms of the spruce sheet-piling which supports
the structure. No especial change for the worse has, how-
ever, been noticed during the year.
The iron-work will require cleaning and painting in the
Total cost of repairs, $3,621.45.
Brookline-avenue Bridge (over Muddy River)
Is in fair condition.
Report of City Engineer.
* Charles-river Bridge (from Boston to Charles-
The usucal repairs have been made, and the bridge is in
A small addition to the horse-honse has been built for
the better accommodation of the horses. The bridge and
buildings have been painted, and a new buoy has been placed
below the bridge.
Total cost of repairs, $2,347.40.
* Chelsea-street Bridge (from East Boston to
The draw to this bridge is in poor condition. It is not
used for the passage of vessels to any extent ; otherwise it
would require rebuilding. The fixed part of the bridge is
in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $186.93.
Columbus-avenue Bridge (over Boston & Albany
None but ordinary repairs have been made. The bridge
is in good order.
Total cost of repairs, $198.93.
* Commercial Point, or Tenean Bridge (Ward 24),
Has received the usual repairs, and the bridge is in fair
Total cost of repairs, $388.06.
* Congress-street Bridge (over Fort Point Channel) .
The opening of A street for public travel, and the occu-
pation of the South Boston Flats by the New York & New
England Railroad Company, have caused a large increase in
the traffic over this bridge.
In October the draw was run into by a coal steamer,
which cut through the sidewalk, and nearly through the
lower chord of one of the main trusses. It was thoroughly
repaired, and has apparently sustained no permanent injury.
The centre pivot bearing of the draw was examined in
October, and found so badly worn that steps have been taken
to provide a new one.
The bridge, as a whole, is in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $2,569.59.
10 City Document No. 25.
Dartmouth-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany and
Boston & Providence Eailroads).
The roadway has been sheathed, and all the iron-work
underneath the floor has been painted. It is now in good
Total cost of repairs, $593.49.
* Dover-street BrIdge (over Fort Point Channel)
Has required only ordinary repairs, and is in good order.
Total cost of repairs, $858.14.
* Federal-street Bridge (over Fort Point Channel).
The trusses of the southerl}^ draw have been repaired, and
the floors of the sidewalks have been renewed and strength-
ened. The draw-piers need replankiug, and the roadway
floor will soon require renewal.
Total cost of repairs, $3,028.32.
Ferdinand-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany
But few repairs have been made, and it is in fair condition.
The bulkhead adjoining the bridge remains in the unsafe
condition reportc^cl last year.
Total cost of repairs, $63.46.
Huntington- a venue Bridge (over Boston & Albany
The iron-work has been thoroughly cleaned and painted,
and the bridge is in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $400.57.
* Malden Bridge (from Charlestown to Everett) .
Very few repairs have been required, but the bridge is in
good condition. It should be painted the coming season.
Total cost of repairs, $184.20.
*Meridian-street Bridge (from East Boston to
The bulkheads and fences on the main bridge are decayed
and need renewal ; otherwise the bridge is in t\iir condition.
The stone bulkheads across the bridge, at the ends of the
draw, which have proved a constant source of annoyance and
expense, have been removed, and wooden bulkheads sub-
Total cost of repairs, $1,939.63.
Keport of City Engineer. 11
Mill-Dam Bridge (over Back-Bay Sluices).
The Roxbuiy stone piers of this bridge are not in good
condition, bnt will probably continue to do their work until
the completion of the new Beacon-street bridge and the
filling of the Back Bay render the sluices unnecessary.
No repairs have been made.
*Mt. Washington-avenue Bridge (over Fort Point
This bridge has been painted, its fender guards rebuilt,
the roadway floor patched, and other smaller repairs made.
The floor of the roadway is in bad condition, and should be
entirely renewed. The floor of the draw is also weak, and
will require strengthening the coming year.
Total cost of repairs, $4,687.25.
Newton-street Bridge (over Boston and Providence
I renew the recommendation of last year that the abut-
ments be extended and pointed.
The bridge is otherwise in good condition.
No repairs have been made.
Public Garden Foot-Bridge.
The stone work of this bridge should be pointed, and the
wood and iron work painted.
Shawmut-avenue Bridge (over Boston & Albany
This bridge is in fair condition ; but it should be painted
this year. •
Total cost of repairs, $6.19.
Swett-street Bridges (over South-Bay Sluices)
Are in fair condition.
*Warren Bridge (from Boston to Charlestown).
The roadway near the Fitchburg Eailroad station has been
strengthened by additional stringers put in place from below ;
the sidewalks on the draw have been relaid, and the usual
The bridge, as a whole, is in bad condition ; the larger part
of the supporting piles were driven w^hen the bridge was
built, in 1828 ; they were not so large as piles used in later
12 City Document No. 25.
years, and have been reduced in size by the action of water
and ice. The portion of the bridge near the Fitchburg Rail-
road station was built in 1847, to facilitate the placing of the
station in its present position, and the piling and super-
structure of this part of the bridge have not been renewed
since that time. The superstructure of the remaining por-
tion was renewed in 1855.
As this bridge shows no exception to the general rule,
that the older any portion of a bridge is the poorer its con-
dition, it follows that the piles are in the worst condition on
that part of the bridge between the draw and Charlestown,
and the flooring and timbers are the poorest portions of the
section between the draw and Boston.
The subject of increased bridge accommodations between
the city proper and Charlestown has been carefully con-
sidered by a special committee of the City Council during
the past year, and a report has been made (City Doc. No.
143, 1880) which gives the results of their investigations.
It will be evident, from the preceding statements of the age
and present condition of this bridge, that it is not a proper
structure, as a whole, to be the main avenue of communica-
tion between the city proper and Charlestown. It will last,
with careful watching and repairing, for several years more ;
but its width at the present time is inadequate for the travel
over it, and it would probably be better economy to rebuild
and widen it than to let it stand much longer in the condition
it is now.
The total cost of repairs was $1,586.89.
West Chester Park Bridge (over Boston & Albany
This bridge is in good order. ,
No repairs have been made.
West Chester Park Bridge (over Boston & Provi-
The roadways have been replanked.
The bridge is in fair condition ; both this and the pre-
ceding bridge should be painted next season.
Total cost of repairs, $45.70.
WiNTHROP Bridge (from Breed's Island to Winthrop)
Is in good condition.
No repairs have been made.
Report of City Engineer. 13
II. — BRIDGES OF WHICH BOSTON SUPPORTS
THE PART WITHIN ITS LIMITS.
* Cambridge-street Bridge (from Ward 25 to
Only ordinary repairs have been made ; the bridge needs
replanking, and the work will be done this winter, if the
Total cost of repairs, $163.58.
Central-avenue Bridge (over Neponset River, Dor-
chester Lower Mills).
This bridge is in excellent condition.
No repairs have been niudo.
* Chelsea Bridge, South (from Charlestown to the
Boston & Lowell Railroad Wharf),
* Chelsea Bridge, North (from the Mystic River
Corporation's Wharf to Chelsea).
The reconstruction of the old Chelsea bridge, partially
made in 1866-7, has been completed during the past year,
and the last portion of the old bridge of the Salem turnpike
and Chelsea Bridge Corporation, built in 1802-3, has been
removed. When the work of reconstruction was commenced,
in 1876, the bridge was 3,300 feet long between abutments ;
since then 182 feet in length at the Charlestown end, 250
feet at the Chelsea end, and 1,263 feet in the central part of
the bridge, have been filled solid, making two bridges in lieu
of one. These bridges are separated by nearly a quarter of
a mile of solid street, and each is provided with a draw for
the passage of vessels. The bridge over the south channel,
on the Charlestown shore, which was built in 1877, and is
371 feet in length, is in good condition ; only ordinary repairs
have been made upon it. A full description of this structure
may be found in the Report of 1878 (City Doc. 20).
The bridge over the main channel of the Mystic river, or
"Chelsea bridge. North," with the exception of the draw
and its foundations, has been rebuilt during the year, from
19 feet north of the draw to the Boston abutment, by Boston,
and the remainder by Chelsea. The portion now maintained
,by Boston is 922 feet in length, including the draw.
14 City Document No. 25.
An Act of the Legislature of 1878 (Chapter 41) pro-
vided that Boston should maintain all that portion of the bridge
lying southerly of the draw, and that the draw should be
maintained jointly by Boston and Chelsea. The agreement
made last year with Chelsea, by which that city was to pay
$25,000, and Boston was to assume the future mainten-
ance of the draw, draw-piers, and the portion of the bridge
between the draw-piers when rebuilt, has been consummated,
the assent of the Legislature having been previously ob-
tained. The care of the draw was assumed by Boston, June
The work of rebuilding the portion of the bridge belong-
ing to Boston was done, under contract, by Messrs. Young
& Ryan, the contract price being $44,937.
The bridge was closed to travel on June 8. The rebuild-
ing was sufficiently advanced by September 22 to admit of
the resumption of travel, but owing to the non-completion of
the portion rebuilt by_Qhelseajtha--travel was not resumed
jintil Dec ember \.J The new bridge is 49 feet in width,
with one sidewaTIi 8 feet wide. It is built in a substantial
manner, with oak piles and hard-pine caps, bolsters, stringers,
and floor. The road-way floor is 6 inches thick, laid with
close joints, calked and covered with a layer of Trinidad
asphalt, and paved with granite blocks. The sidewalk is
coal-tar concrete on a floor of creosoted North Carolina pine.
The fences are white pine, neatly painted.
The draw-piers are 19 feet in width, and are respectively
170 and 180 feet in length. They have oak pile foundations,
with hard-pine timber superstructures, and creosoted North
Carolina pine floors. The bents of piles are cross-braced
with oak, and the ends of the piers protected with iron
straps. The sides of the water-ways are planked to a line
one foot above low-water mark. The pier on the westerly
side of the bridge occupies the place of the old one ; on the
easterly side the pier is built on the side of the channel
opposite to the old pier. Both piers are now on the Chelsea
side of the channel.
■ Two buoys have been placed, one above and one below
the bridge, to facilitate the passage of vessels through the
A work-shop has been built on the draw-pier, and a build-
ing containing the Superintendent's ofiice, two sleeping-
rooms, and a convenient stable, has been built on a small
wharf adjoining the bridge near the draw.
The draw has been repaired and painted, an entirely new
floor laid, and a sidewalk built upon it.
* The cost of the entire work of rebuilding, including
Report of City Engineer. 15
engineering, superintendence, building and furnishing Super-
intendent's office, etc., and all expenses incurred up to Jan.
1, 1881, was $50,477,08.
Total cost of ordinary repairs on both bridges, $1,693.G6.
*ESSEX-STREET BrIDGE (fROM WaRD 25 TO CAMBRIDGE).
A short piece of this bridge from the railroad crossing to
the abutment has been newly covered with a hard-pine floor,
calked and paid, and the whole bridge surface has been
replanked. The bridge is now in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $1,368.05.
*Granite Bridge (from Ward 24 to Milton).
Only ordinary repairs have been made, and it is in fair
Total cost of repairs, $116.03.
LONGWOOD-A VENUE BrIDGE (FROM WaRD 22 TO BrOOK-
A new floor has been laid on the part supported by Bos-
ton. The bridge is in good condition.
Total cost ot^repairs, $282.04.
Mattapan Bridge (from Ward 24 to Milton).
This bridge is a weak structure, but in fair condition.
No repairs have been made.
Milton Bridge (from Ward 24 to Milton).
This bridge is in fair condition.
No repairs have been made during the year.
*Neponset Bridge (from Ward 24 to Quincy).
This bridge has been painted, and a few minor repairs
have been made ; it is in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $123.85.
*NoRTH Beacon-street Bridge (from Ward 25 to
No repairs have been made on this bridge. The lower
course of floor-plank is in bad condition, and will have to be
renewed this year.
*North Harvard-street Bridge (from Ward 25 to
Only trifling repairs have been made ; it is in excellent
Total cost of repairs, $30.80.
16 City Document No. 25.
Spring-street Bridge (from Ward 23 to Dedham).
With the exception of the railing, which is poor, and to
which attention has been called for several years, this bridge
is in good order.
* Western-avenue Bridge (from Ward 25 to Cam-
This bridge, completed during the early part of the year,
was described in the last annual report. Very few repairs
have been needed, and it is now in excellent condition.
Total cost of ordinary repairs, $404.31.
* Western-avenue Bridge (from Ward 25 to Water-
Estimates and plans for rebuilding this bridge, and a model
of a leaf draw applicable to the very sharp angle which the
bridge makes with the river, were made early in the year ;
but the town of Watertown did not wish to cooperate with
the city in rebuilding the bridge, so nothing further was
done. The reconstruction of the bridge was recommended
by the Committee on Bridges of last year, and is a very
much needed improvement. Great inconvenience is experi-
enced on account of the difficulty of passing vessels through
the draw, and the long time consumed in doing it.
The bridge is in safe condition ; but the abutment over-
hangs its. base, and is liable to fall.
Total cost of repairs, $266.88.
III. — BRIDGES FOR MAINTENANCE OF WHICH
BOSTON PAYS A PART OF THE COST.
Albany-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany Rail-
The abutments are in very bad condition, and the bridge
is rapidly deteriorating from the effects of rust.
The abutments ought to be rebuilt, and if the bridge was
removed for this purpose it would not probably be worth
putting back again.
Total cost of repairs, $98.11.
* Canal Bridge (from Boston to Cambridge).
* Prison-Point Bridge (from Charlestown to Cam-
* West Boston Bridge (from Boston to Cambridge).
These three bridges are in good order.
[See Report of the Commissioner for Boston, City Doc.
No. 8, 1881.]
Report of City Engineer. 17
Dorchester-street Bridge (over Old Colony Rail-
Nothing hfis been clone to arrest the rusthig out of this
bridge, and its condition cannot be better expressed than by
the use of the Language in tlie last report : " The bridge is
badly damaged for want of proper care ; just how badly can-
not be known until it is stripped and cleaned. Enough is
known of its condition to warrant the statement that unless
it is cleaned and painted soon it will last but a few years
IV. — BRIDGES SUPPORTED BY RAILROAD COR-
The bridge on Commercial street, Dorchester, over the
Old Colony Railroad, is in bad condition. The main trusses
are old and rotten, and the floor timbers should be supported
on a wall plate instead of the insecure blocking now in use.
The surface of the bridge on Centre and Mt. Vernon
streets, over the Dedham branch of the Boston & Providence
Railroad, is inclined in the wrong direction, and water stands
upon it after a rain.
The bridge on Broadwa3^ over the New York and New
England Railroad, is in bad condition, the under floor being
especially poor and rotten.
The remaining bridges in this class are apparently in good
order, and require no special mention. Most of them are
simple platforms of wood, and when under repair their con-
dition can be ascertained with ease. To obtain the informa-
tion which would enable this department to report with cer-
tainty as to their safety it would be necessary to remove the
flooring, — usually in two thicknesses, crossing each other at
right angles, • — and as there seems to be no special necessity
for incurring so large an expense, this has never been done.
The most, therefore, that can be said of these bridges is that
they are apparently, and probably, in safe condition, with
the exceptions mentioned.
MISCELLANEOUS WORK AND CONSTRUCTIONS
Plans and specifications for increasing the height of the
sea-wall on Alford street, Charlestowu (near Maiden Bridge) ,
and for a fence and sidewalk on the same, have been made.
18 City Document No. 25.
A contract, dated Nov. 8, 1880, was made with Charles T.
Derry, for domg the work, for the sum of $3,494, and it is
now partially completed.
The top of this wall was considerably below the street
filling, and the work now in progress to remedy this defect
consists in rebuilding a small portion of the wall, and setting
a course of cap-stones on it at the established grade for its
entire length. A new fence and a creosoted jilank sidewalk
are also included in the contract. The wall is 1,100 feet in
length. No payment on account of this work has yet been
Early in the year plans and specifications were prepared
for the foundations of a new bridge, and a temporary datn
in connection therewith, at the outlet of the Back -Bay park
pond. The contract for this work was aAvarded to Ross &
Lord, who conmienced operations August 12, but have not
yet completed it.
The bridge is to consist of two spans, of 20 feet each, over
the sluice-wa}' from the park pond. Five and one-half feet
north of the northerly line of Beacon street there is to be a
dam, with self-operating swinging- gates, across the sluice-
way. . '
The top of this dam is to be at grade 6.5 above city base,
with flash-boards of sufficient height to prevent the surface
of the park pond from falling below grade 8, unless the
flash-boards are removed. The gates are to be over the
dam, forming a part of it, and are to open outwards.
When the surface of the pond rises above grade 8, the
water will discharge over the dam, unless the tide outside
should be higher than this grade ; in which case the gates shut
out the tide, and no water will then run over the dam until
the tide level is lower than the pond.
This dam in its present form and location is a temporary
structure, which is only intended to remain until it is deter-
mined what is to be done with the flats on the Charles-river
side of Beacon street. When this question is settled, and
the lines of improvement are defined, it will be necessary to
build a permanent dam and gate-chamber in some other loca-
tion on the extension of the sluice-way. Its construction at
the present time is for the purpose, in connection with the
covered channel of Stony Brook, of controlling the height
of the water in the pond, so that the necessary work can be
done within the Park limits.
Provision has been made in the contract for building
across Beacon street a portion of the covered channel of
Keport of City Engineer. 19
Stony Brook, so that it will not be necessary to again inter-
rupt travel over it for this work.
The travel over Beacon street is now maintained by means
of a road-way filled around the site of the bridge on the
southerly side of the street ; a water-pipe is laid temporarily
in this road-way, to prevent any interruption of the flow
throuajh the 40~incli main. .
The amount of the contract for the bridge fonndations and
dam is $36,898, and there has been paid for work done, and
materials furnished, the sum of $12,490.15.
On Dec. 30, 1880, a contract was made with David H.
Andrews, of the Boston Bridge Works, to build an iron
deck bridge, and a wrought-iron water pipe to connect with
the 40-inch main, for the sum of $4,693. The bridge and
pipe are to be completed and erected within thirty days from
the date of the completion of the abutments and central
The contract with Martin Lennon, of Boston, for widening
the section of Beacon street between West Chester Park
and the intersection of the former street with Brighton and
Brookline avenues, was finished Aug. 18, 1880. The
character of the work is fully described in the last annual
The total amount expended for work under the contract
Broadway Extension (over the Boston and Albany
Plans and specifications for abutments for a bridge over
the Boston and Albany Railroad, and for retaiuing-walls
from the abutments to the streets nearest to the bridsfe, have
been prepared. A contract, dated Sept. 3, 1880, was made
with John Cavanagh & Co. for building the same, for the
sum of $64,900. The sharp angle which the bridge makes
with the railroad necessitates abutments, each 119 feet in
length, on the foundation line. The width of the roadways
on each side of the railroad, from the abutments to the
streets, is 62 feet, the top of the retaining- walls being set
one foot over the line of the abutting premises by agreement
with the Boston & Albany Railroad Co.
The work is being actively prosecuted, and the founda-
tions for the abutments and the larger part of the foundations
for the retaining walls ai-e completed. The abutments above
the foundations have been commenced, and most of the cut
20 City Document No. 25.
stone required for completing them has been delivered. It
is expected that the work will be so fiir advanced early in
the season as to be in readiness for the superstructure.
The total amount paid to the contractor, including the
January estimate, was $22,569.37.
The plans for the iron bridge superstructure are in prog-
ress. The span will be 144 feet.
In February negotiations were begun between the city
and owners of the land bounded by Beacon street. West
Chester park, Brookline avenue, and the Boston & Albany
Kailroad, having for their object a mutual agreement for the
filling of that territory. Surveys and soundings were made
by this department in conjunction with Messrs. Fuller and
Whitney, engineers for the land-owners, to complete and
verify a survey commenced previously by Messrs. Fuller and
Whitney. March 20, 1880, an agreement was entered
into between the City of Boston, the Boston Water Power
Co., the Trustees of the Beacon-street lands, and Alfred A.
Marcus, for the filling jointly of this territory.
Proposals were advertised for, and April 29, 1880,
separate contracts were made with the Boston & Albany
Railroad Company, by the Committee on Streets and Park
Commissioners for the City of Boston, and the Boston Water
Power Co., and the Trustees of the Beacon-street lands, for
filling the area between Beacon street, Brookline avenue, the
Boston & Albany Railroad, and the easterly line of 50-
feet street bordering on the easterly side of the Beacon
entrance of the Back-Bay park.
Work was begun on this filling April 26, 1880, and the
quantity of gravel deposited upon the territory, to and
including December 31, 1880, was 94,106 car-loads,
amounting to 37,350 squares. Of this amount the approxi-
mate estimates show that there have been deposited, —
Upon land of the B. & A. R.R. Co. . . 795 squares
" " " " Boston Water Power Co. . 6,856 "
" " " " Trustees Beacon-st. lands . 7,737 "
" Back- Bay park .... 6,847 "-
" Commonwealth avenue and adjacent "
streets 15,115 "
By the terms of the several contracts the entire work is
to be completed August 1, 1881.
Report of City Engineer. 21
Until December 9 the gravel was brought from the
bank at AVeston which was used for the park filling under
the contract of 1879. Since December 9 it has been
brought from a bank recently opened by the company in
Newton, near Riverside Station.
The work of filling that portion of Roxbury canal west of
West Chester park was commenced October 11, 1878,
and was finished March 26, 1880; during this time
6,352 squares of filling were deposited in the canal, at a
cost, including dumping, measurement of carts and superin-
tendence, of $17,445.79.
The total amount expended for work done under the super-
vision of this depaitment was $31,261.35.
The Joint Special Committee on Improved Sewerage, in
charge of this improvement, settled with Joseph Ham, De-
cember 31, 1880, for damages caused by taking his land.
The amount paid was $79,000. This was the only claim
remaining unsettled except that of George Curtis.
This dam was built for the Board of Health. The Board
was directed, by an order passed by the City Council, July
26, 1880, to abate a nuisance on that portion of the .South-
Bay flats between the New York & New England Railroad
and Dorchester avenue north of Swett street, and the sum of
$4,600 was appropriated for the purpose.
A license was obtained from the Harbor and Land Com-
missioners for the construction of a temporary dam from
"Wales Island" to the embankment of the N.Y. & N.E.
R.R. Plans and specifications were made for it, and the con-
tract for the wood-work was awarded to F. G. Whitcomb,
Oct. 1, 1880; the ballasting was awarded to C. H. Ed-
The dam is 522 feet in length, with sluices 24 feet in
length, and consists of a line of sheet-piling driven between
two rows of spruce piles. The piles are driven in pairs 15
feet apart, except at the sluices, where they are 6 feet apart
measuring on the line of the dam. The sheet-piling is securely
spiked near the top to a double line of spruce stringers,
which are bolted to the piles with 1-inch diameter wrought-
22 City Document No. 25.
The dam is ballasted on both sides.
The top of it is at grade 5, with the sluices at grade 0.
Its construction was commenced Oct. 4, and work upon
it was stopped Nov. 2(3.
Owing to the neglect of the contractor for the ballast to
furnish it as rapidly as it was required a portion of the
sluice-way, 35 feet in length, was carried away. The gap
has been tilled up to low water with heav}'^ riprap, and, as
soon as the weather permits, the work of closing it will be
The amount expended for the wood-work was $2,680.42 ;
for the ballast, to Jan. 1, was $1,260.50.
Total amount expended to Jan. 1, 1881, including con-
struction, measurement of scows, etc., $4,048.92.
A considerable amount of work of a miscellaneous char-
acter has been done during the year. Under this head may
be classed plans and estimates for a bridge, abutments, and
retaining-walls at Mt. Hope Station, on the Boston and Provi-
dence Eailroad ; plans for the improvement of Stony Brook
in Brookside avenue, Ward 23 ; estimates for the extension
of D street across the Old Colony Railroad ; measurement of
stone for temi)orary dam at the ]\lill Dam sluices ; supervi-
sion of repairs on bridges in charge of Paving Department ;
estimates and plans, involving a large amount of office- work,
for a new bridge to Charlestown, etc., etc.
In the draughting-room an unusually large amount of work
of a miscellaneous character, consisting of copying, blue-
printing, tracing, and revising plans, has been done, and esti-
mates of cost have been made for bridges in the Back-Bay
park, for a draw for the proposed Northern-avenue bridge,
and designs for a new bridge to Charlestown. A large num-
l)er of plans for work at the Improved Sewerage Pumi)ing-
Station ; also plans and specifications for an iron bridge on
Beacon street, and for an office and stable on Chelsea bridge,
have been made.
Detail pldns for the iron bridge for the Broadway exten-
'sion are now in progress.
Eeport of City Engineer.
B.— WATER WORKS.
Sudbury River Hesewoirs. — During the first five months
of the year 1880 the water in all the reservoirs remained at
or near the crests of the dams, and for the greater portion of
the time the water was wasting- at tlio overflow^ of dam No.
1. After August 1 the water-level of reservoir No. 1 slowly
fell, until on the first of January, 1881, it stood 2.48 feet
below the top of the flash-boards.
During the summer, owing to the presence of alg;e in
reservoirs Nos. 1 and 3, the supply for the city was drawn
mainly from reservoir No. 2, until August 18, when the
surface of that reservoir was 8.93 feet below the crest of the
dam. From that time until the 2d of November the supply
was drawn from reservoir No. 3, and on October 30 the
water-level of this reservoir w\as 15.65 feet below the crest
of the dam. Reservoir No. 2 meanwhile had filled to within
2h feet of the top of the dam, and during the last two months
of the year the supply was drawn from that reservoir. On
the first of January, 1881, the surface of reservoir No. 2
was 5.70 feet below the crest of the dam, and reservoir
No. 3 was 11.47 feet below the corresponding point.
During the year 6,230,200,000 gallons have been drawn
from the Sudbury-river works for the supply of the city as
follows : —
Amount sent to
Chestnut Hill Reservoir
Amount sent to
The daily average amount supplied to the city from the
Sudbury river during the year was 17,022,400, or 64 per
cent, of the total consumption.
The average daily yield of the river for the past six years
has been as follows : —
24 City Document No. 25.
Lalie Cochituate. — On the first of January, 1880, the sur-
face of Lake Cochituate was 7.86 ft. below high-water mark ;
from Jan. 1 to May 1, the water was rising, standing Feb.
1, 129.28; March 1, ]32.00; April 1, 132.88, and May 1,
134.10 above tide marsh level. During the month of May it
remained near this grade, and after July 1 it steadily fell,
until, on Jan. 1, 1881, it was 125.62 above tide-marsh
level, or 8.74 feet below high-water mark.
Mystic Lake. — At the beginning of the year 1880, the
water in Mystic Lake was 1.71 ft. above tide-marsh level,
or 5.88 ft. above the conduit invert. Jan. 25 it had risen
to 6.65 ft., and was allowed to waste at the outlet dam.
The waste continued until April 28, and from May 1 to 12,
since which time no water has passed over the dam. From
the middle of May the surface of the lake fell, standing '
July 1, 3.26; Aug. 27, 1.50, or at the top of the conduit;
September 1, 1.34, and on October 1, 0.92. On the 3d
of September the Water Board authorized the erection of
pumping machinery at the lake, to raise the water into the
The engines and pumps which were used at Lake Cochitu-
ate in 1871 and 1874, for a similar purpose, were transported
to Mystic Lake, and placed in position upon temporary plat-
forms which had been built to receive them. October 2,
as the conduit by gravitation would no longer furnish the
supply, the pumps were started and were continued in oper-
ation until the 17th of January, 1881.
On the 25th of October the lake surface was 3.18 feet
below tide-marsh level, or only one foot above the conduit
invert; the lowest point ever reached. Jan. 1st it was 1.66
feet below tide-marsh level. At the present time (Feb. 1)
it is 0.41 ft. above tide-marsh level, or 6.59 ft. below high-
Consumption. — The average daily consumption for each
month of the year has been as follows : —
Report of City Engineer.
From the Sudbury
and Cochituate Work
s. Mystic Works.
From the above it appears that the daily average consump-
tion from the Sudbury and Cochituate works has been
26,500,000 gallons, an increase of 3.1 per cent, over that of
1879 ; from the Mystic works 9,387,880 gallons, an increase
of 5.7 per cent., and from the combined supplies 35,887,880
gallons, an increase of 3.8 per cent.
The total population of the territory supplied, which in-
cludes, in addition to the city of Boston, the cities of Chel-
sea and Somerville and the town of Everett, is about 412,000.
The daily average consumption per head has, therefore, been
about 87 gallons.
Since October 12 East Boston has been supplied from the
Sudbury and Cochituate works.
Highland High-Service Works.
The average daily quantities of water pumped by the high-
service engines at the Highland station, for each month, have
been as follows : —
Making a daily average of 2,341,093 gallons for the
year, — an increase of 4.1 per cent over the quantity
pumped in 1879.
26 City Document No. 25.
East Boston High-Service Works.
On May 15, 1880, the Water Board was authorized to
construct high-service works for the supply of a portion of
East Boston. Contracts were immediately made for the
pipes, and pumping-machinery required. Plans having been
made for the pumping-station the work was contracted for,
and, on the arrfval of the pipes, the whole work was rapidly
pushed. On the 12th of October it was so near completion
that the works were put in operation, the supply being
changed from Mystic to Sudbury and Cochituate.
The works comprise 2 Worthingion compound high-
pressure pumps, together capable of raising 1,500,000
gallons in 24 hours ; 2 upright tubular boilers for supplying
steam for the pumps, a check-valve with a by-pass and
safety-valve for regulating the pressure upon the pipes, and
about 7,500 feet of main pipe connecting with the former
The pumping-machinery is located in a neat wooden
building, on Brooks street, in the reservoir lot, the supply for
the pumps being taken from the 20-inch low-service main
which supplies the district.
The territory supplied is comprised in two districts, the
"Eagle Hill" and "Belmont Square," containing together
about 850 buildings. The pumping-machinery was furnished
by H. R. Woi-thington, of New York, for $8,400; the
engine-house foundations and chimney were built by Fes-
senden & Libby, of Charlestown, for $1,989.66 ; and the
engine-house, by Herman Drake, of East Boston, at a cost of
$2,205. The entire work has been completed at a cost of
During the last session of the Legislature an act was
passed, granting to the City of Boston the right to lay a new
main from the Chestnut-Hill reservoir to the city, through
the town of Brookline, and on March 20 an order was
approved by the Mayor, authorizing the Water Board to
expend $280,000 for the pipes and special castings required.
In April contracts were made with the Warren Foundry &
Machine Co., of Phillipsburg, N.J., and R. D. Wood &
Co., of Philadelphia, for the pipes and special castings. In
"consequence of a ftdl in the price of iron the pipes were
purchased for $40.95 per ton, or about $70,000. less than the
amount appropriated. This amount has since been applied
to defray the cost of laying the main, and the entire work
will be completed within the first appropriation.
The work of laying the pipes was commenced on June
23, and at 12 M. of Nov. 29 water was supplied to the
Report of City Engineer. * 27
city through the new main, direct from Chestnut-Hill reser-
voir. The pressure throughout the city was immediately
increased about 10 feet.
A 30-inch main, to be charged to this appropriation, still
remains to be laid in Francis street, to connect the 40-inch
with the 30-inch and 36-inch mains, originally laid to supply
the city, and it is expected that this connection will still
further increase the head.
The new main starts from the effluent gate-house, at
Chestnut-Hill reservoir, and after connecting with a 48-inch
pipe, which is laid around the reservoir from the terminal
chamber of the Sudbury-rivcr conduit, it passes through Bea-
con street to the junction of Brookllue avenue, — a distance of
16,300 feet, — where it connects with the 40-inch main from
Brookline reservoir. At the junction of Haiward street, in
Brookline, a branch has been put in for a contemplated con-
nection with the Mystic works, and a gate is located in the
main at this point. Gates to control the flow of the water
have also been placed on the connection, at Chestnut-Hill
reseiwoir and at Brookline avenue. Near St. Paul street, in
Brookline, a section of the pipe line, 780 feet in length, is
supported by a pile foundation, consisting of spruce piles
driven in pairs, at distances apart of 5 feet crosswise,
and 6 feet lengthwise of the trench, and capped crosswise
with 10-inch by 10-inch spruce caps, 8 feet long.
The cost of the main was largely increased by the necessity
of removing and relaying many of the water and gas pipes
in the town of Brookline.
All of the work has been done by day's labor, under the
direction of E. li. Jones, Superintendent of the Eastern
Division of the Sudbury and Cochituate Department.
Exclusive of the new 48-inch main, about 9 miles of
main pipe have been laid during the year, and 59 hydrants
established by the Sudbury and Cochituate Department, and
about 2 miles of the wrought-iron and cement pipe in the
Charlestown District have been replaced by coated cast-u*on
The plans of the pipe system have been corrected as usual,
and a skeleton plan of the high-service system has been
C. — ADDITIONAL SUPPLY.
At the beginning of 1880 the whole system of the Sud-
bury-river Works, although not entirely completed in all its
details, was in practical working order. The last contracts,
28 City Document No. 25.
four in number, were finally completed in the early part of the
year : three of them were for the gate-houses connected with
each of the dams ; the other for the erection of a foot-bridge
with flash-boards on the crest of dam No. 2. A consider-
able amount of minor work was also done by day's labor, under
the direction of this department, to complete the dams and
reservoirs, and to improve their borders. At dam No. 2 the
impervious hearting of the embankment was extended several
hundred feet on the high gi-ounds, near the farm buildings of
Jos. A. Merriam, by means of sheet piling and by puddling.
The local engineering force, reduced to three assistants after
the month of March, and subsequently to one, was entirely
dispensed with in October. It had charge of the work of
construction, of the maintenance of the portion of the works
above the main gate-house in Farm Pond, and also com-
pleted the final records of the entire work.
On the 24th of September the following letter, which ex-
plains itself, was sent to the Water Board : —
Leonard R. Cutter, Esq., Chairman of Boston Water Board: —
Dear Sir, — The work of building the Sudbury-river conduit, and the
three basins authorized by the City Council, is, so far as this department
is concerned, com^oleted, and any further expenses on this work, excejit
settlement of outstanding claims, should be, in my oijiniou, charged to
maintejiance, and not to construction.
iiEXRY M. WIGHTMAN,
And on October 15th, in accordance with a vote of the
Water Board, the portion of the work left in charge of this
department was transferred to the Superintendent of the
Western Division of the Sudbury and Cochituate Works.
As this transfer closes the construction period of the Sud-
bury-river works, as they were contemplated in the original
estimates, it may not be out of place to recall the principal
data of this important scheme.
In 1871 and 1872 Sudbury river was selected as the new
source of water-supply for Boston. The reservoirs for the
storage of its waters, and the conduit through which they
were to be conveyed from Farm j)ond to Chestnut-Hill
reservoir, were located, and plans were made for the build-
ing of these structures.
In 1872, also, temporary works were built to connect at
once Sudbury river with Lake Cochituate.
In 1873 the first contract was let for a portion of the con-
duit (the tunnel in Ne\yton) ; but, owing to new investiga-
tions ordered by the City Council in the latter part of 1873
and in 1874, 'to ascertain whether Sudbury river was the
Report of City Engineer. 29
best source of supply, no other work was undertaken until
the beginning of 1875,
The main portion of the conduit, commenced in 1875, was
finished in 1877, and put in practical use early in 1878.
The three dams and reservoirs were commenced in 1876.
Reservoir No. 3 was filled for the first time in December,
1878 ; Reservoir No. 1, and also No. 2, in 1879.
During the progress of construction the original design
was followed with but few changes ; some important addi-
tions were made, but the cost of the whole work has been
kept inside of the first estimates.
On October 1, 1880, the total cost of the works of "addi-
tional supply" was $5,23-4,678.02.
The water damages, not included in the original estimates,
amounted to $543,190.64.
Although the final completion of the " additional supply "
is so recent, it will be remembered that, as early as 1872,
the water from Sudbury river was used for replenishing
Lake Cochituate, and that, from the beginning of 1875, a
large proportion of the general supply has been taken from
the new source. This proportion has increased every year
at such a rate that the present supply taken from the river
has reached the limit of capacity for which the present reser-
voirs were intended.
When Sudl)ury river was reported upon for the first time
(City Document No. 29, 1873) it was shown that no less
than eight storage basins would be necessary to develop its
full resources. The conduits, and all their appertaining
structures, are built in proportion with the ultimate capacity
of the supply ; but it was not advisable to build at once all
the contemplated reservoirs. The consumption of the city
1)eing then about 19,000,000 gallons per day, it was decided
to build three storage reservoirs only, and to postpone the
construction of others until the increasing wants of the
city should require them.
Now, with an average daily consumption for 1880 of
26,500,000 gallons, which during the severe weather of this
winter has occasionally reached a maximum of moi'e than
40,000,000 gallons per day, the time has already come to
provide additional storage. This necessity has been forcibly
illustrated by the condition of the supply for the last year,
during which the rainfall has been exceptionally small, and
the drought unusually severe.
Thus it happens that almost at the same time that the
original works are reported as finally completed, a new ap-
propriation of $55,000 has been made for the purchase of
land and for the investigations necessary for an additional
30 City Document No. 25.
Owing to the severity of the season surveys cannot be
prosecuted to any advantage at present ; but borings are
being made to ascertain as soon as possible the best location
for a new dam, and the nature of the ground in which its
foundations are to be established. When the necessary in-
formation is obtained the work of construction should be
commenced and prosecuted without delay.
The extension of the storage system is not likely to be
limited to this structure for any length of time. Unless
some method is adopted for reducing the waste of water,
still larger storage facilities must be provided in the near
future to accommodate, in a dry year, the constantly increas-
D.— IMPROVED SEWERAGE.
A general description of this system, accompanied by a
map and plates, showing sections of the sewers, and elevation
and plan of the Leavitt pumping- engines, was given in the
last annual report.
The Leavitt engines, wliich are being built under a con-
tract by the Quintard Iron Works, of Xew York, are in a
forward state of completion ; but will not be finished in the
contract time. Payments on account of these engines to
the amount of $100,569.62 have been made, and material of
the value of $65,005.45 has been delivered at Old Harbor
Point, where the contractor has erected a storehouse and
machine-shop for temporary use.
Negotiations with Mr. Corliss for the building of two
pumping-engines, from liis own designs, after having been
carried on by the committee at intervals during the year
without attaining a satisfactory result, were finally closed on
December 23, 1880. A contract was made with the success-
ors of Mr. Henry R. Worthington, of New York, on Decem-
ber 30, 1880, for two pumping-engines of the Worthington
Duplex type, to take the place of the Corliss engines. Each
of the engines is to be of sufiicient capacity to raise 25,000,-
000 U.S. gallons of sewage in twenty-four hours to a
maximum height of 43 feet. The contract price for the two
engines is $90,000 ; but no payment is to be made until they
are in running order at the pumping-station, and have passed
a satisfactory test by the city.
A contract was made October 11, 1880, with Messrs. Ken-
dall & Roberts, of Cambridgeport, for building, and erecting
at the pumping-station, two steel boilers to furnish steam for
the Leavitt engines.
These boilers are of the horizontal fire-box tubular form, 31
feet, 9| inches long over all, and of a mean diameter of 6 feet 8
Eeport of City Engineer. 31
inches in the cylindrical portions. Each boiler has two fire-
boxes, 3 feet 6 inches wide at the bottom, 5 feet 2 inches high,
and 11 feet long, connecting with a combustion chamber 4 feet
long. The steel in the outer shell is -^^ inch, and in the fire-
boxes and combustion chamber, r^^ inch thick. Each boiler
contains 132 lap-welded wfought-iron tubes, 3-iiich external
diameter and 15 feet 1 inch long. The internal bracing of
the boilers consists of knee-braces, screw-stays, and rods, all
of Ulster iron. The boilers are connected to a steam drum,
2 feet in diameter by 14 feet 6 inches long, made of steel
ySg inch thick.
The fire-box ends of the boilers rest upon cast-iron ash-
pits, and the cylindrical portions are supported by cast-iron
cradles, three to each boiler. The boilers are provided with
the necessary hand and man holes, safety-valves, blow-ofif
The feed-pumps for the boilers are two in numljer, of the
Worthingion Duplex pattern, 6 inches X 3^ inches X 6 inches,
their suction-pipes being connected with a small water-heater,
into which their exhaust steam, and that of the cold-water
.pumps for the Leavitt engines, is led.
The feed water is to be led through brass pipes, either
direct to each boiler, or through a heater composed of 80
seamless brass tubes, 2| inches inside diameter, and 14 feet
10 inches long between connecting beams, which is placed
inside of the smoke-flue leading from the boilers to the
After erection the boilers are to be covered with a lag-
ging of non-conducting material.
Samples of the steel and iron used in the boilers were
tested at the U. S. Arsenal at Watertown, Mass., and satis-
factory results obtained.
The boilers are completed, but not yet delivered at the
pumping-station. The contract price, including feed-pumps,
heater, and all other appurtenances, was $19,950.
The sum expended to January 1, 1881, chargeable to the
appropriation for "Improved Sewerage," is $866,374.47.
Extracts from the report of Mr. E. C. Clarke, principal
assistant engineer on the improved sewerage system, showing
the progress of the work, and other information in relation
to it, are appended.
EXTRACTS FROM MR. CLARKE'S REPORT.
Herewith is submitted a report of work done and progress made in
consti"ucting, the new system of sewerage, fi'om Jan. 1, 1880, to Jan. 1,
1881. The following tabular statement shows the sizes and lengths of
main, intei'cepting and outfall sewers built, with the jwrtions of them
completed during the past year, and is followed by a more detailed ac-
count of the work upon each section : —
City Document No. 25.
TABXir,AR STATEMEIVT OF PROGRESS -
1. Main .
2. Main .
3. Main .
4. Main .
4^. Main .
6. Main .
6. Main .
1. West Bide
2. West Side
3. West Side
1. East Side .
1. Stony Brooli .
2. Stony Brook .
1. South Boston .
8. South Boston .
4. South Boston .
2. Outfall Sewer .
3. Outfall Sewer .
In Camden st., from Huntington ave. to Tremont st
In Camden St., from Tremont st. to Washington st
In Washington st. and E. Chester park, from Camden st. to Albany st
In E. Chester park extension, from Albany st. to Magazine st
In E. Chester park extension, from Magazine st. to Clapp st
In Clapp and Mt. Vernon sts., from E. Chester park extension to O. C. Railroad
In Mt. Vernon-st. extension, from O. C. Railroad to Old Harbor Point ....
In Camden, Falmouth, Dalton, and Hereford sts., from Huntington ave. to
In Beaconst., from Hereford st. to Charles st
In Charles st., from Beacon st. to Cambridge st
In Albany St., from E. Chester park to Dover st
In Tremont and Cabot sts., from Camden st. to Ruggles st
In Cabot, Hampshire, Elmwood, Ruggles and Tremont sts., about Stony Brook
In Ninth St., from H St. to N st
In Von Hillern st.. Locust St., Washington ave., and Hyde St., from Mt. Vernon
St. to Dorchester ave
In Dorchester ave., from Hyde st. to B st
Connecting Main Sewer with Filth-Hoist and Engine Wells
Tunnel under Dorehester Bay, from O. H. Pier to Squantum Neck (excavation)
Squantum Neck to Moon Island
Report of City Engineer.
IMPROVED SEVTERAGE COIVSTRTJCTIOIV.
Size in feet and inches.
7 ft. Sin
8 ft. 5 in
8 ft. 5 in
9 ft . . .
1 10 ft. 6 in
10 ft. 6 in
4 ft. 9 in. X 5 ft. 6 in.
1 4 ft. 9 in. X 5 ft. 6 in
( 4 ft. X 4 ft. 6 in. . .
4 ft. X 4 ft- 6 in. . .
5 ft. S in
4 ft. 8 in
J 4 ft. 6 in
j 2 ft. X 3 ft
3 ft. 2 in
J 4 ft. 9 in. X 5 ft. 6 in.
(4ft.6in. X3ft. . .
4 ft. 9 in. X ft. 6 in.
( 10 ft. 6 in
f 9 ft
7 ft. 6 in
11 ft. X 12 ft
Built prior to
Jan. 1, 18S0.
Jan. 1, 1881.
P. J. Condon.
P. J. Condon.
Hoblitzell, Condon, and
Hohlitzell, and City.
Clinton Beckwith, and J. V.
A. H. Delamater & Co. and
R. A. Malone.
Stephen Connelly & Co. and
Hoblitzell, Condon, and
Hoblitzell, and City.
R. A. Malone.
W. C. Poland & Son.
34 City Document No. 25.
Section 4, Main Sewer.
1,121 feet of this sewer, 9 feet in diameter, were built during the
year. For nearlj" the whole distance a simple 12-inch ring of brick-
work, founded on the clay, proved to be sufficiently stable. In passing
the large gas-holder of the Boston Gas-Light Company a leak into the
trench, from the well of the holder, caused some apj^rehension, but was
stopped before causing damage. As a precaution, in passing within 35 feet
of the holder of the Roxbury Gas Company, 4-inch, tongued and grooved,
sheet planks were driven, and the trench back-filled, to the crown of the
sewer arch, with concrete. No esijecial obstacles were encountered
until the site of the old Roxbmy canal, recently filled by the city, was
reached. Here an influx of tide-water, along the loose walls of the
canal, occasioned much trouble and delay. The sheet planks were
backed with clay without success, and the walls had finally to be cut off
by several dams, made of double rows of planking, filled with puddled
clay. The contractor spent five months in contending with these diffi-
culties, and, just as they seemed to be surmounted, the inclemency of the
season obliged him to suspend operations for the winter. About 180
feet remain to be built, and it is tioi:)ed that this work can be accom-
plished early in the spring ; thus completing the last gap in the main
sewer, from its begimiing at Huntington avenue to its end at old Harbor
Point. A side-enti"ance and boat-chamber have been built on this section,
at the corner of East Chester Park and Swett street, to aftbrd convenient
facilities for visiting- the sewer.
Section 4i, Main Sewer.
This section, woi'k on which began August 1, 1879, was completed in
October, 1880. It was built by the city, mider the superintendence of Mr.
H. A. Carson, and the method of its construction was described in last
year's report. It was designed to withstand slight movements, and, as
none of moment have been noticed in the filling which surrounds it, is
believed to maintain its shape and grade.
Section 5, Main Sewer.
On this section work progressed slowly during the year. No diffi-
culties were encountei*ed in building the sewer at either end of the sec-
tion, where it was in open cut, although expensive precautions were
required in j^assing luider the Old Colony Railroad ti'acks. About 1,900
feet of the middle of the section were built by tunnelling through con-
glomerate rock and coarse sand. The rock, where it suiTounded the
trmnel, presented no serious obstacle ; but the sand tended to run into the
excavation, and required close sheeting and heavy bracing to support it.
For several hundred feet the sewer grade was near the surface of the
ledge, and the latter, being very irregular and Covered with boulders,
tunnelling operations at this point were attended with considerable diffi-
culty ; several caves occurred, and the rate of j^rogress was veiy slow.
For a length of 160 feet the ground was oj)ened from the top, and the
sewer built in a trench about 45 feet deep.
Finally, on October 25, 1880, the contractors, having become finan-
cially embarrassed, notified the committee of their inability to comj^lete
the work, and definitely abandoned it. The city at once took possession,
and completed the short distance that remained. Although the tunnel
had been well built, for that class of masonry, it was found to leak con-
siderably in places, after the pumps had been removed from their wells,
and the water-table rose above the sewer. These leaks, however,
could be successfully calked. The process consisted in i-aking out a joint.
Keport of City Engineer. 35
where a leak occurred, to the full depth of the brick, and driving in
sheet lead for half the depth, the remainder being filled with cement.
The whole section is now complete, except a little more calking, and
the building of the upper portion of one manhole.
Section 6, Main Sewer.
Although the whole of this sewer was built prior to 1880, it was foimd,
as stated in the last report, that for about 1.50 feet of it the side-walls
had spread somewhat, and the crown flattened, necessitating repairs.
Although even this portion was probably stable, it was not considered
wise to establish a precedent of accepting any impei'feet work. The
contractor was accordingly directed, January 30, 1880, to reconstruct
the sewer arch at this point, and, on his declining to do so, the work
was relet, under provisions of the conti-act, to J. V. Quackenbush. The
trench was reopened, the sewer uncovered, and its arch broken down
with sledges. It was fomid that the 12-inch Akron pipe, extending
under the sewer, to facilitate drainage during construction, was broken at
this i)oint, and the water from it, accumvilated from 4,000 feet of trench,
found an outlet^md poured over the side of the invert. This water was
conti'olled by pumps, but was found to have washed out a quantity of
sand, causing a considerable cavity under the sewer platform. Five
holes, 10 feet apart on centres, were made through tlie bottom of the
sewer, and 3-inch wrought-iron gas-pipes inserted in them. Two of
these jjipes were about 30 feet long, and three othei\s, for vents, were 6
feet long. Constant streams of grout, made fi'om 47 casks of neat,
quick-setting, Portland cement, were forced imder a 25-feet head,
through the long pipes into the cavity, till it was filled, as shown by
the cement rising in the short pipes. The gi'out hai'dened satisfactorily,
and fm'nished a secure foundation. Special ribs were cut to fit the
invert, which was again covered. The section, thus completed, is in
Section 3, South Boston Intercepting Sewer.
This section was completed in December, 1880. No especial difiicul-
ties were encountered in building it, and the work is, on the Mdiole, sat-
isfactory. A I'egulating chamber, similar to that shown on the plan, is
placed in the line of the sewer, near Kemp sti'cet, to control the amount of
rain from the whole of South Boston to be admitted to the main sewer.
An iron fiushing-gate is also provided for this section, and where the
north and south branches of the South Boston sewer come together they
unite in a bell-mouth connection-chamber.
Section 4, South Boston Intercepting Sewer.
Xothing worthy of note occuri'ed in building this section mitil October
25, 1880, when the contractors, the same as for Section 5, main sewer,
abandoned the work. The city at once assumed control, and appointed
ISIr. C. F. Gilman superintendent, under whom the sewer was com-
pleted. The amount of water met Avith occasioned some difficulty, but
sound work was obtained. An iron flushing-gate is included among the
appurtenances to this section.
Section 2, Stony Brook Intercepting Sewer.
Work on this section was begun early in June, 1880. It is built by
the city, with Mr. H. A. Carson as superintendent. The section consists
of sevei'al branches, radiating from the upper end of Section 1, at the
corner of Cabot and Ruggles sti'eets, and is intended to intercept the
36 City Document No. 25.
whole of the sewage now dischai'ging through various outlets into
Stony Brook. The main branch, 4^ feet in diameter, mainly in Hamp-
shire street, is about 1,700 feet long, and takes the sewage entering
the brook through the Elmwood and Hampshire sti'eet outlets. It
passes twice imder the brook, low enough to preserve its regular grade
and shape. The other branches are built just large enough to enter
conveniently, being 2 by 3 feet, egg-shaped, with the smaller end
down. Two of these also ci'oss vmder the brook, at Tremont street and
at Ruggles street.
All the branches unite in a three-way bell-mouth chamber, whence
the sewage will pass through the regulating chamber shown in the plan.
As will be seen, the a^jparatus is very simple, and consists of stop-
planks, closing the sewer fi'om its top down to about the orilinary flow
line, the sewer below the planks being lined with a cast-iron gate-frame
or seat, curved to fit the invert, and also vertically to coiTcspond with
the plane of motion of the cast-iron gate which plays ujj and down in
front of it. The gate is held by 2 cast-iron arms, pivoted by a 3-
inch wrought-iron shaft in 2 bearings, and connected by vertical arms
at their ends to a 3-inch square bar. To the ends of this bar are
comiected two boiler-plate floats, jjlaced in wells on either side of the
sewer. To avoid disturbance to the motion of the floats by waves,
caused by the rush of sewage under the gate, water is brought to tlie
wells thi'ough a 5-inch pi^Je, as shown, from a jjoint 50 feet below the
The city sewers are connected with the intercepting sewers by short
branches, from 12 to 24 inches in diameter, starting from sump-holes
in the former. Into these sump-holes the amount of sewage to be taken
will fall, and over them will flow the excess of rain to be wasted. The
immediate inlet, at the l)ottom of the sump, consists of a short section
of iron pipe, with an iron flap valve hinged over it, the latter being
closed if there is need of emptying the collector.
As the city sewers, intercepted by this section, although below the
level of high-water, are not provided with tide-gates, it will be neces-
sary to provide a double set for each.
These comprise 97 feet of 10^-feet sewer, extending fi'om the end of
Section 6, main sewer, to the filth-hoist, and a pair of 9-feet sewers,
235 feet long in all, leading from the same sti'ucture to the galleries
connected with the pump-wells on either side of the engine-house. They
were built by Mr. S. H. Tarbell, supei'intendent for the city. A salt-
water well, and the beginning of a o^-feet sewer from it, have also been
constructed at this jioint, for the purpose of bringing sea-water to the
pumps, should a sufficient quantity of sewage not be supjjlied by the
Pumpestg-Station and Filth-Hoist.
The filth-hoist has been completed to grade 16, except setting the
cages, machineiy, and some other iron-work. The sewers, where they
connect with it, have granite voussoirs cut to form bell-shaijed groins.
The 4 gate-openings ai-e formed of large granite blocks, faced with
6-cut work. The outside walls are of granite, and the division walls
of brick. The depth of the sti-uctin-e below the surface of the gromid
is about 30 feet.
The foundation walls of the engine-house are also completed to grade
16.5. These walls, aggregating about 340 feet in length, are 37.5 feet
high, and 9 feet thick at the bottom, where they rest on 24 inches of
timber platform. They are built of granite, and although called rubble
CITY or BOSTOy^
JMPR O VED SE WERA OE.
Sfojit/ JBrook Jhtej'xieptin^ Sewei" .
Jan. i88 I
V/y,.,.../../A//v... v//,/.y//'//// ,// , 'A.//,.//,////.//'.///y//.\
Eeport of City Engineer. 37
masomy, yet, owing to the sizes and shapes of the stones used, and the
care taken in selecting and laying them, resemble more nearly a fair
quality of roughly coursed Ijloek-stone work. Two of the engine piers
are wholly, and 2 others jjartially, completed, including the setting of
cut-stones and iron-work imbedded in the masonry. 213 cut-stones,
besides those dressed on the ground, were furnished by the Cape Ami
Granite Co., under a contract dated ]\Iarch, 1880. The same company
also furnished 70 stones for the filth-hoist.
Considerable delay in building the engine piers was occasioned by an
uncei'taiuty as to the character of 2 of the engines which were to rest
on tliem. This doubt having been removed, the work will be pushed
rapidlv to completion. A poition of the site of the engine-house has
been I'oofed in to permit the laying of masomy during the winter.
In iSlay, 1880, a conti-act for 4,000,000 bricks, to be used in con-
structing the engine foundations and Dorchester Bay Tunnel, was con-
cluded with Messrs. Stoddard & Hellier, of Bangor, Me., and over
2,000,000 of them have been already delivered, and are housed under a
temporary wooden structure. Various offices, store-houses, cement and
tool-sheds and workshops have been built in the vicinity of the engine-
house. The foundations for the boiler-house are also completed.
A large portion of the 2 pumping-engines, ordered from the Quin-
tard h'on Works, of Xew York, lias already been delivered, and is on
the gromid. It is cared for by the contractors, by whom the engines
are also to be erected.
Section 1, Outfall Sewer.
As a joreliminary to building this section, which consists of an elevated
double sewer, extending about 1,200 feet, from near the engine-house,
out to the west tunnel-shaft, it was necessary to construct a pier to sup-
port the sewers. The work of building this pier, called Old Harbor
l^ier, was awarded by conti'act, JNIarch 8, 1880, to Messrs. Edwards,
Deny, G. H. Cavahagh, J. Cavanagh, and Sylvester. The work cov-
ered hj tlie contract consists of a gravel pier about 1,200 feet long, pro-
tected on its sea side by a riprap emljankment, ballasted with broken
stones and oj'Ster-shells, and on its landward slope by layers of ballast
and riprap ,and terminated at its easterly end beyond the shaft by a
sea-wall of cut-stone masonry, resting on a pile foundation.
In the rijirap embankment there has been placed 27,096 tons of large
stones, and 6,579 yards of ballast, and it is nearly finished ; 80,219 yards
of gravel filling are in place. The gravel has been obtained by dredg-
ing, and is dumped from scows near the end of the pier, whence it is
raised and placed in cars by a dippei'-dredge, a small engine hauling
the cars to the proper places for dumping. A portion of the piles for
the sea-wall foundation are driven, and the stones for the wall itself are
cut and on the ground.
This work was stopped, on account of ice in the bay, Jan. 7, 1881, but
will be renewed as soon as the season permits.
Section 2, Outfall Sewer.
On this section, commonh^ called Doi'chester Bay Tunnel, some diffi-
culties incidental to such work have been encountered, l)ut none of a
serious nature, nor am* that might not have been anticipated. On the
whole it may be said that the developments are quite as favorable as
were expected when the work was decided on. At the Ijeginning of
last year the contractor, ]\Ir. ]\Ialone, was engaged in sinking two of the
three shafts, and the thii'd was begun soon after. At the east and middle
shafts the iron cylinders, which fomi their upjoer portions, were forced
down to the rock at depths below the sm-face of the ground, of 21 and
38 City Document No. 25.
38 feet i-espeetively. These shafts were continued in the rock, to and
below the gi"ade line of the tunnel, which is established abovit 142 feet
below the elevation of city base or mean low water. Excavating for
the tunnel, from these shafts, has progressed steadily, with two short
interruptions, and, at these points, nearly 2,000 linear feet are now ready
to receive the brick lining.
From the end of the inclined portion of tunnel, situated midway
across Squantmii neck, a heading was driven downwards for about 400
feet and then stopped, owing to the difficulty and expense of removing
the water which accmuulated at its face. The remainder of the incline
will be completed from the east shaft, and less than 100 feet of it remain
to be excavated. The rock met, thus far, has consisted almost entirely
of slate, of 'different degrees of hardness, i^enetrated with planes of
bedding and cleavage, which renders it easy to work. Contrary to ex-
jDectation, veiy few layers of conglomerate have been fomid, which
fact is favorable to the rapid prosecution of the work. The rock yields
no more water than was to be expected, the maximum quantity to be dis-
posed of at present, at any shaft, being about 12,000 gallons an hour.
Pumping machineiy of insufficient capacity, provided at the outset,
caused some delay. At the east shaft a failure of the pumps, Aug. 20,
1880, allowed the drifts and shaft to fill with water, which, after severial
trials, was pmnped out again and controlled October 21. Work at the
middle shaft was stopped about Aug. 20, until a new and larger pump
could be obtained ; but the water was kept down in the interval.
At the west shaft it was not expected that the cylinder could be driven
to the rock. By weighting it with about 180 tons of iron dross, it was
finally forced down into the clay to a depth of about 60 feet below the
surface of the ground. Below this point a square shaft was excavated,
with great ease, in plastic clay, jjeneti-ated with occasional veins of fine
sand, but yielding little water, and was rather hastily timbered. Just
above the rock was encountered a bed of gravel and hard-pan, bringing
water at the rate of aliout 10,000 gallons an hour. At tliis time move-
ments were observed in the lining of the shaft, and the timbers, on one
side, near its l)ottom, bulged in. It was not considered safe to allow the
shaft to remain in this condition, and about 40 feet of it were retimbered,
the old sticks being cut oiit with chisels. This work was accomplished,
but not Mdthout great difficult^'. Althoiigh the quantity of water was
not great, the cramped dimensions of the shaft aftbrded little room for
the jjumps, or opportunity' for supjjorting them. To counteract a down-
ward pressure exerted by the clay upon the lower part of the shaft-lining,
a 25ortion of it was suspended from the cylinder above by iron bars, and,
on these breaking, by heavy wire cables. After the shaft had been re-
timbered, it was smik to grade through the rock, and 14 feet of tunnel
excavated. At this time, August 3, 1880, a failure of thepum])S allowed
the shaft to fill before they could be removed. It was jjumpedout again
on Nov. 9 and 22, by means of a special, upriglit, sinking-pump, sus-
pended from above, and, although maintained on each occasion for a
short time, was finally lost through some failure of the pump. Nothing
further was done at this point till Januaiy 17, 1881, when the shaft was
again cleared of water, a new pump set in position, and the work of
In giving lines for the tunnel, instiaiments designed by the engineers
are used, by means of which a beam of light from the heading is reflected
from the bottom of the shaft to a transit at its top.
Three casualties, resu^lting in death, have occurred in connection with
the work ; but in no case, as is believed, through negligence on the part
of the conti-actor. One man fell down the middle shaft ; another was
crushed by a car falling on him ; and a third, not employed by the con-
tractor, was killed while unloading coal.
Li detail, the tunnel excavation, completed Jan. 1, 1881, is as follows :
Keport of City Engineer. 39
From west shaft eashvai'd 14 feet
" middle shaft westward 533 "
" " " eastward 546 "
" east " westward ...... 494 "
" " " eastward 417 "
" " portal westward 394 "
Total 2,398 feet
Section 3, Outfall Sewek and Moon Island Reservoir.
The contr-act for constructing this section was awarded, April 20, 1880,
to William C. Poland & Son, of Boston. The contractors began about
INIaj' 1 the preliminaiy work of constructing offices, sheds, barns, and a
wharf, and on ^laj 17th the building of the embankment for the sewer
was commenced. A portion of this embankment, which extends oppo-
site the reservoir and ft'om Aloon Island to Squantum, has been raised to
grade 16, and the whole of it is as high as grade 6. Parts of it are also
ballasted and riprapped.
The lower portion of the embankment is formed of dredged material ;
the up2)er of gravel dug from or near the reservoir site. The gravel
has been moved by carts ; but the haul being now too long to make this
economical, the contractor has built a pile trestle the whole length of the
embankment, and intends to use steam power in the future. In all,
nearly 150,000 cubic yai'ds of material have been put into the embank-
ment, of which 54,000 were excavated from the site of the reservoir.
Two hundred linear feet of the sewer have been constructed at its
westerly end, on Squantiuii neck.
For a short time during the last summer some annoyance was experi-
enced in prosecuting the work on this section through an attemj^t by outside
parties to prevent access to the work by closing all approaches to it. The city
employes were obliged to remove barriers erected against them, and, an
injunction restraining them from maintaining a ft-ee passage having been
refused l^y the Suj^reme Court, no further trouble was experienced. As
a precaution, however, a right of way ft'om a pulilic road to the sewer
line was taken by the city, mider the act authorizing the construction of
Work on this section ceased Dec. 28, on account of the inclemency of
the season, but, it is hoped, will be soon resumed.
Office and Other Work.
In addition to the above, in compliance with the terms under which
the city obtained the right of way for building Section 3, South Boston
Litercepting Sewer, a road-way has been graded over Hyde sti'eet, Wash-
ington avenue, and Von Hillern street. A contract for doing this was
awarded, Feb. 28, 1880, to Charles Linehan. The gravel filling is brought
by the Old Colony Railroad Company ft'om a bank at Quincy, whei'e it is
measui'ed by the citj\ About 22,000 cubic yards have been already de-
livered, and the work is nearly completed.
To i^rovide an ajjproach for colliers and other vessels, ft'om the ship
channel in Dorchester Bay to the cit}'"s wharf at Old Harbor Point, a
conti'act was concluded, April 20, 1880, with the Old Harbor Pier Com-
pany, for dredging a navigable channel, about 2,200 feet long, 12 feet
deep at low water, and aljout 100 feet wide on top. 69,000 yards of
material have been already removed, which comprises the bulk of the
Early in January, 1880, Mr. Malone, the contractor for Dorchester
Baj^ Tunnel, desired, in order to facilitate his work on the tmmel, to ex-
40 City Document No 25.
cavate the oi3en cut for Section 3, Outfall Sewer, on Squantum neck,
adjoining the east portal of the tunnel.
As his ternis offered were favorable, being one dollar a yard for rock
excavation, and twenty-five cents a yard for earth, a contract with him
was signed Jan. 18, 1880, and the trench, for its length of 600 feet, is
now excavated to its proper size and grade.
The engineering force has been employed, as in previous years, in
making surveys, giving lines and grades, making calculations, measure-
ments, and estimates, and in superintending construction. All contract
work has been constantly watched by comjjetent inspectors, and force
accomits have been kept of all labor employed.
The difficult^' of reaching portions of the work from the city led, in
May, 1880, to the establishment of an engineering party, under Mr. F.
P. Stearns, at Squantum, where an office was hired for them. This
paitj^ takes charge of Dorchester Bay Tunnel and Section 3, Outfall
Sewer and Moon Island Eeservoir.
Several hundred light rod borings have been made during the j^ear,
principally in the vicinity of Moon Island.
A supplementary series of float experiments were made, at diff'erent
stages of the tide, from INIoon Island, and their result confirmed the
previous decision as to the j^roper place for the sewer outlet.
The testing of cement bought by the city or by contractors has con-
stituted, as heretofore, an imj^oftant, if minor department of office-work.
During the year 8,575 tests in all have been made, including 2,700 for
experimental jmrposes. The best result of this rigid testing of cement is
that little of inferior quality is now ofiered. Of 17,906 casks examined
last year, but 516 were rejected.
From one to three draughtsmen have been constantly employed in the
office, making record and working plans, and a clerk is employed to
keep a set of accomit-books, and to perform other incidental office duties.
The report of the Park Commissioners (City Doc. No.
12, 1881) gives a general statement of work now in progress
on the Back-Bay park ; but as a more particular statement
and description of tlie portions of it under the supervision
of this department may be of value for future reference,
the following synopsis is given : —
General Work, Filling, etc.
In January a new channel for Muddy river was exca-
vated through the marsh near the easterly side of the park.
This channel, together with the culvert previously built
through the road- way across Muddy river, near the Hun-
tington entrance, provided for the flow of water in ])oth
Muddy river and the old channel of Stony Brook, so that it
was possible to continue the construction of the boundary
road between Huntino;ton and Parker Hill entrances with-
out injury to private parties. The filling by carts was con-
tinued on this road during the winter and early spring, under
direction of the superintendent appointed l)y the Park Com-
missioners. The Health Department was allowed to dump
Report or City Engineer. 41
ashes, etc., witliin the park limits, until about the first of
The contract for filling the roadway on the westerly side
of the park, made with the Boston and Albany Railroad Com-
pany June 20, 1879, was continued in force by a supple-
mentary contract, dated January 28, 1880, which provided
for the filling of the site for the Boylston-street bridge over
the park water-way. The price paid for the additional filling
was $3.25 per square.
The extended contract was completed March 29, 1880,
the total amount deposited being 24,176 squares, at $3.45,
and 5,800 squares, at $3.25. The total number of car-loads
was 70,425. The gravel was brought from the company's
l)ank at Weston, about 10 miles from the park.
June 1, 1880, a contract was made with the Boston and
Albany Railroad Company, for the filling of the boundary
road from the point near Longwood entrance, to which it
was filled under the previous contract, to the Huntington
entrance. This work was begun July 1, and is now nearly
completed ; 30,981 car-loads of gravel have been delivered
underthis contract, amounting to 12,197 squares. The
contract price is $3.45 per square.
November 4, 1880, a supplementary contract was made
to provide for the filhng of the portion of the park roadway
between the Huntington entrance and Boylston street. The
price to be paid is $3.20 per square.
Huntington entrance has been partially filled with surplus
earth from the Sewer-Department excavations on the im-
provement of the channel of Stony Brook, and also with
surplus earth from the excavations on the Improved Sewer-
age system, on Hampshire and Ruggles streets. The number
of cart-loads deposited by the Server Department, to De-
cember 31, was 21,702, and by the Improved Sewerage
Department, 2,370. These quantities are the net amounts
left after the deduction of the loads which were exchanged
for sand. For an account of the filling of the Beacon en-
trance see " Commonwealth- Avenue Extension."
Tallymen are employed, who keep an account of the num-
ber of cars removed from the different gravel-banks for the
contract work, and also the number delivered on the work.
Boylston-Street Arch Bridge.
At a distance of about 300 feet southwardly from the
Boston and Albany Railroad the park pond is to be crossed
by an elliptical arch bridge, which is on the extension of
Boylston street, through the park. The water-way is nar-
42 City Docttment No. 25.
rowed at this point to a width of 60 feet, and the arch which
spans it is intended by Mr. Ohnsted, the landscape, and
Mr. Richardson, the consulting, architect of the Park Com-
missioners, to be the most prominent feature of the park.
The bridge is to have a width at the westerly end of about
141 feet, and at the easterly end of about 111 feet. The
arch which forms the bridge will be straight at the southerly
end and askew at the northerly end. The span is to be 60
feet at right angles to the water-way, but at the skew end
the span at the face of the arch is 67 feet ; the rise is to be 18
feet, measured from the water line or grade 8. The abut-
ments, spandrel walls, and faces of the arch will be granite ;
the intermediate portions will be brick.
A contract for building the foundations and abutments for
the arch was made, Sept. 28, 1880, with Mr. Isaac A. Syl-
vester, of Newton, the contract price being $38,647. Before
the plans and specifications for the work were completed a
careful examination, by means of soundings and borings,
was made of the materials composing the substrata at the
point of location.
The result of this examination, which was supplemented by
driving trial piles, while it indicated unmistakably the practi-
cability of and necessity for a pile and platform foundation
for the westerly al>utment, was not so positive with regard
to the foundation for the easterly abutment. The substratum
into which the piles will have to be driven for the easterly
abutment is a very compact sand, and, as the number of piles
required is very large, it was thought somewhat doubtful if
they could be driven into the material ; provision has there-
fore been made in the contract for substituting a foundation
of hydraulic cement concrete.
The foundation for the east abutment is to consist of rows
of spruce piles, 2^ feet apart, each row capped with 10 x 12
inches hard-pine timber, with the spaces between the caps
and around the heads of the piles filled to a depth of 2 feet
with hydraulic cement concrete. A flooring of spruce tim-
bers, 6 inches in thickness, is to cover the caps, and form the
platform from which the masonry is to start. The masonry
for each abutment will be 16 feet in width at the bottom,
and 6 feet 6 inches in width at the top, and will consist of
5 courses of cut stones, with inclined beds and builds,
except the beds of the lowest course, which will be horizontal,.
The arch practically commences at the platform ; but the
masonry now under contract will not be seen above the usual
water-hne, and has therefore been considered, for convenience
of description, as forming abutments.
The season was so far advanced at the time the contract
Eeport or City Engineer. 43
was closed, that not much progress has been made in con-
struction. The cofter-dam to enclose the foundations is,
however, nearly completed; 7,000 cubic yards of excavation
have been made, and 236 cubic yards of cut stone delivered.
The work will be actively prosecuted as soon as the season
opens, and it is hoped will be completed in time to commence
the arch by the middle of the year.
Covered Channel of Stony Brook.
Under this head is included a covered conduit extending
from Charles river across Beacon street, and through the
50-feet street on the easterly side of the Beacon entrance, to
the roadway on the southerly side of the railroad, thence
following the roadway to a gate-chamber situated on the
border of the Park pond, nearly opposite to the Huntington
entrance. The gate-chamber is to form the connection
between the conduit, the Park pond, and the extension of
the present Stony-Brook channel, now terminating at Parker
The extension of the Stony-Brook channel to the gate-
chamber will consist of two arched water-ways of practically
the same section as the ones with which they are to connect.
The conduit from Charles river to the gate-chamber is
3,520 feet long, and 7 feet 2 inches internal diameter. It is
built of spruce planks, 2 inches in thickness and 8 inches in
width, thoroughly trenailed together, and every fourth plank
is wedge-shaped, to give the conduit its circular form.
About 1,700 feet of it are now completed. If deemed
advisable, after completion it can be lined with an inch of
concrete, as it is 2 inches larger in diameter than at tirst
The gate-chamber substructure will be built of rubble
granite, with brick inverts, and of cut-stone for all gate-
openings and for a portion of the flooring.
Plans and sections of this structure are shown on the
accompanying plates, which also show the dimensions of the
water-ways forming the extension to Parker street.
These water-ways are 324 feet long, and will have stone
side walls with brick arches and linings laid in cement, the
whole structure having a pile platform foundation.
All of the work upon these structures is being done by
day's labor, under the immediate supervision of Mr. Howard
A. Carson. The machinery invented by him is used for
making the excavations, and proves both efficient and eco-
nomical. The right to use this machinery in all the city
departments was purchased July 28, 1880.
44 City Document No. 25.
In addition to the part of the conduit which has been con-
structed, the excavation for the gate-chamber and a large
portion of that for the water-ways between the gate-cham-
ber and Parker street, has been done. The pile foundation
and timber platform for the g|ite-chamber is also completed,
and a contract has been made with the Cape Ann Granite
Co. for the stone for the substructure. The appropriation
for the entire work is $110,000, and the amount expended
to January 1, 1881, was $33,199.43.
The flow of water into the pond and the regulation of its
height are controlled by the gates in the chamber, in connec-
tion with the dam to be built in the Beacon-street bridge
water-way. (See description of this dam, page 18.)
The gate-chamber, the conduit, the pond, and the dam at
Beacon street, must be considered together to understand the
manner in which the waters of Stony Brook are to be con-
trolled and disposed of. The gate-chamber is furnished, as
shown on the plan, with double w^ater-ways*, corresponding
to the w^ater-w^ays of Stony Brook as they now exist. These
water-ways are each provided with a double set of self-acting
gates, which prevent the w^ater from the pond from running
into the conduit, and thus finding its way to Charles river.
These gates serve, also, to admit into the pond whatever
portion of the water fi'om Stony Brook the conduit is not
capable of discharging into Charles river in time of freshets.
The conduit will convey the ordinary flow of the brook to
the river, and will also at every high tide be full of salt
water from Charles-river basin as far as the tide-gates in
the chamber near its connection. This salt water can be let
into the pond, if it is desired, through a gate in the chamber
provided for the purpose.
If the Waaler in the pond, which it is proposed to maintain
generally at grade 8, reaches a higher grade, by reason of
the discharge into it of the waters of Stony Brook in time
of freshets, the surplus water (unless the tide should be at
a still higher level at the same time) will be discharged over
the dam at the Beacon-street water-ways, and this discharge
will continue as long as the level of the pond is above the
dam and the height of the tide below grade 8.
The table, showing the width of draw-openings in the
bridges over tide-water in this city, is given in the Ap-
pendix. The openings have all been remeasured for this
Eeport of City Engineer. 45
In closing this my first annual report to the City Council,
I should state, for the information of such of its members as
were not in office last year, that I succeeded Mr. Joseph P.
Davis, upon his resignation of the office of City Engineer,
March 20, 1880, and appointed to fill the vacancy caused by
my promotion from Chief Assistant, Mr. Alphonse Fteley,
formerly the resident engineer in the building of the Sudbury-
Nearly all of the works described in the foregoing report,
especially under the heads of " Additional Supply," " Im-
proved Sewerage," and " Parks," had already been studied,
designed, or nearly completed, under the direction of my
predecessor ; and if those which are now incomplete, prove,
as I have perfect confidence they will, as successful engineer-
ing works as those already completed, they will be monu-
ments which will attest his skill and eminence in his profes-
HENRY M. WIGHTMAN,
City Document No. 25.
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