[Document 52 — 1882.]
CITY OF mmm boston.
FOR THE YEAR 1881.
Office of the City Engineer, City Hall,
Boston, February 25, 1882.
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 1881 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,
2 'City Document No. 52.
and INIystic Water Works, including charge of new con-
structions for these works. (Water Works.)
C. — Charge of the construction of a system of intercept-
ing and outlet sewers. (Improved Sewerage.)
D. — Charge of the eno-ineerins: work in connection with
the Back Bay and other proposed parks. (Parks.)
The expenses incurred under the head C, are paid wholly
from a special appropriation, 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, 1881, to January 1, 1882 : —
Amount expended from department appro-
priation for 1880-81 .... $6,567 01
Amount expended from department appro-
priation for 1881-82 . . . . 19,711 64
Total expended from department appropria-
tions ....... $26,278 65
Amount expended from special and other
appropriations . . . . . 2,88755
Total $29,166 20
Condition of department appropriation : —
Amount of appropriation for financial year
1881-82 $28,000 00
Amount expended to January 1,1882 . 19,711 64
Unexpended balance, January 1, 1882 . $8,288 36
From special appropriations : —
Broadway extension —
Pay-rolls and incidentals . . . $1,958 95
CommonAvealth-avenue extension —
Pay-rolls and incidentals . . . 928 60
Total $2,887 55
Eeport of City Engineer,
CLASSIFICATION OF EXPENSES.
Salaries of City Engineer, assistants, draughts-
mea, transitmen, levellers, roclmen, etc.
Engineering instruments and repairs of same
Drawing paper and materials .
Stationery and printing stock .
Reference books, maps, photographs, and
Prinfino; and bindins^ ....
Travelling expenses, including horse-keeping
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, 1881
(including the City Engineer), 22. The present number is
23. 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 : —
There have been no new tide-water bridges built during the
year, and, with the exception of the Mt. Washington-avenue
and Broadway bridges, no very extensive repairs have been
made upon the old ones.
Two new street bridges have been completed, — the Bea-
con-street bridge, over the Park water-way, and the Blake-
more-street bridge, over the Boston & Providence railroad, at
Mt. Hope station, West Roxbury. A bridge on Common-
wealth avenue, over the Park water-way, is in process of con-
struction, and the bridge over the Boston & Albany railroad,
on the Broadway extension, is .not yet completed. In the
Back-Bay park the foundations for the arch bridge on Boyls-
ton street, over the Park water-way, are completed ; the Bos-
ton & Albany railroad bridge, over the Park water-way, is
practically completed, and work upon the Beacon-entrance
bridge, over the Boston & Albany railroad, is now being
4 City Document No. 52.
The ordinary repairs upon the tide-water and inland
bridges have, as for several past years, been made b}' day's
The Committee on Bridges have retained the services of
Mr. S. S. Lewis, as superintendent of repairs on the tide-
water ])ridges, paying him for his services at the same rate
as last year, but allowing him $2.25 instead of $2.00 per day
for carpenter's labor.
Mr. J. W. Leatherbee was again the successful competitor
for furnishing the spruce lumber required for the tide-water
bridge repairs for the year, and has furnished 314,(>9^ feet
B.M., at his contract price for 1881 of $16.40 per M., and
17,092 feet B.M., for $13.90 per M., his contract price for
During the year nine of the tide-water bridges have been
painted by day's labor, under the direction of Mr. A. H.
Townsend as foreman. The paints and other materials were
furnished by Messrs. Dexter Bros., under contract. The
total cost of labor was $1,986.30; of materials, tools, etc.,
The total cost of ordinary repairs made under the direction
of this department upon the tide-water bridges, has been
The system of making the repairs of the inland bridges
(in charge of the Superintendent of Streets) by day's labor,
under the supervision of this department, has been continued
during the past year at his request.
The total cost of the repairs upon these bridges has been
By vote of the Committee on Bridges of 1880 this depart-
ment was authorized to })repare rec()rd-l)ooks for each of the
superintendents of the tide-water bridges that have draws,
the ol)ject being to have the superintendents keep a daily
record of all vessels passing through the draw-ways, time
of their passage, name, etc. The books were furnished
and the records commenced Jan. 1, 1881, and from this
record monthly and yearly reports have been made to this
department and are kept on file. An abstract from these re-
ports, showing the number of vessels passing through the
several draw-ways, will be found in Appendix A.
The usual annual examination (required by Section 5 of the
ordinance relating to the City Engineer's de})artment) of all
bridges within the city limits, open to team and foot travel,
has been made, and the results of this examination respect-
ing the condition of the bridges as to safety and need of re-
newal or repairs, are given in the succeeding pages.
The following is a list of the bridges inspected. The total
Report of City Engineer. 5
number is two more than last vear ; the bridg^e on Beacon
street over the outlet to the Back-Bay park pond and the
Blakemore-street bridge having been added. Those marked
with an asterisk are over naviijable waters and are each fur-
nished with a draw : —
I. — Bridges wholly supported by Boston.
Ashland street, Ward 23, over Boston & Providence
Athens street, over N.Y. & N.E. Railroad.
Beacon street, over outlet to Back-Bay Park Pond.
Berkeley street, over the Boston & Albany Railroad.
Berkeley street, over Boston & Providence Railroad.
Blakemore street, over Boston & Providence Railroad,
*Broadway, over Fort Point Channel.
Brookline avenue, over Muddy river. Ward 22.
*Charles 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.
*C()mmercial Point, or Tenean, Ward 24.
*Congress street, over Fort Point Channel.
Dartmouth street, over Boston & Albany and Boston &
*Dover street, over Fort Point Channel.
*Federal street, " " " "
Ferdinand street, over Boston & Albany Railroad.
Huntington avenue, over " " "
*]Malden, from Charlestown to Everett.
*Meridian street, from East Boston to Chelsea.
Mill-dam, over Back Bay sluices.
*Mt. AYashington 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.
6 City Document No. 52.
n. — 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.'
*Clielsea (North), from Charlestown to Chelsea.
*Essex street, from Ward 25 (Brookline) to Cambridge.
*Granite, from Dorchester (Ward 24) to Milton.
Longwood 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 Roxbuiy (Ward 23) to Dedham.
* Western avenue, from Ward 25 to Cambridge.
* Western avenue, from Ward 25 to Watertown.
III. — 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 Raih'oad.
*Prison Point, from Charlestown to Cambridge.
*West Boston, from Boston to Cambridge.
IV. — Bridges supported by Railroad Corporations.
1st. — Boston & Albany Railroad.
Brighton avenue. Ward 25.
Market street. Ward 25.
2d. — Boston & 3Iaine Railroad.
3d. — Boston (& Providence Railroad.
Beach street, Ward 23.
Bellevue street. Ward 23.
Report of City Engineer.
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 Railroad.
6th. — J^ew York & New England Railroad.
Forest Hill avenue, Ward 24.
Harvard street, Ward 24.
Norfolk " " "
Norfolk " " "
Washington street. Ward 24.
7th. — Old Colony Railroad.
Ashmont street and Dorchester avenue.
Cedar Grove cemetery.
Savin Hill avenue.
I. Number wholly supported by Boston . . 32
n. Number of which Boston supports the part with-
in its limits . . . . . .14
HI. 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
8 City Document No. 52.
3. Boston & Providence
4. Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn
5. Eastern .....
6. New York & New England
7. Old Colony .
Total number . . . . . .86
1. — BRIDGES WHOLLY SUPPORTED BY BOSTON.
ASHLAND-STEEET BrIDGE (OVER BoSTON & PROVIDENCE
Railroad, Ward 23).
This is a modern iron-bridge, of excellent construction,
and is in good condition. It will require painting the coming
season, and will need new roadway sheathing. The abutment
masonry should also be repointed.
No repairs have been made upon it during the past year.
Athens-street Bridge (over New York & New Eng-
Also an iron bridge of modern construction, and now
in good condition, — the wood-work having l)een mostly re-
newed, and the entire bridge painted the past year.
Total cost of repairs, $141.77.
Beacon-street Bridge (over Outlet of Back Bay Park
This structure was in process of construction at the date
of the last annual report, and a general description of it was
then given. It was so far completed that it was opened for
travel August 17, 1881.
The amount paid to Ross & Lord, the contractors for the
masonry substructure and appurtenant work, was $37,120.82.
The amount paid for the iron bridge, which was of the or-
dinary deck pattern, and the wrought-iron water-pipe, both
of which were furnished by David H. Andrews, of the Bos-
ton Bridge Works, under his contract, was $4,746.05.
The masonry, consists of two abutments and a central
pier of Quincy and Gloucester granite, is of the most sub-
stantial character, and is built upon a spruce pile and timber
platform foundation. The water-ways, spanned by the l)ridge,
are each 20 feet in width, and the portions of them adjoining the
Eeport of City Engineer. 9
central pier are depressed so that the park pond can be entirely
drained when required. The depressed portion is about
one-third of the width of each water-way. The floors of
the Avater-ways are paved with rectangular granite blocks.
The work was enclosed by a cofler dam, on the water-side,
which cut the sea-wall forming the northerly boundary of the
Mill-dam. On the other sides the earth was sufficiently im-
pervious to keep out the tide-water, although the excavation
was carried on, in the central portion of the site, to a depth
of more than three feet below mean low water.
In carrying on this work it was necessary to remove a
section of the Mill-dam and its retaining-walls ; and as the
manner of its construction at this point may be of interest,
and valuable for future reference, the following description
of it is given : —
The ]Mill-dam was b egun about th e„xear 1818, and com-
pleted in 182LJ In consists, in this location, of two parallel
waHsT^ithllieir faces al)out 50 feet apart. The walls are
built of Roxl)ury pudding-stone, laid dry and very loosely.
They are each 6 feet wide at the bottom and 3 feet wide at
the top, and are ballasted with small stones, the ballast having
a width of 8 feet at the bottom of the walls, and tapering to
nothing at the top.
The northerly wall is built on a grillage of white-pine tim-
ber, which rests upon the mud 1 ft. 9 in. below low water,
and consists of three courses ; the lowest course of
12'' X 12'' timbers, four in number, covering a width of 6
feet, and extending longitudinally under the wall, is covered
by a course of 9" X 9" timber, lain traversely about 9" apart,
and another course of five 12" X 12" timbers, laid longitudi-
nally, completes the grillage.
The courses are trenailed together with oak trenails, 1|"
square, one trenail in every other liearing.
The southerly wall has only two courses of timber in its
grillage, the lower one, 12" X 12", laid longitudinally, and
the upper, 9" X 9", laid transversely.
Between the walls the filling to a height of S^ feet above
the grillage, is flats mud ; a layer of 5 feet of sand covers
this mud, and is itself covered by 11^ to 2 feet of road mate-
The whole height of the masonry is 15 feet, and, consider-
ing the length of time the wall has been built, that it had
under it from 6 to 8 feet of mud, and that its average section is
but -^Q of its height, it has stood remarkably well, although
on the water side it had been for some years previous to the
wideninof of Beacon street in a chronic state of disinteerration.
10 City Document No. 52.
Berkeley-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany
This bridge is apparently in no worse condition than it
was last year. It has been strengthened in every practicable
way, and no further improvement can l)e made upon it. It
is one of those structures Avhich, while it cannot 1)e said to be
dangerous, is still an improper structure for an important
thoroughfare like Berkeley street.
The abutments are built of Roxbury stone, laid dry, and
very loosely put together.
A constant supervision of this bridge is necessary, and as
soon as it develops any signs of weakness it should be
The iron-work has been painted and the roadway sheath-
ing patched, at a cost of $217.27.
Berkeley-street Bridge (over Boston & Providence
During the year the iron-work has been painted and the
roadway sheathing patched.
The bridge is now in good condition.
Total cost of repairs and painting, $425.50.
Blakemore-street Bridge (over Boston & Providence
Railroad, Ward 23).
This is a new iron bridge, with granite abutments and
wing-walls, which has not yet been opened for travel, as the
fillino- of the connectino- street at one end has not been com-
pleted. It is fully described under the head of " Miscellane-
ous work and constructions."
* Broadway Bridge (over Fort Point Channel).
The decay of the wood pavement on the column section of
this bridge, between the draw and Lehigh street, rendered it
necessary either to repave this section with wooden blocks or
to replace the cast-iron plates forming the roadway flooring
with a wooden floor, having a plank-wearing surface. So
much trouble had been experienced from the expansion of the
wood pavement on this bridge in freezing weather, that it
was deemed advisable to remove it from this section. The
cast-iron plates and longitudinal iron floor-beams were there-
fore taken off and soki, and a hard-pine floor and floor-
beams sul)stituted. The wearin<x-surface consists of two- inch
spruce, as on most of the other bridges.
Kepokt of City Engineer. 11
It was intended to do this work by contract, but after pre-
paring specifications and advertising the work, no proposal
was received that it was deemed for the advantage of the city
to accept. The lowest proposal was $3,517, and the old
materials. All the proposals were therefore rejected by the
Committee on Bridges, and the work was done by day's
labor, under the direction of this department, with the fol-
lowing result : —
Cost of materials and labor . . $4,008 00
Old materials sold .... 3,356 44
Net cost of work . . . 651 56
Attention has been called in previous reports to the bad
condition of the draw-pier, due to the ravages of worms upon
the spruce sheet-piling, but as no change for the worse has
been noticed, the pier will probably last for some time longer.
The entire bridge will require repainting the coming season,
otherwise it is not anticipated that more than the ordinary
repairs will be necessary.
The laud under the bridge, between Lehigh street and the
channel, has been leased to the Boston & Albany Railroad
Company for five years, at an annual rental of $800.
Total cost of repairs, $5,083.62.
Brooexine-a VENUE Bridge (over Muddy River).
This bridge is in fair condition and has required no repairs.
If the covered channel for Muddy River should be built this
year its continuance would be no longer necessary.
* Charles-river Bridge (from Boston to Charles -
The pavement has been temporarily repaired and put in
fair condition, but more extensive repairs upon it will be re-
quired this year.
The draw track-timbers have been strensthened, the
quarters for the superintendent's assistants have J^een en-
larged to accommodate an additional man, and the usual
Total cost of repairs, $1,719.19.
Chelsea Bridge (South) (over South Channel
A fire in the work-shop connected with the superintend-
ent's office,. caused probably by the spontaneous combustion
12 City Document No. 52.
of some painter's rags, occasioned a damage of $350 to
the building, on tlie night of July 27. In making repairs
accommodation was provided for an additional assistant.
The bridge has been painted, the draw sheathed, and the
pavement on the solid filling, between this bridge and the
Chelsea Bridge (North), put in good order.
The filled portion of this avenue has been placed in charge
of the Paving Department.
Total cost of repairs, $2,047.84.
* Chelsea-street Bridge (from East Boston to
The usual repairs have been made and the bridge painted.
The draw is in poor condition although some repairs have
been made upon it.
The fixed part of the bridge is in good condition.
Columbus-avenue Bridge (over Boston & Albany
One end of the iron sidewalk truss, on the southerly side
of this bridge, encroached upon the land of an abutter, and
a compromise was effected between the city and the party who
owned the land, by which a portion of the truss was re-
moved, so that better access could be had to the estate.
Ordinary repairs have been made, and the bridge is now
in good order.
Total cost of repairs, etc., $325. fi2.
* COMIMERCIAL PoiNT, OR TeNEAN BrIDGE (WaRD 24),
Has received only trifling repairs, and is noAv in fair con-
Total cost of repairs, $7.88.
* Congress-street Bridge (over Fort Point Channel).
The draw has been provided with a new under-floor in the
roadway, and the sidewalks have been replanked. The
whole bridge has been repainted, the concrete sidewalks
resurfaced, and other repairs made. The centre pivot-bear-
ing has been examined and found in better condition than
was expected. A new centre pivot-bearing will, however,
be provided as a reserve in case of accident.
The bridge is in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $5,023.96.
Eeport of City Engineer. 13
Dartmouth-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany and
Boston & Providence Railroads).
This bridge has not required any repairs during the year,
and is now in good order.
* Dover-street Bridge (over Fort Point Channel).
Only the usual repairs have been made on this bridge,
and, -with the exception of needing painting, it is in good
* Federal-street Bridge (over Fort Point Channel).
For several years a suit, brought by Mr. W. P. Hunt,
against the cit}^ to determine the title to certain portions of
the flats occupied by this bridge and its appurtenent struct-
ures, has been pending in the courts. A decision has been
reached by which Mr. Hunt's title to the flats in question is
This decision rendered necessary the removal of the
superintendent's office to the draw pier, as it stood upon the
area belonging to Mr. Hunt. No settlement has yet been
made for the flats occupied by the bridge.
In addition to the ordinary repairs upon the roadway and
draws the draw-pier has been entirely replanked. Although
the bridge is now in fair condition extensive repairs will
soon ])e required upon the roadway floor.
total cost of repairs, $4,019.93.
Ferdinand-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany
All the iron-work of this bridge has been repainted, and
the roadway floor has been renewed. The bridge proper is
in fair condition, but the bulkhead adjoining it, to which
attention has been called in previous reports, is unsafe.
Total cost of repairs, $792.73.
Huntington- A VENUE Bridge (over Boston & Albany
This bridge has been newly sheathed, and some slight
repairs have been made upon it. It is in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $250.64.
14 City Document No. 52.
* Malden Bridge (from Charlestown to Everett) .
Ordinary repairs have been made upon this bridge, and it
has also been painted. It is in good condition.
Total cost of repairs, $383.25.
* Meridian-street Bridge (from East Boston to
The draw has been thoroughly repaired by recalking and"
sheathing the roadway floor and laying new sidewalk planking.
The bridge and buildings have l)een painted and the road-
way pavement repaired. The roadway floor, the pavement,
and the sidewalk bulkheads are in poor condition.
Total cost of repairs, $2,633.44.
Mill-Dam Bridge (over Back-Bay Sluices).
As this bridge will soon be discontinued, the building of
the new bridge beyond it rendering it unnecessary when the
filling of the Back Bay is completed, no repairs have been
made upon it.
*Mt. Washington-avenue Bridge (over Fort Point
A special appropriation was made by the City Council, at
the request of the Committee on Bridges, for replacing the
old and badly-decayed floor of this bridge with a new one.
The work was done by contract ; Young & Ryan, the lowest
bidders for the job, being the contractors.
The new floor consists of hard-pine planks, six inches in
thickness, planed on all sides and jointed. It is calked and
covered with a coating of asphaltum, one-quarter of an inch in
thickness ; a bed of paving-gravel, six inches in depth, upon
which is laid a granite block pavement, completes the work.
The concrete sidewalks were repaired and resurfaced at
the same time.
The total cost of the entire work was $9,937.G1.
Shortly after the contract for the foregoing work was let,
a petition was presented to the City Council from the Stand-
ard Sugar Refinery and others, requesting the widening of
the draw-ways. After some delay an appropriation of |6,500
for this purpose was madft by the City Council. A license
from the Harbor Commissioners havinij been obtained, the
width of the draw-ways was increased from thirty-seven feet
and ten inches to forty-two feet, and a corresponding increase
in length was made to the draw.
Kepoet of City Engineee. 15
The work was done mostly by day's labor, and cost
In addition to the special work previously mentioned, the
draw has been newly sheathed, a new buoy-stone and buoy
provided, the buildings have been painted and smaller re-
pairs made ; so that the entire bridge is now in excellent con-
Total cost of ordinary repairs, $1,379.66.
Newton-street Bridge (over Boston and Providence
This bridge has been sheathed and painted, and is now in
good condition. The a])utments need repointing.
Total cost of repairs, $261.11.
Public Garden Foot-Bridge.
The stone masonry of this bridge and its approaches should
be repointed ; otherwise the bridge is in good condition.
Shawmut-a venue Bridge (over Boston & Albany
Has been sheathed and thoroughly repainted, and is now
in good order.
Total cost of repairs, $622.65.
Swett-street Bridges (over South-Bay Sluices).
The southerly bridge has been sheathed and its sidewalks
and fences have been repaired. Both bridges have been
painted, and are in fair condition.
Total cost of repairs, $238.85.
* Warren Bridge (from Boston to Charlestown).
The condition of this bridge has not changed materially
since last year. A very full report of its condition was then
made, and during the year it has been carefully watched and
temporary repairs made upon it when required.
Much more extensive repairs are needed, but in view of
the existing uncertainty as to the action of the City Council
in relation to additional bridge communication between the
city proper and Charlestown, it has not been deemed advisable
to attend to any repairs not absolutely necessary for the con-
venience and safety of the travel.
The total cost of repairs, the largest items of which were
repairing the pavement and sheathing the draw and northerly
draw-pier, was $2,144.58.
16 City Document No. 52.
West Chester Park Bridge (over Boston & Albany
A trial is being made on this bridge of several kinds of
paint to determine their comparative ability to resist the
action of the smoke and steam from locomotives. The
bridge has been sheathed and is in good order.
Total cost of repairs, $167.76.
West Chester Park Bridge (over Boston & Provi-
All the iron and wood work of this bridge has been
thoroughly painted and the roadway resheathed, and it is
now in excellent condition.
Winthrop Bridge (from Breed's Island to Winthrop) .
No repairs, except patching of the sheathing, have been
made on this bridge. It is in fair condition.
Total cost of repairs, $24.08.
II. — BRIDGES OF WHICH BOSTON SUPPORTS
THE PART WITHIN ITS LIMITS.
* Cambridge-street Bridge (from Ward 25 to
The roadway planking has been renewed and the bridge
painted. It is in fair condition.
Cost of repairs, $781.40.
Central-avenue Bridge (over Neponset River, Dor-
chester Lower Mills).
The sheathing has l)een patched : but no other repairs
have been made. Partial painting of the structure will be
necessary the coming season.
Cost of repairs, $7.88.
*CiiELSEA Bridge (North) (from the Mystic 'River
Corporation's Wharf to Chelsea).
The city's portion of this bridge is in good' condition.
The running parts of the draw will re(piire some repairs the
Eeport of City Engineer. 17
The draw has been sheathed, a new boat purchased, and a
horse to replace the old one, worn out in the service, has
Cost of repairs, $434.44.
* Essex-street Bridge (from Ward 25 to Cambridge).
A small office has lieen built for the accommodation of
the superintendent, and some few repairs have been made.
New Samson-posts for the draw have been recently put up.
The brido^e is in fair condition.
Total cost of repairs, $309.19.
* Granite Bridge (from Ward 24 to Milton).
The roadway has been replanked and temporary repairs
on the remainder of the structure have been made. The
entire upper portion of the bridge will require renewal
the coming season. Several of the piles are also in bad con-
dition and will require renewal.
The draw is in fair order.
Cost of repairs, $214.41.
Longwood-avenue Bridge (from Ward 22 to Brook-
This bridge is in good condition, and has required no
repairs during the past year.
Mattapan Bridge (from Ward 24 to Milton).
Only slight repairs have been made upon this bridge. It
is a weak structure, but is in fair condition.
Cost of repairs, $88.50.
Milton Bridge (from Ward 24 to Melton).
Xo repairs have been made on this bridge.
It is in fair order.
*Neponset Bridge (from Ward 24 to Quincy).
Only ordinary repairs have been made. The bridge is in
Cost of repairs, $188.64.
18 City Docujient No. 52.
* North Beacon-street Bridge (froji Ward 25 to
Upon this bridge the floor planking has been entirely
renewed, and niany of the old floor-stringers have been
replaced by new ones.
The bridge is in fair condition.
Cost of repairs, $1,405.74.
* North Harvard-street Bridge (from Ward 25 to
Has required no repairs except the renewal of the sheathing,
and is now in good order.
Cost of repairs, $223.78.
Spring-street Bridge (from Ward 23 to Dedham).
This is a stone arch bridge, and it is in good order.
Repairs to the amount of $19.89 have been made.
* Western-avenue Bridge (from Ward 25 to Cam-
The roadway of this Ijridge has been sheathed ; a small
building, to replace an old one, has been built for the super-
intendent, and some slight repairs have been made. . The
bridge is now in fair condition.
Cost of repairs, $409.24.
* Western- avenue Bridge (from Ward 25 to Water-
For several years attempts have been made by the city to
induce the town of Watertown to cooperate with it in re-
buildins: this bridii'c ; but so far Avithout success.
The draw- way is at a bad angle with the river channel,
and causes OTeat annovance to vessels passino- throui>li it as
well as to the team travel, from dehiy during the necessarily
slow passage of the vessels.
In July a portion of the retaining- wall, about 20 feet
in length, adjoining the abutment on the abattoir side, fell
into the river. It has l)een rei)laced by a pile and timber
bulkhead, at the joint expense of the city and abutters.
The bridge is in safe condition ; but the stone abutment
cannot be considered in stable condition, as it overhangs its
base. Althougli it may stand for some time longer it ought
to be rel)uilt.
Cost of repairs, $280.54.
Keport of Cixr Engineer. 19
III.— BRIDGES FOR MAINTENANCE OF WHICH
BOSTON PAYS A PART OF THE COST.
Albany-street Bridge (over Boston & Albany Rail-
This bridge has been for several years in bad condition,
being very much deteriorated by rust. The abutments are
badly cracked, and have moved out of position.
The retaining-wall adjoining the abutment, and connecting
it with the retaining-wall of the Broadway extension, will
have to be rebuilt probably this year. The rebuilding of
the abutments cannot be much longer postponed, and if
these are rel^uilt a new bridge would probaljly be required, as
the old one is not worth putting back again if it was once
The cost of repairs made upon the bridge was $167.26.
* Canal Bridge (from Boston to Caivibridge ) .
* Prison-Point Bridge (from Charlestown to Cam-
* West-Boston Bridge (from Boston to Cambridge) .
These three bridges are in fair condition. (See report of
the Commissioner for Boston, City Doc. No. 15, 1882.)
Dorchester-street Bridge (over Old Colony Rail-
Thorough repairs have been made upon this bridge. The
wood-work was entirely renewed, and the iron-work was
then cleaned and painted.
New wood-work was substituted for the old in every place
where it was needed. The bridge is now in good condition.
Cost of repairs, $677.93.
IV. — BRIDGES SUPPORTED BY RAILROAD COR-
The bridges included under tliis head are in good order or
fair condition, and require no special mention.
20 City Document No. 52.
MISCELLANEOUS WORK AND CONSTRUCTIONS
The work upon this wall, and the fence and plank sidewalks
connected with it, were fully described in the last annual report.
It was completed and a final estimate made May 16, 1881.
The total amount paid to the contractor, Charles T. Derry, «
Plans and specifications for the abutments for an iron bridge
on Blakemore street, over the Boston & Providence Rail-
road, near Mt. Hope station, were made in April.
The work was advertised for proposals in May, and a con-
tract for it was made with Joseph Ross, of Ipswich, the
lowest responsible bidder.
The abutments, with their wina-walls and a retaining-wall
70 feet in length, connected with the westerly abutment, are
built of Quincy granite.
The faces of the abutments and wing-walls are regularly
coursed rub]:>le-work with courses of nearly even rise, and
the retaining-wall is irregularly coursed rubble-work. The
bridge seats, parapets, and retaining-wall coping are cut
stones of the usual patterns.
The easterly abutment, with its wing-walls, is 110 feet in
length, 30 feet 2 inches in height, 10 feet of which is founda-
tion, and it averages in thickness 7^ feet.
The w^esterly abutment is 71) feet in length from the face of
the retaining-wall connected with it to the end of the wing-
wall, 25 feet 2 inches in height, 5 feet of which is foundation,
and it is of the same average thickness as the easterly abut-
The retainin":-wall averages 17 feet in heio-ht al)ove the
foundation, and has an average thickness of 5 feet.
The foundation is stepped on sloping ground and is 3^ feet
in depth. The retaining-wall carries a wooden rail fence with
The masonry was commenced May 26, and completed
November 1, 1881, at a total cost of $17,435.25. This
amount was $421 less than the price bid for the work, on
account of a reduction in the amount of masonry caused by a
change in the plans.
A contract for the iron bridge was made September 6,
Eeport of City Engineer. 21
with D. H. Andrews, the lowest bidder, for the sum of
The brido-e consists of two main cfirders, of the riveted
triangular pattern, placed 26 feet apart, and carrying plate-
iron floor beams, which overhang for the sidewalks. The
length of the main girders is 71 feet, of the floor beams, 40
feet. • The work of erection was commenced Jan. 31, 1882,
and is now completed.
The amount paid to the contractor was $3,746.46.
A contract for the fences was made with the Manley &
Cooper Co., of Philadelphia, and they are now in process of
erection. The fences are wrought iron, of an ornamental
pattern, and strongly connected with the bridge structure.
Broadway Extension (over the Boston & Albany
The work upon this extension and the bridge has been
actively prosecuted during the year, and is now in a forward
state of completion.
Between Harrison avenue and Washington street wooden
bulkheads have been built on l^oth sides of the street, where
they were required for the purpose of retaining the lilling.
On the northerly side the bulkhead is 260 feet in length and
about 7 feet in height. It is built of creosoted spruce
piles and planks, has iron anchor rods, and is ballasted with
broken l)ricks and small stones. It cost $1,079.57. On the
southerly side the l)ulkhead is 150 feet in length, of about
the same height, and is constructed in a similar manner to the
bulkhead on the northerly side ; but the spruce piles and
planks are not creosoted, and the bulkhead is ballasted with
oyster-shells. It cost $519.32. Both bulkheads were built
by day''s labor.
After the completion of the bulkheads, and a new sewer to
replace one destroyed by the northerly bulkhead, this portion
of the extension was filled to a sub-grade in readiness for
The abutments for the bridge over the Boston & Albany
Railroad, and the retaiuing-walls connected with them, are
practically completed ; the setting of the parapets and fur-
nishing of a small jjortion of the gravel filling being all the
work that remains to be done to complete the contract of
John Cavanaoh & Co. The amount paid to these contractors
Work upon the bridge, which is under contract to David
H. Andrews, has been greatly delayed by his inability
22 City Document No. 52,
to procure iron from the rolling-mills in time. It is,
however, now being i)ushed very rapidly, and the erection
of the timber false works upon which the iron-work will be
put together will soon be completed. A saving of $3,000
was eli'ected in the cost of this bridge by rejecting all the bids
received under the first advertisement and readvertising the
The buildino;s which were on the line of the extension are
being rapidly demolished, and filling is being stored on the
portion of the extension between Harrison avenue and Wash-
ington street, so that the street can be graded without delay
when the removal of the buildings will permit it.
The filling of this avenue and the adjacent streets and
territory has been continued during the past year, not only
under the old contracts and agreements of 1880, but also
under new contracts and agreements made during the year
April 27, 1881, a supplementary agreement, similar in
terms to the agreement of 1880, was made between the City
of Boston, the Boston Water Power Co., the Trustees of the
Beacon-street lands, the Executors of the will of D. N.
Skillings, and A. A. Marcus, for the filling, jointly, of the
territory bounded by West Chester Park, the location of the
Boston & AUmny Railroad, the fifty-foot street adjoining the
easterly side of the Beacon entrance of the Back Bay Park
and Beacon street. Contracts were made with the Boston &
Albany Railroad Company by the several parties to this
aOTcement for the fillino^ of the entire area, including all
streets and passage-ways. The city's contract was made i\Iay
Work under these several contracts was commenced soon
after they were executed, and at the present time the whole
territory described in the agreements of 1880 and 1881
before referred to is filled to grade 12, except a channel left
for the tidal fiow to and from the park l)asin. This channel
cannot be filled until the new channel through the park is
completed. Several of the streets within the territory are
filled to grade, and the filling of others is now in prog-
The quantity of gravel deposited upon the whole territory,
to and including January 4, 1882, was 194,205 car-loads,
amounting to 76,184 squares. Of this amount the approxi-
mate estimates show that there have been de})osited —
Keport of City Engineer. 23
Upon land of the Boston & Albany K.R. Co., 1,813 squares.
" " " Boston Water Power Co., 20,452 "
" " " Trustees Beacon-st. Lands, 11,513 "
" '' " Trustees Park Entrance" 5,306 "
" of A. A. Marcus, & Exr's D. N.
Skillings . . . . 589 "
" Back Bay Park .... 8,919
" Commonwealth ave. and adjacent sts., 27,592 "
Total 76,184 "
All the gravel delivered during the past year has been
brought from the bank of the company in Newton, near
March 29, 1881, a contract was made with Trumbull &
Cheney, for building the abutments for the bridge over the
park water-way, at the crossing of Commonwealth avenue.
These a1)utments are each about 166 feet in length, including
wing-walls, and are 13 feet 9 inches in height between the
platform foundation and top of bridge seat. The masonry is
built upon a spruce pile and timber platform, which also
covers the space 50 feet in width between the abutments.
Across each end of the platform a line of 4-inch tongued and
grooved sheet-piling was driven, to prevent any current from
undermining the flooring which forms the bottom of the
The masonry is built of Cape Ann granite, has an ashlar
face, and is laid in "Flemish" bond with a rubble-stone
The contractors completed this work November 9, and
the amount paid them under the contract was $27,974.69.
November 5, a contract was made with Cook, Rymes &
Co., for an iron bridge, of the deck pattern, consisting of
9 girders, 57 feet in length, and an average height of 4 ft. 3 in.,
covered with a timber and plank flooring.
The time for the completion of this contract was February
1st, but, owing to the contractors having been unexpectedly
delayed in obtaining their material, the Joint Special Com-
mittee on Streets has extended the time for completion to
April 1, 1882.
The contract price for the bridge erected in place is
A contract was made May 26, 1881, with Young & Ryan,
for extending the Ferry wharf, in Shirley gut. The deposit
of material by the currents has rendered nefiessary a periodi-
24 City Document No. 52.
cal extension of this Avharf. The present extension was
located after consultation with tlie Harbor Commissioners,
and is 104 feet in length, measuring from the end of the last
extension ; and is in a direct line with it. The new wharf is,
however, 120 feet in length, as 16 feet of the old one was
removed ; and it is 15 feet in width for a length of 104 feet,
and 20 feet in width f(;r the remainder of its length of 16
feet at the channel end.
It is a spruce-pile wharf, with hard-pine caps, and floor-
stringers covered with a spruce-plank flooring.
Tt is provided with oak fender-piles at the end and on the
side used as a landing-place for the ferry-lwat.
The work was completed June 30, and cost $1,521.37.
East Chester-Park Extension.
A contract was made May 9, 1881, with the New York &
New England Railroad Company for filling the extension of
East Chester park from Albany street to Boston street. The
work was begun June 15, and completed October 25, 1881.
The contract price was $3.50 per square, and the total
amount paid to the company was $31,130.42. This amount
included the cost of constructing drains across the street
April 27, 1881, a contract was made with Trumbull &
Cheney for building two stone piers for supporting the per-
manent bridge of the New York & New England Railroad
over this street. The abutments for this l)ridge were built
in 187G, and the street is now spanned by a wooden truss-
bridge, which was not intended as a permanent structure,
the purpose being to construct, eventually, an iron deck
bridge of three spans. The piers are built of granite, with
a foundation 5 feet wide, 28|- feet long, and 5 feet deep be-
low the orade of the street. On this foundation are two
courses of cut granite, each 1 foot 6 inches high. The tops
of these piers are at a grade of 3 feet above the grade of the
street, and they are to be surmounted by iron columns, on
which the bridge girders are to rest. The piers were com-
pleted in September, and the amount paid the contractors
Huntington- Avenue Extension.
June 29, 1881, a contract was made with the Boston &
Albany Railroad Company for filling the extension of Hunt-
ington avenue from Camden street to Parker street. Work
was begun July 1(5, and ended August 18, 1881, although
the street was not filled to its full width throughout its whole
Report of City Engineer. 25
length, as permission had not been ol)tained from all of the
abutters to slope the tilling upon their lands.
There were deposited on the street 11,177 car-loads of
gravel, amounting to 4,633 squares. The price paid was
$4.25 per square, and the total amount paid the contractors
This dam, the construction and use of which was fully
described in the last annual report, was completed June 9,
The tilling of the gap in the dam with stone ballast up to
the top retained the water on the enclosed mud-flats at a
depth of 2 feet during the summer, and relieved, to a great
extent, the nuisance caused by their former exposure at low
A recent inspection of the dam shows that it will be nec-
essary, before warm weather, to place additional ballast in
the gap, the upper portion of it, for about 18 inches in depth,
having been carried away by the ice, thereby causing the
flats to be left bare at low tide.
The wood portion of the dam appears to be in good con-
The total cost of the work was $4,451.92.
The usual amount of work of a miscellaneous character
has been done during the year. Under this head may be
classed surveys and soundings of the Public-Garden pond,
and an estimate of cost of improving the bottom ; estimates
of cost of repairing wharf at Deer Island ; plans and esti-
mates of cost of bridging the B. & A. R.R., at the Cam-
bridge-street crossing, at Brighton ; plans and estimates of
cost of retaining-wall at end of St. Charles street ; measure-
ments of gravel and other tilling material at various places,
for Board of Health, and numerous estimates for various
plans of a new In'idge between the city proper and Charles-
In the draugh ting-room, in addition to the large amount
of copying, tracing, blue printing, and revising plans which
has been done, plans and specifications have been made for
the building of the followino^ new iron brido^es : —
Broadway Extension, over B. & A. R.R.
Blakemore street, over B. & P. R.R.
Boston & Albany R.R. Bridge, over Park water-way.
Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, over Park water-way.
26 City Document No. 52.
Plans have also been made for the alterations of the side-
walk truss of the Columbns-avenuc Bridire, for lenjjthenino:
the Mt. AYashinijton-avenuc draw, and for much of the
machinery and iron work connected with the engines and
boilers of the Improved Sewerage Pumping-station.
The inspection of such of the above work as has been
completed or in progress has also been done by ]Mr. John
E. Cheney, designer and principal draughtsman, and his
B. — WATER-WOKKS.
Sudbuiy River, Farm Pond, and Lake Cochituate. — On
the 1st of January, 1881, the water in the reservoirs on the
Sudbury river stood as follows : Reservoir No. 1 was 2.48
feet below the top of the flash-l)oards ; 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. Reservoir
No. 2 fell until January 8, when it was 11.8 feet below
the top of the flash-boards. During January and February
the reservoirs were tilling, and Reservoirs Nos. 1 and 2 were
overflowing on February 13, and Reservoir No. 3 on March 6.
Water was allowed to waste continually at Dam No. 1 until
July 16. The water surfaces of the reservoirs above tide-
marsh level on the flrst day of each month, from August to
November, were as follows : —
August 1 . . ,
September 1 . . .
October 1 . . ,
November 1 . . .
In November it was discovered that the 48-inch pipe con-
nectinij Reservoir No. 2 with the gate-chamber at Dam No. 1
had been disconnected. In December Reservoir No. 1 was
emptied and the pipe repaired. Reservoir No. 3 was drawn
upon for the city's supply during August, September, and
October, and on October 24 it was practically empty. During
November and December it has been fllling, and is now, Jan-
uary 1, only 3 inches below the crest of the dam. On
January 1, 1882, Reservoir No. 1 was 147.85 ; Reservoir No.
2, 167.43 ; and Reservoir No. 3, 174.98 feet above tide-marsh
In October last the "cucumber taste" in our water supply
was found to originate in Farm pond (see report of Prof.
Report of Citt ENorNEER. 27
Eemsen, City Doc. No. 143, 1881), and, as the water in
the reservoirs above the pond was good, but could not be
brought to the city without being contaminated in its passage
through it, a temporary channel was made near the shore,
from the terminus of the supply conduit on the north-westerly
shore of the pond to the main conduit leading to Chestnut-
Hill reservoir. For this purpose Farm pond was drawn down
as low as possible. The channel, which was constructed in
14 days, is 4,750 feet in length. For 3,740 feet it is a
channel 5 feet deep, 12 feet in width at the bottom, with side
embankments of earth, 3 feet in width at the top, and side-
slopes generally of 4 to 1 .
For about 560 feet the channel is in mud, or partially so,
along the north side of the Boston & Albany R.R. embank-
ment ; this portion is made partly of sheet-piling, and is
partly a flume, 9 feet wide, supported by transversal frames.
During the year the Sudbury-river water-shed has yielded
26,876,000,000 gallons, equal to a daily average of 73,633,-
900 gallons, and the Sudbury-river works have furnished
9,036,700,000 gallons for the supply of the city, divided as
follows : —
Amount sent to
Amount sent to
Average daily amount furnished was 24,758,100 gallons.
Lake Cochituate was 8.74 feet below hio^h-water mark on
Januarv 1, 1881. On March 12 it had filled to within 6
inches of high- water mark, and waste commenced at the out-
let dam. This waste continued, with a few interruptions,
until the middle of July, when the lake was drawn upon for
the supply of the city. This draft gradually lowered the
lake's surface, until December 12, when it was, at grade,
28 City Docuiment No. 52.
127.03, or 7.33 foet l)elow hioh-water. At the present time
(January 1) it is 128.27 feet above tide-marsh level.
Mystic Lake. — eTanuar}' 1, 1881, Mystic lake was 3.16
feet below the top of the conduit, and temporary pumping
machinery was lieing used to furnish the snp])ly for the city.
On January 17 the lake had risen so that the pum})s were
stopped, and February 17 the lake was full, and wasting at
the dam. Waste was continued, Avith few interruptions,
until the beginning of August. September 1 the surface of
the lake was 5.52 feet above tide-marsh level; October 1,
4.35; November 1, 3.10; November 28, 2.60; December
1, 2.77 ; and January 1, 1882, 5.77, or 1.23 feet below high-
Consumption. — The average daily consumption from the
combined works, for each month, has been as foUow^s : —
From Sudbury and
The consumption from the Sudbury and Cochituate Works
shows a large increase over that of tiie year 1880 (4,520,-
200 gallons per day). About 2,000,000 gallons of this is
due to the supply of East Boston, which was drawn from
the Mystic Works in 1880.
The total consumption shows an increase of 2,327,000
gallons per day, or ^.b per cent, over that of 1880.
The daily average consinni)tion per head of population
has been 95 gallons from the Sudbury and Cochituate works,
81 gallons from the Mystic Avorks, and 92 gallons from the
During the year about 110,000,000 gallons were drawn
Repoiit of City Engineer. 29
from the Mystic supply for the use of the Sudbury and Co-
chituate works. East Boston was supplied from the Mystic
Works from Noveml^er 14 to December 14, and also on sev-
eral other occasions during the 3^ear, when the Cochituate
supply mains have been shut ofl' for repairs, etc.
Highland High-Service Works.
The average daily quantities of water pumped by the high-
service engines at the Highland station, during each month,
are as follows : —
The daily average for the year has been 2,407,500 gallons,
an increase of 2^ per cent, over that of the year 1880. The
small percentage of increase is accounted for by the fact that
the hose consumption for lawn purposes w^as smaller than
usual, and that the present winter has thus far been unac-
companied by any severe cold.
During the year surveys, plans, and estimates have been
made for removing the high-service pumping-works from
their present location in Roxbury to Chestnut-Hill reservoir,
and for a reservoir, and the necessary force and supply-mains,
to connect with the })resent reservoir on Parker Hill.
Deer Island Fire Service.
Special fire-service works have been built, for the better
protection of the Public Institution buildings on the Island.
These works were rendered necessary by the loss of head
caused l^y the change of supply from the Mystic to the Sud-
bury and Cochituate system, and consist of a Knowles' fire-
pump, having 20-inch steam and 10-inch water cylinders, with
24-inch stroke, which is connected with the distribution-pipes,
and with supply reservoirs on the island, in such a manner
that, in case of fire, the Avater-pressure upon the fire-hydrants
can be maintained at from 80 to 100 pounds.
The supply reservoirs, in connection with the main supply-
pipe, furnish the water for the pump, the reservoirs or cis-
terns, two in number, having a storage capacity of 150,000
gallons. The larger of these reservoirs, with a capacity of
30 City Document No. 52.
120,000 gallons, was liiiilt during the past summer. It is
50 feet iu diameter, 9 feet deep, "svith side-walls and bottom
of cement concrete, and is covered by a conical wooden roof.
The water-level of the reservoirs is at about the level of the
The work has been done by the expenditure of about
$3,300, the unskilled labor having been supplied by the
inmates of the institutions.
Mystic- Valley Sewer.
An act of the Legislature, approved May 13, 1881, re-
quired the city to cease discharging sewage or other polluting
matter from this sewer into the lower Mystic pond, except
under certain conditions as regards its purification, which it
was impractica])le, if not impossible, to compl}^ with. The
constitutionality of this act was doubted by the city ; but it
was, after various trials in the courts, decided by the Supreme
Court to be constitutional, and an injunction was issued to
l^revent the further discharge of the sewage into the pond.
It was agreed by the city's counsel, and that of the town of
Medford, petitioners for the injunction, that if the city would
erect certain works for the treatment of the sewage, the
injunction should not be enforced.
In accordance with this agreement a tract of land, of 5y^^
acres area, was taken, December 5, 1881, from the Boston &
Lowell Railroad Company. The land is in the town of Win-
chester, near Bacon's crossing, and adjoining the railroad,
as well as the line of the sewer.
A system of settling and natural downward filtration Avorks
was .adopted, and has been partially carried'out, with com-
paratively good results. The works consist of a steam-
engine and centrifugal pump, which lift the sewage from the
sewer and dischari^e it into scttliui^: tanks, from Avhich it
runs through an open trench, excavated in gravelly soil,
1,250 feet, to the sewer, which it again enters, and is then
discharged into the lower Mystic pond. In its course
through the trench it runs through a series of brush filters,
which remove ouich of the material which has not been de-
posited in the settling tanks. Nearly one-third of the
amount pumped fails to reach the end of trench, as it sinks
into the soil during its passage.
The works are very expensive to maintain, and the same,
if not a better, result could be accomplished on land near the
outlet of the Lower Mystic pond ; the expenses of pumping
could be avoided if this land (;ould he used, as the sewer if
extended about 3,500 feet would discharge naturally at the
Keport of City Engineer. 31
grade of the land. Authority to take hiiid for this purpose,
and also for other modifications of the Act of 1881, has been
asked for by the city, and the matter is now pending in the
SUDBURY-ElVER BaSIN No. 4.
As the result of the investigations made for the purpose of
determining the best site for a new storage-basin on the Sud-
bury river, for which, and also for the purchase of the land
when determined, an appropriation of $55,000 was made by
the City Council in the fall of 1880, a report was made to
the Water Board on the 14th of May, 1881, in which I rec-
omended Basin No. 4, of the preliminary Sudbury-river
surveys, as the most desirable to construct. The examina-
tions were confined principally to the sites of Basin No. 4
and Basin No. 7, of the original surveys, and a very large
number of borings were made upon the sites to determine the
nature of the ground. Surveys were also made of the lands
which would be flowed at the sites of both these basins, and
the Water Board bonded the land on each before any choice
After the selection of Basin No. 4 a new and more careful
survey was made of the various parcels of land which had
been bonded, in order that accurate deeds might be made.
Although the report recommending the construction of
Basin No. 4 was made to the Water Board May 14, and
by it transmitted to the City Council, an appropriation for
its construction was not made until August 8. The amount
of this appropriation was $394,000. The site of Dam No. 4,
which makes this Imsin, is on Cold Spring brook, in Ashland.
It is about 4,500 feet from the confluence of the brook with
Sudbury river, and the basin behind it will extend about 6,000
feet towards Hopkinton. The ordinary flow line of the new
basin will be 215 feet above tide-marsh level. Its extreme
depth at the dam is to be 45 feet, its estimated capacity is
1,100,000,000 gallons. The area of the land acquired for
the basin, for iiowage, and for marginal fVicilities, is 263
acres. The location of the dam is underlaid by a bed of
granite rock, on which it is expected to start the foundation
of the structure at a depth varying from 20 to 30 feet below
the natural surface of the o-round.
Although the position of the ledge had been determined
with sufficient accuracy by the borings, still there was enough
uncertainty with regard to its character to render it advisable
■ to build the lower portion of the dam by day's labor. This
method of doing the work was approved by the City Council,
32 City Documej^t No. 52.
and the Water Board was authorized to proceed with the
construction in this manner. Work bej^an September 22.
The season ])eing ah'eady advanced no attempt was made
to do any portion of the masonry. A convenient road was
built to the centre of Ashhmd, buildings were erected for an
office, blucksmith-shop, tool-houses, staldes, etc., and the
entire ground to be covered by the dam was cleared of loam,
muck, and all stones which interfered with the proper removal
of perishable material. The amount of muck removed from
the meadow was very large, and the stones taken from the
side-hills will furnish a considerable amount of material
which can be used in the construction of the rubble masonry.
The work of preparation is now completed and the masonry-
work can be commenced early in the spriug. The force
employed, which in October was 88 men and 26 horses and
oxen, was iucreased, in December, to 142 men and 44 horses
and oxen. The work is to be suspended as soon as the
weather becomes too severe to continue it to advantasfe.
The amount expended up to January 1, 1882, is as fol-
lows : —
For borings, examinations, and surveys . . $3,544 54
For construction ...... 19,342 46
The whole force employed at the dam was, from November
21 to December 6, transferred to the work then being done
at Farm pond on the temporary channel.
Owing to the magnitude of the work, it is expected that
three seasons will be necessary to complete it.
A trial has been made in the Charlestowm District of the
Deacon system of preventing waste of water. The results
ol)t!iined were very satisfactory, the sources and amounts of
the difl'erent classes of waste were clearly indicated, and a
large reduction in the consumi)tion was etfected in the sec-
tions where the trial was made. A special report upon this
subject will be made to the AVater Board.
A branch track has been built from the Boston & Lowell
Railroad to the Mystic pumi)ing-station for the transporta-
tion of coal and other sup})lies. The surveys and plans for
this track were made by this dei)artment.
During the year the 40-inch, 3()-inch, and 30-inch mains
have been connected by a 30-inch pipe, in Francis street.
This completed the work done under the appropriation for
the new 48-inch main.
Eeport of City Engineer. • 33
The total cost of the 48-mch and 30-inch mains was $269,-
092.26, or $10,907.74 less than the amount appropriated for
purchasing the castings.
The distributing mains of the city have been extended
about 7^ miles.
C— IMPROVED SEWERAGE.
It has been evident to me, ever since my accession to my
present office, as it must also have been to my predecessor,
that this great work could not be completed for the amount
of the original estimates and appropriations.
The unforeseen difficulties, and the expense attending the
overcoming of them, have been, from the beginning, much
greater than it was possible to anticipate. In addition to
this, changes in the character and size of the machinery and
structures, which were made in accordance with the results
of the experience with similar systems in European countries,
ajid the increased cost of all lal^or and materials used in con-
struction, have contributed to swell tiie cost of the work to
a sum far beyond the estimate as originally made.
It has not been possible until recently to estimate with
any approach to accuracy what the additional cost of com-
pleting the new system of sewerage would be. Several of
the contracts, amountino- in the ao-o-reoate to more than a
million of dollars, were in the hands of contractors who
could not })rol)al)ly complete them, but the city's interests
were best subserved by allowing them to go as far as they
could before decisive action was taken.
In three of these cases, during the past year, matters have
finally culminated in the city's taking possession of the work,
which has been relet for much larsjer sums than the original
contract prices, or has been carried on by day's labor to com-
As it is, therefore, now practicable to state with sufficient
accuracy the amount which will be required to complete the
system as originally designed, it is the intention of the Joint
Special Committee having the supervision of this work to
submit such a statement to the City Council at an early day.
During the year, at all points Avhere the work was being
prosecuted by the city, excellent progress has been made,
notwithstanding the difficult nature of the ground in which
most of it was being l)uilt.
There are now a]>out eleven miles of main and branch
intercepting sewers completed, and connected with the pump-
34 • City Document No. 52.
A large part of the sewerage of West Roxbury, Rox])ury,
the Back and South Bay districts is intercepted l)y these
The Leavitt engines, and machinery at the pumping-sta-
tion, are nearly ready for use, and in a short time the
system can be in operation so as to relieve the South and
Back bay, and Charles river, from the larger proportion of
the sewage now discharged into them by the city sewers.
The sewage cannot probably be discharged at jNIoon Island
for two years at least ; but it would not, in the opinion of
those most competent to judge of the matter, create any
nuisance if discharged into Dorchester l)ay for that length
The Improved Sewerage System has cost, to January 1,
1882, including the preliminary surveys, $2,396,960.68,
and the interest upon this sum would amount, at 4 per cent.,
to $95,878.42 per annum. This seems a large investment to
allow to lie idle for two years, and not accomplish, even
partially, the purpose for which it was made, as it might do
if the sewage can be dischai'ged into Dorchester bay without
detriment to the public health.
The total amount which has been ap]iropriated for the
Improved Sewerage works is $3,753,000.00. The gross
expenditure to January 1, 1882, including that for prelim-
inary surveys, has been $2,396,960.68, as above stated,
leaving a balance of $1,356,039.32.
The appended extracts from the report of Mr. E. C. Clarke,
principal assistant engineer of the Improved Sewerage Sys-
tem, will show, in detail, the progress of the work during
the year, and also much other information of interest : —
The followinof tabulated statement shows tlie leno'th of sewers com-
pleted January 1, LSHl, the number of feet built since that date, and the
total length constructed at the present time.
The title and location of each section is given, and also the name of
the parties by whom it was built.
Tills statement is followed by a more detailed account of the work on
such sections as have been in process of construction during the past
year, and of other work in connection with the general scheme.
City Document No. 52.
TABTJtiAR STATEMEIVT OF PROGRESS —
1. Main .
2. Main .
3. Main .
4. Main .
4^. Main .
5. Main .
6. Main .
1. Weat Side
2. West Side
3. West Bide
1. East Side
2. East Side
1. Stony Broolj
2. Stony Brook
1. Soutli Boston
3. Soutli 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 to O. C. R.R. .
In Mt. Vernon st. extension, from O. C. R.R. to Old Harbor point . .
In Camden, Falmouth, Dalton, and Hereford sts., from Huntington
ave. to Beacon st
In Beacon St., 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 Albany St., Lehigh st., and O. C. R.R. freight-yards, Federal st. .
In Tremont and Cabot sts., from Camden st. to Ruggles st
In Cabot, Hampshire, Elmwood, Ruggles, and Tremont sts., about
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
In Albany st. and E. Chester park, from Northampton st. to Rox-
Connecting Main Sewer and Filth-Hoist, and Engine Wells, and Salt-
Tunnel under Dorchester Bay, from O. H. Pier to Squantum Neck
Squantum Neck to Moon Island
Report or City Engineer.
IMPROVED SEWERAGE COaFSTRTJCTIOIV.
Size in feet and inches.
7 ft. 8 in
8 ft. 5 in
8 ft. 5 in
(9 ft )
i 10 ft. 6 in j
10 ft. 6 in
4 ft. 9 in. X 5 ft. 6 in. . .
( 4 ft. 9 in. X 5 ft. 6 in
( 4 ft. X 4 ft. 6 in. . .
4 ft. X 4 ft. 6 in. ...
6 ft. 8 in
5 ft. X 3 ft. 6 in. . . .
4 ft. 8 in
(4ft. 6 in
? 2 ft. X 3 ft
( 15-in. pipe
3 ft. 2 In
J 4 ft. 9 in. X 5 ft. 6 in-
( 4 ft. 6 in. X 3 ft. . .
4 ft. 9 in. X 5 ft. 6 in. .
I 4 ft. 6 in
(10 ft. 6 in
( 5 ft. 6 in
7 ft. 6 in '. .
11 ft. X 12 ft
to Jan. 1,
P. J. Condon.
P. J. Condon.
Charles Linehan and City.
Hoblitzell, Condon, and
Hoblitzell, and City.
Clinton Beckwith, and J. V.
A. H. Delameter &Co., and
B. A. Malone.
Stephen Connolly & Co. and
Hoblitzell, Condon, and
Hoblitzell and City.
R. A. Malone.
W. C. Poland & Son.
38 City Document No. 52.
Section 4, ]Main Seavek.
At the bej2:innin<i: of hist year there remained but about 180 feet of
this sewer to build, and it was expected that the section would be
finished early in the season. The contractor began work IMay 2, and
early in Au<::ust there still remained about 40 feet to build, with no
prospect of its early completion. As the terms of the agreement under
which the city obtained the land for extending East Chester park re-
quired that the roadway over the sewer should be filled, graded, and
fenced before January 1, 1882, it was considered necessary, prepara-
tory to this work, that the sewer should be at once cleaned and linished.
Accordingly, under a provision of the contract, the city assumed control
of the work, August 9, 1881. The sewer on the line of the proposed
street was cleaned, pointed, and calked within 20 days thereafter,
and, by October 21, the remaining poilions were built, the trench back-
filled, and the whole section completed. A side entrance and boat-
chamber, at the corner of Swett street, afford convenient facilities for
visiting this sewer.
Section 4^, Main Seaver.
This section was built by the city during the season of 1879 and 1880,
and an account of it was given in the last annual report. As there
stated, the sewer is built in East Chester park extension, in gravel,
filled over beds of mud, from 15 to 100 feet deep. Most of the mud
was displaced by the gravel, and the sewer was supported by 2>iling-
To provide for slight movements, the sewer was constructed of wood ;
and to allow for further settlement, where hard bottom was too deep
to be reached by piles, the vertical diameter of the sewer at such
points was somewhat increased. A recent examination shows the
wisdom of this method of construction. Settlements of the gravel have
occurred, which, though slight, would have been sufiicient to destroy a
structure wholly of masonry. Beyond some irregularities in grade, and
a slight cracking of the interior lining of concrete or brick, no injury
has been caused, and this section is ready for sei'vice.
Section 2, Stony-Brook Sewer.
Work on this section, designed to intercept all the Roxbury and West
Roxbury sewage which now fiows into Stony brook, and so into the
Back bay, progressed steadily from the beginning of the year until the
completion of the various branches in August.
The work was done by the city, under Mr. II. A. Carson, as superin-
tendent, and the jjortions built last year comprised 1,700 feet of 2X3
feet oval brick sewers, in Ruggles, Cabot, and Treraont streets, and
about 625 feet of 15-inch vitrified pii)e sewer in Culvert and Vernon
streets. During the early winter the sewers, which were from 14 to 19
feet bcdow the surface, were built chiefly by tunnelling from shafts or
pits about 1(1 feet apart. In two cases, at Tr(;mont street and at Ruggles
street, the work was built iumiediately below the bed of Stony brook,
without interfering with its fiow. The present outlets of the existinj^
city sewers were retained, to act as overflows for storm-water, and
were protected by double sets of tide-gates, set in chambers built just
back of the outlets. Six of tliese chambers, with 12 gates, were built.
All of the intercepting sewers of this section unite at the corner of
Cabot, Ruggles, and Hampshire .streets, where the fiow of sewage is
regulated by the ajjparatus shown on a plate in last year's repoi't.
Plate. I .
city of boston.
Tide Gate Chamber.
Scale of Fclt. Scale of Metbes.
I Q t Z O
CAST IRON GATE FRAME
Eepoet of City Engineer. 39
Section 2, West-Side Sewer.
The greater pai't of this section, in Beacon street, was built during
the season of 1878. Portions, however, of the sewer, varying in length
from 27 to 57 feet, were omitted, where-the city sewers crossed the line
of the work at Berkeley, Dartmoutli, and Fairfield streets. These por-
tions have been' built during the past summer, at a time when most of
the neighboring liouses were vacant, and the least inconvenience would
be caused. At these points the .storm-water outlets of the city sewers
have generall}' been raised about two feet and carried over tiie inter-
cepting sewer. Tide-gate chambers, each containing a double set of
new tide-gates, have been placed on the line of each outlet. The con-
nections of these sewers, and, also, of the one in Hereford street, with
the intercepting sewer, have also been made ; and the general arrange-
ment of these connections is shown on the accompanying plate.
As will be seen, the sewage in the city sewer first enters a 12-inch
opening, which can be closed, if necessary, by a cast-iron flap-valve.
After passing through a 12-inch pipe, the sewage enters a regulating
chamber thn)Ugh a cast-iron nozzle.
This nozzle is circular, 12 inches in diameter, at its upper end, and
rectangular, 20 X 6 inches, at its orifice. In front of the orifice plays a
cast-iron valve, moved by a float in a tank set in the floor of the chamber.
The water in the tank stands at the same elevation as that in the inter-
cepting sewer, a 4-inch ii-on pipe connecting one with the other. The
apparatus can be adjusted so that the valve will begin to close the
orifice and cut ofi" the flow of sewage when the water in the intercejjt-
ing sewer reaches any desired depth. The sewage flows around the
tank and enters the intercepting sewer through a second 12-inch pipe.
Section 2, East-Side Sewer.
This section comprises the sewer extending in Albany and Lehigh
streets, and across the Old Colonj' switch-yard, from Dover street to
Federal street. Work began at the Dover-street end early in September.
Situated, as this sewer is, in filled land, near the water, its construction
presents many difficulties. The loose stone walls, on either side of
Dover street, aff"orded direct communication between the trench and the
bay. Many old walls, docks, and other obstacles have been met with,
and construction by tide- work only has been possible.
The trench is excavated throucrli beds of dock-mud and loose fillinof,
and the sewer has generally required piling to supjiort it.
To lessen the number of piles required, and the chance of injury oc-
curring through movements of the soil, the sewer consists of a shell of
wood, () inches thick, spiked or treenailed, and lined with'2 inches of
strong Portland cement concrete.
In passing under the switch-yard of the Old Colony Railroad it will
be necessary to support over forty lines of rails, and to build the work
under them by methods of tunnelling.
As the character of this work could not be definitely ascertained
beforehand, and may need to be varied to suit circumstances, it was
thought impracticable to let it out by contract, and it is being done by
the city, under Mr. H. A. Carson as superintendent.
RoxBURY Canal Sewer.
The purpose of this sewer is to take from the Hampden, Albany, and
Northampton street districts, the Roxbury sewage which formerly
emptied into Roxbury canal, and, after the canal was filled, was carried
by a temporary box sewer to the present outlet in the retaining-wall
40 City Document No. 52.
across the canal. This section of work has been completed by the city
durinj2: the past season.
It consists of a -ii-feet sewer, extending in Albany street from the
corner of Nortliam})ton street to East Chester park, at which point the
Park sewer is intercepted ; thence the intercojjter, increased to 6 feet in
diameter, extends about 200 feet to its outlet, following the north side
of East Chester i:»ark. The work also comprises a bell-mouth, a tide-
gate chamber, a pair of double tide-gates, and a regulating chamber,
with apparatus to control the flow into the intercepting sewer. The ac-
companying plate shows the general form of chamber and gates placed
before all outlets not already eliectively protected.
This conduit connects the wells of the engine-house with the sea. Its
chief purpose is to bring salt water to be used in the condensers of the
pumping-engines. It will also furnish an ample suj^ply of sea water to
the pumps at any time when the flow of sewage may not be suflicient
for maintaining a flushing velocity in the tunnel. The salt-water conduit
is circular, b^ feet in diameter, and extends from the southerly side of
the engine-house about 270 feet to and through an extension of the
present dock wall. Its bottom is 6 feet below low water, so that it will
be full at all stages of the tide. It is now being constructed through
running sand, yielding much water, and its trench requires side sheeting
and end bulkheads of double tiers of tongued and grooved 4-inch planks.
An iron sluice-gate has been provided for this conduit, and grooves for
stop-planks have been placed at each end of it.
Operations at this point, conducted by the city, under Mr. S. H. Tarbell
as superintendent, have been continued throughout the year. The
foundations for the engines and the engine-house have been completed,
and the two engines, furnished by N. F. Palmer, Jr., & Co., are set up
and nearly ready for service.
The two additional engines to be furnished by the successors to Henry
R. Worthington are now building in New York, but have not yet been
delivered. A contract for furnishing the cast-iron force mains, to connect
the pumps with the tank sewer, was made April 13, 1881, with A. li.
McNeal, of Bui'lington, New .Jersey, and deliveries were made during
November and December of the same year. 'I'he contract covered about
323 tons of straight 48-inch pipe, and about 104 tons of special castings.
About 30 tons of other j^ipe, for use about the engine and boiler houses,
were obtained IVom tJie same concern. These pipes were inspected and
tested at the ibundery by a city inspector, and ni^arly all of thera are now
laid in place and jointed. The connection between the force mains
and tiie tank sewer is made at a granite masonry connection chamber,
now nearly completed. This chamber is ;">! feet long inside, rests on a
foundation bed of concrete, 24 inches thiclv, and has walls 21 feet high,
and from 4 to 7i feet thick. The walls contain 102 dressed stones, which
were obtained from the ("ape Ann fJranite Co., under a contract dated
August 16, 1881. There are to be two 6X7 leet iron sluice-gates, for
controlling the flow of sewage into the tank sewers, and grooves for 6
sets of stop-planks have been providetl to iacilitate repairs to the
chamber and fjates without interferino; with tiie flow of sewage. A
temporary opening, witli woodtui grooves for stop-pl:iiiks, lias l)t'en left
in the noithei'ly wull of tliis chamber, to afl'ord a sluice-way through
which, before the completion of the rest of the work, water can be
pumped into Dorchester baj', under any head, sliould this prove
necessary in order to test the pumps, or for otiier puri)oses. Hard-pine
Eepoet or City Engineer. 41
timber, suitably dressed, has been procured for the various stop-planks
needed, and they will be fitted by the city at the pumping-station.
Dressed granite stones for the engine-house and boiler-house foundations,
and the salt-water conduit, were furnished by I. A. Sylvester and the
Cape Ann Granite Co., under contracts dated March, 1881, and April,
1881, covering 92 and 46 stones, respectively.
Suitable foundations for a boiler-house, to contain five boilers with
their pits, flues, heaters, tanks, pumps, etc., have been constructed, and
two of the boilers are in place. Two additional boilers are to be fur-
nished by Kendall & Roberts, of Cambridgeport, under a contract dated
May 12, 1881, at a cost of $18,850. The foundation walls for a coal-
house, and a chimney, have also been built by the city during the past
season. This chimney rests upon a foundation of masonry, 8 feet 3
inches thick and 26 feet square at bottom. The depth of masonry below
the floor line is 1-4 feet 6 inches, and the height above the floor line is
134 feet 9 inches. The flue is 5 feet 6 indies in diameter, and the total
cost of chimney, including foundation walls, was about $6,000.
A contract for furnishing and putting in place 11 iron sluice-gates,
with all their attachments, including steam-engines and hydraulic lifts
for operating some of them, was concluded December 3, 1881, with the
Coflin Valve Co., of Boston. Eight of these gates, 4 b\' G feet each, are
for the openings to the jiump-wells of the four pumping-engines. Two
gates, 6 by 6 feet each, are to govern the flow of sewage in the filth-hoist,
and one, 4 by 4 feet, is to control the admission of salt water from the
salt-water conduit. The gates are all to be furnished and set in place
by April 1 of the present year.
Temporally frame-houses, clapboarded and painted, have been' erected
over the engines now in place, and upon the site of the boiler-house.
These permit work at these points to progress during the winter, and
will suffice as protection against weather until the permanent structures,
designed by the City Architect, shall have been built.
Other buildings for cement-sheds and store-houses have been built as
required. For protection against fire, a hydrant has been placed in the
vicinity of the buildings, a fire-alarm box is established at the pumping-
station, and a line of telegraph, about a mile long, has been built, to
connect the station with the nearest engine-house in Dorchester.
Section 1, Outfall Sewer.
This section, commonly called Old-Harbor pier, consists of a pier ex-
tending 1,200 feet from the pumping-station, out to and including the
west shaft of Dorchester-bay tunnel. Work upon it has progressed
slowly during the past year, and it has only now reached that stage of
completion which will permit building the tank-sewer which the pier is
designed to support. The northerly break-water wall of ballast and
heavy rip-rap is finished.
The gravel pier has been filled to grade 18, up to within about 100
feet of the tunnel shaft; its southerly slojie is ballasted and partly rip-
rapped, and the cut-stone retaining-wall, at the easterly end of the pier,
is three-quarters built.
In all, about 7,000 tons of rip-rap, 6,000 yards of ballast, 40,000 yards
of gravel, 460 piles, and 900 yards of masonry have been put in place
during the past year.
Section 2, Outfall Sewer.
This section, commonly called Dorchester-bay tunnel, extends about
7,000 feet under Dorchester bay, to Squantum neck, in Quincy, and is
worked from three shafts, about loO feet deep. At the beginning of the
year the westerly shaft was full of water.
42 City Document No. 52.
The woi'k of pumping out this shaft began January 17, and within
a few dnys thereafter it was cleared of water. A heading was driven
for 100 ieet and then stopped, pending the securing of the shaft with
brick-work. From February 22 to May 16 was consumed in lining
the shaft, from its bottom up to the iron cylinder forming its top. After
]\Iay 15 excavation was resumed, and has continued without interrup-
tion throughout the year. The heading has now advanced 832 feet from
At the middle shaft excavation in both directions has continued with
regularity during the year, and the east and the west headings are
respectively distant 1,621 and 1,417 feet from the shaft. Power-drills,
driven by compressed air, have been used for excavating at these
From the east shaft westwardly excavation progressed with reasonable
rapidity until August 18, at which time the heading had advanced
1,126 feet. At this point a considerable increase in the quantity of
water met with, and a lack of pumijing capacity for dealing with it,
rendered it advisable, in the opinion of the contractor, to suspend
operations in this direction and complete this portion of the tunnel from
the east heading of the middle shaft. A brick bulk-head was, accord-
ingly, built across the drift, to diminish the flow of water, and operations
at this point, since August, have been confined to trimming the excava-
tion, preparatory to putting in the brick lining. The distance between
the two headings to be excavated is now about 87 feet, and it is ex-
pected that they will meet by the middle of February, 1882. Eastwardly
from the east shaft excavation continued until April 29, when the
drift previously excavated from the east portal was reached. Since that
date the lining of this portion of the tunnel, about 900 feet in length,
has been completed from the shaft to the portal, with the exception of
a short distance at either end occuj^ied by pumps and an engine.
The delivery of four million bricks, to be used in lining the tunnel,
contracted for under an agreement with Stoddard & Hellier, of Bangor,
Me., was comijleted during the year. The bricks cost $8 a thousand,
and this price being favorable for the city, they were also used in build-
ing the structures at the pumping-station. A second contract was made
with the same parties for two million more bricks, to be delivei'ed during
the coming season. A considerable quantity of cement has been pur-
chased by the city, under competitive bids, at prices somewhat under
the market rates. Eight thousand casks of Rosendale cement, at $1.37
per cask, were obtained from F. O. Norton, of New York, under an
agreement dated October, 1881.
The very low temperature which prevailed from the beginning of the
year to the middle of February caused ice to form to an unusual thick-
ness in Dorchester bay, and caused considerable damage and expense,
through the difficulty experienced in conveying fresh water, coal, and
other supplies, to. the shafts.
No fatal accident has occurred at the tunnel during the year, which is
an unusually fortunate circumstance, considering the natui'e and magni-
tude of the work.
To recapitulate, the following table shows the amount of tunnel-
work done and remaining to be done on Jan. 1, 1882: —
Tunnel excavated from west shaft eastward
'* " middle " westward
" " " " " eastward
" " " east •' westward
" " " 4' " eastward
Total excavated 5,913
Eeport of City Engineer. , 43
To be excavated between east and middle shaft ... 87 feet.
west " " " . . . 1,004 "
Total to be excavated 1.091 "
Length of tunnel lined with brick-work, 844 feet.
Section 3, Outfall Sewer and Moon Island Reservoir.
Work on this section was discontinued just before the beginning ot
the year, on account of the severity of the weather, and the harbor was
frozen to an extent which prevented vessels reaching the wharf until
the middle of February. At this time supplies for building a railroad
began to arrive, and by April 8 the road was in working order, and
earth was drawn out upon it. At. the westerly end of this section, on
Squantum neck, about 400 feet of 11 X 12 feet sewer have been built
during the season, making 600 I'eet now completed ; also a portion of the
chamber connecting the tunnel with the outfall sewer.
At the easterly end of the section, on Moon Island, portions of the
outfall and discharge sewers, and of the outfall chamber, have been
built. A quantity of ballast, rip-rap, and cut stones have also been
"Work, under the contract with Chas. Linehan, for filling a roadway
over the route of Section 3, South Boston sewer, on Hyde street,
Washington avenue, and Von Hillern street, was completed during the
season, and a final estimate was given August 5, 1881.
Dorchester avenue, on the line of the intercepting sewer, was re-
paved for one-half of its width,. including the sidewalk, by Horatio
Gore & Co., under an agreement dated March 24, 1881.
The price paid was fifty-five cents a yard for street paving, and ten
cents a foot for setting edgestones and surfacing sidewalks.
The testing of all cement used by the department or by contractors
has formed, as heretofore, a branch of ofiice-work. Cement has also
been tested for use upon the Water Works, Stony Brook Improvement,
and Back-Bay Park. In all 6,199 tests have been made during the year,
and, as a result of them, 15,010 bbls. of cement have been accepted and
For the purpose of emljodying in this report a complete
record of the work of this department for the past year, the
followinof statement made to the Park Commissioners is re-
printed from their annual report : —
" At the beginning of the year there was an uncompleted
contract with the Boston & Albau}' Railroad Company, for
the tilling of the boundary road between Longwood entrance
and Huntington entrance. The work was begun July 1,
44 City Document No. 52.
1880, and was finally completed Jan. 27, 1881. The total
amount of material delivered was 13,197 squares. The con-
tract price was $3.45 ])er square.
''The sujjplementary contract made by your Board, Nov.
4, 1880, for the tilling of the roadway between Huntington
entrance and Boylston street, was completed May 2(y, 1880.
The total amount of material delivered under this contract
was 10,260 squares. The contract price was $3.20 per
"Under an arrangement Avith the Boston & Albany Rail-
road Co., made shortly after the completion of the supple-
mentary contract, 12,120 squares of tilling have been de-
livered upon the park. The material was used to widen the
roadway between the Beacon-entrance bridge and also the
Lono^wood entrance, for gradinof around the Stonv-brook
gate-chamber and on the roadway near the chamber. This
work wtis completed Dec. 19, 1881. The price paid per
square was $3.20.
"The tilling of the Beacon entrance, under the contract
made April 29, 1880, has not been prosecuted to any extent
during the past year, the amount delivered being only 2,072
squares. This work cannot l)e completed to advantage until
the construction of the retainino-walls l)etween Common-
wealth-avenue and the Beacon-entrance bridges ; and the
contract now in force did not contemplate the filling above
" Boylston- Street Arch Bridge, over Park Water- Way.
"The foundations and al)utments, to a height of 3.2 feet
below the apparent springing line, have been com[)leted. A
contract for two additional courses, aggregating 1 ft. 3 in. in
height, has been made, and the delivery of the stones, under
this contract, is practically completed, as only a few con-
demned stones remain to be replaced. The work of laying
these two courses of stones is to be at once commenced, if
favorable weather should prevail.
" Contracts have also l)een made with C. J. Ilall, of Belfast,
jNIaine, foi" tiie red-granite voussoirs of both faces of the arch,
and with the Cape Ann Granite Co., of Gloucester, Mass.,
for the seam-faced voussoirs to comi)lete the faces of the arch.
The stones are to be furnished in time to commence the work
of laying as soon as the season opens.
"The centring for the arch is completed, and is stored in
readiness to l)e placed in position as soon as the weather will
permit. It was not deemed advisable to set up this centring
Keport of City Engineer. 45
in the fall, althoiiob it was completed, for the reason that the
ice, which could not he prevented, except at large expense,
from forming around and between the supports, would prob-
ably- have damaged the structure, and any work which had
been laid upon it could not have been [)roperly ]:)rotected
during the winter.
" Beacon- Entrance Bridge, over B. & A. B.B.
" The foundations of the abutments and wing-walls of this
bridge are completed, and have been for some time awaiting
the delivery of the ashlar work for the abutments. As a
measure of economy, and also to save time, it was decided to
use the stones from the Beacon-Hill reservoir for this work ;
but, as the bottom courses of the reservoir were also to be
used for the bottom courses of the abutments, the removal
and storing of the stones was necessary until these bottom
courses could be reached in the process of taking down the
reservoir. These courses have very recently been delivered .
A side track has been laid by the B. & A. R.R. Co., so that
the stones could be transferred from the point of delivery, on
the north side of the railroad, to the south side, where they
were needed first, and the work of buiklinoj the abutments
has been commenced, and Avill l)e prosecuted whenever the
weather will permit.
"" The plans for the iron bridge will be finished in a short
time, it being the intention to have the bridge completed as
soon as the abutments are in readiness to receive it.
^^ Boston & Albany Raihoad Bridge, over Park Water-
''The abutments and piers for about one-half of this bridge
are completed, and the Avork upon the remainder is now
being prosecuted l)y the contractors at night as well as day.
The iron bridge is completed, except that the girders are not
in the positions they will occupy when the masonry is fin-
ished. The girders for two tracks rest upon the portions of
the abutments and piers already completed, and the girders
for the third track are upon timl^er trestle-work. Trains
have been running over them for more tlian a month. It is
expected that the masonry will be finished within six' weeks.
" Beacon-Street and Co7nmonwealfh-Avenue Bridges.
"The Beacon-street bridge, huilt under the direction of the
Committee on Paving, was completed August 17, 1881, and,
in connection with it, the temporary dam which enables the
46 City Document No. 52.
excavation of the Park water-way to be prosecuted without
iiiterru})tion by the influx of the tide. As an additional pre-
caution against flooding from this cause, the coft'er-dam used
by the contractor for building this bridge has been allowed
to remain, and will be kept intact until the excavation be-
tween Beacon street and the B. & A. II. R. is completed.
"The Commonwealth-avenue bridge abutments, built under
the direction of the Committee on Streets, were completed
Nov. 9, 18yl, and a contract for the iron bridge was made
Nov. 5, 1881 ; the terms of the contract requiring its comple-
tion on or before the first of February. It has, however,
been impossible for the contractors for the bridge to olitain
the material with which to construct it, although, finding it
useless to attempt to obtain the iron from American mills,
their order for it was placed in England immediately upon
the award of the contract. It is not now expected that the
bridge will be in place before the first of April.
" Excavation of Water- Way.
" This work has been actively prosecuted on the portion of
water-way between Beacon street and the B. & A. R.R ,
since the com}iletion of the Beacon-street bridge.
" Teams and a wire-rope machine excavator have been used ;
and the Avork has been practically completed between Beacon
street and Commonwealth avenue. It is the intention to have
the excavation flnished by the time the railroad l)ridge is
done ; but the limited capacity of the machine with which
most of the work is necessarily done, as the bottom is too soft
in -most places for teams to work, may prevent its completion
at the intended time.
" The steam-dredg-e and scows to be used for the excavation
of the water-way in the portion of the park south of the
railroad are now being built. The dredge is to be completed
and ready for use on or before IVIarch 10, and the scows are
beinff framed in the l)uildin2: on Alhanv street which has been
used for the construction and storage of the centring for the
Boylston-strcet arch bridge.
" Covered Channel of Stony Brook.
"There remain of this work 1,200 feet of the conduit to
complete, and the su])erstructure of the gate-chamber. The
conduit is being l)uilt at the rate of about 80 feet \)vv day ;
the gate-chamber superstructure cannot be built to advantage
"The conduit being of wood, work upon it has been prose-
cuted in winter as well as summer, and the early comi)letion
Repoet of City Engineer. 47
of this entire work will remove the only remaining obstacle
to the prosecution of the excavation and grading within the
limits of the park."
The table giving the number of vessels passing through
the draw-bridges controlled by the City of Boston, during the
year 1881, will be found in Appendix A.
The table showing the width of draw-opening in the
bridges over tide-water in this city is given in Appendix B.
The openings have all been remeasured for this report.
HENRY M. WIGHTMAN,
City Docibient No, 52.
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