« AnteriorContinuar »
of 150 to 200 inhabitants, and is situated in the midst of a productive country, but has comparatively little business owing to the want of easy communication with the market.
The Roanoke Navigation Company, up to within a few years, ran bateaux over this portion of the river. Some of their towing walls and sluices still remain, but are out of repair. Bateaux would probably serve the purpose of transportation for five or six months in the year if the channel is improved for low-water navigation.
PLAN OF IMPROVEMENT.
The fall of the river is so great that the cost of improving it for steam navigation would not be justified by the small amount of produce which at the present time is likely to find its way to market. As stated in Mr. Anderson's report, the Roanoke Navigation Company have partially improved the river for bateaux, but the work is now so much out of repair and the depth at low-water so small that a canoe can with difficulty make its way. As the water rises, however, navigation becomes practicable with larger boats. The freshets rise to a height of from 20 to 30 feet. In some of the rapids the water has a velocity of from 5 to 7 miles an hour. This is generally overcome by the crews of the different boats combining to assist one another, in poling over the rapids.
The only method of improvement which seems advisable is that which would increase the facilities for bateau navigation. An argument for its prompt execution may perhaps be found in the fact that many of the farmers in this section of the country are now obliged to haul produce from 30 to 40 miles in order to reach market.
The bottom of the river is for the most part of solid rock. Occasionally gravel bars are found, which no doubt cover a rocky bed.
Through the rocky rapids a sufficient depth can be gained by blasting, and also by contracting the stream by means of spur-dams. These spurdams should project from opposite sides of the river, leaving a gap for the water-way of not less than 35 feet. It is intended that these dams should swell the water about 3 inches, and it will therefore be necessary to determine by investigation the exact width of the water-way. In the tabular statement submitted herewith, made from the notes of Mr. Anderson, the cost of improving each locality and the total cost of improving the part of the stream between Pig River and Brook Neal is given. The crib dams are assumed to have an average height of 23 feet, with a width of 5 feet; they are estimated at the cost of $2.50 per linear foot. The excavation will have an average width of 20 feet and a depth of 2 feet at low-water, and is estimated at $3 per cubic yard. The dredging, which will be generally of gravel, is estimated at 75 cents per cubic yard, and will be removed to the convex side of the river. For those points which could not be estimated in the rapid inspection given, it would be safe to estimate (according to Mr. Anderson) at 20 per cent. of the cost of the entire work.
Estimate for improving Staunton River, Virginia, from Brookneal to the mouth of Pig River, distant 52 miles; depth of improved channel, 2 feet at low-water; width of cutting, 20 feet; channel-way between spur-dams, approximately, 35 feet.