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E I.

IMPROVEMENT OF PASSAIC RIVER ABOVE NEWARK, NEW JERSEY. The present project was adopted in 1872, and provides for the construction of a dike at Middle Bar, and the removal of rock and other obstructions between Newark and the head of navigation at Dundee Dam, near New Jersey Midland Railroad crossing, so as to afford a sufficient channel 6 feet deep at mean low-water. In the execution of the project a channel with a bottom width of 75 feet with 7 feet at mean lowwater was opened over Belville Bar in 1873 and 1874, and during the several intervening years to 1879 a channel with an equal width and 6 feet depth was opened over Rutherford Park Bar. In 1875 and 1876 a channel 40 feet wide with a uniform depth of 6 feet was excavated across Holman's Bar, which was widened in 1878 and 1879 to a bottom width of 60 feet. By the close of the fiscal year, June 30, 1880, all the obstructing bars, as high up as Passaic, had been worked upon and a good 6-foot channel secured.

The work yet to be done to complete the original project consists in building a short length of dikes and in widening the channels already improved. In this connection it is well to remark that during the spring of 1882 a measure was set on foot by the board of public works for Jersey City for building a dam across the Passaic at Belville, near the site of the Jersey City water-works, to prevent the upward flow of the tides vitiating the source of water-supply for Jersey City and Newark, N. J. The subject received a prolonged consideration in the State legislature at its last session, but the senate committee to whom it was referred reported adversely to the project of building the dam. Subsequently an act was passed empowering the governor to appoint four commissioners, and these latter to select a fifth, who should be a hydraulic engineer, with the view to investigating the whole subject and giving the results to the legislature at its next session.

The river and harbor act of March 3, 1881, made no appropriation for this improvement.

The amount of the original estimate for limited improvement was $123,924. The amount appropriated from June 10, 1872, to June 14, 1880, both inclusive, was $114,000.

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Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project.

$2,452 62

2,452 62

7,000 00

9,452 62

2,924 00

Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884. 3,000 00

E 2.


The project for this improvement was adopted in 1880, and provides for the formation and maintenance, by means of dredging and a system of training dikes, of a channel 200 feet in width and 10 feet in depth at mean low-water, from Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge (Centre street, Newark) to Newark Bay.

The amount available for the improvement July 1, 1881, was $55,656.87, and at that date the dredging operations under contract with Edgar M. Payn, of Albany, were in progress in the new channel at the mouth of the river, 2,002 linear feet of the training dike, designed to confine the ebb current to the new channel, having already been completed. The projected length of this dike is 4,000 feet; the completed portion consisted of two sections, 1,143 feet and 8593 feet in length respectively, separated by an opening 407 feet wide at the point of crossing of the old channel. The opening in the line of the dike was left for the passage of vessels until the cut across the narrow spit separating the channel of the Passaic from the deep waters of Newark Bay was excavated, and the new channel to the north of the dike was made available.

Mr. Payn's contract for dredging was completed on August 24, 1881. Under this contract a cut 10 feet deep at low-water and 125 feet wide was made, connecting the 8-foot contour of the river channel with the deep water of Newark Bay; a total of 55,999 cubic yards of material were removed, of which 36,736 cubic yards were excavated during the present fiscal year. The price paid for dredging, under this contract, was 13.9 cents per cubic yard. By the river and harbor act of March 3, 1881, an appropriation of $50,000 was made to continue this improvement, and the project of its application provided for the extension of the dike at the mouth of the river to its projected limit, and the closing of the opening between the two completed sections, and the widening and extension of the 10-foot channel as far upstream as the available funds would permit.

In answer to public advertisement sealed proposals for the construction of about 2,000 linear feet of pile dike were submitted and opened June 23, 1881, and the contract awarded to Messrs. Henry DuBois & Sons, the lowest responsible bidders, at $13.25 per linear foot. Work on the construction of the dike was commenced on October 22, 1881, and the dike completed January 31, 1882. Under this contract 2,0034 linear feet of dike were built, making the total length of the completed structure 4,0053 feet. It is of the ordinary form of pile construction, the piles are creosoted and driven in parallel rows 8 feet from center to center, with 20 feet penetration, and the space filled with durable stone.

Under contract with Elijah Brainard, jr., dredging operations, in continuation of the work under contract with Mr. Payn, were commenced on November 14, 1881, and continued to January 4, 1882, at which time the formation of ice on the river compelled a suspension for the winter. Dredging was resumed April 17, 1882, and is still in progress. Up to June 30, 1882, 97,853 cubic yards of material were removed. These operations have resulted in the formation of a continuous channel 10 feet deep and 200 feet wide, extending upstream from the deep water of Newark Bay a distance of 3,900 feet. The least depth in the river channel, above the present limit of dredging, is about 7.4 feet.

The original estimate places the amount of material to be excavated at 291,000 cubic yards. It is estimated that under the appropriation of March 3, 1881, a total of 160,000 cubic yards will be removed, making the total amount that will be excavated from the river from the beginning of the improvement up to the close of the existing contract, 215,999 cubic yards, leaving 75,000 cubic yards yet to be removed. The cost of dredging was originally estimated at 20 cents per cubic yard. The prices paid for the dredging already executed are 13.9 cents and 103 cents per cubic yard. It is believed, however, that the future price for dredging will not be less than 20 cents per cubic yard, due to the greater

distance of towing as the cutting advances upstream, and to the delays incident to taking the scows through one or more drawbridges. On this basis there will be required to complete the original project, $15,000 for dredging and $96,300 for diking, giving a total, after adding 15 per cent. for contingencies and superintendence, of $127,995.

The lower Passaic River derives its importance as a navigable stream from the numerous manufacturing and shipping interests centered at the city of Newark, through which the river passes. Many millions of capital are invested in the various manufacturing establishments, such as smelting and reducing works, chemical works, and many others, located on the banks of the river, all of which are more or less dependent on the navigation of the river. The keeper at the draw of the New York and Newark Railroad Bridge, crossing the river near its mouth, reports that twenty-two thousand vessels passed the draw during the year 1881. It is proposed to apply future appropriations in improving channel, so that vessels drawing 11 feet may be able to reach the Newark wharves at low tides.

Passaic River is in the collection district of Newark, which is the nearest port of entry. Nearest light-house, Passaic light. Fort Tompkins is the nearest fort.

Amount of revenue collected during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882, $15,981.19. Original estimate for making and maintaining a channel 200 feet wide and 10 feet deep by diking and dredging, $232,875.

Amount appropriated from June 14, 1880, to March 3, 1881, both inclusive, $0,000. Total amount expended, $69,018.26.

Money statement.

July 1, 1881, amount available.

July 1, 182, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of

$55,656 87

outstanding liabilities July 1, 1881.

July 1, 1882, outstanding liabilities

$44,675 13
1,051 92

45,727 05

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Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project

84,995 00

Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884. 85,000 00

Abstract of proposals for dredging in Passaic River, New Jersey, between Newark Bay and Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge, opened October 18, 1881, by Maj. G. L. Gillespie, Corps of Engineers.

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Contract awarded to Elijah Brainard, jr., the lowest responsible bidder, with the approval of the Chief of Engineers.

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