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The existing project provides for the formation of a channel 8 feet in depth at mean high-water, extending from Bricktown up to Monroe street bridge, in the town of Rahway, at the head of navigation. On July 1, 1881, there existed, as the result of dredging operations carried on under previous appropriations, a channel 7 feet deep at mean high-water, extending from Edgar's Dock to the mouth of the South Branch of the Rahway, the channel width being about 70 feet. The amount available for the continuation of the improvement at this date was $19,497.54.

Dredging operations were in progress at the beginning of the fiscal year under contract with John Van Patten, dated November 29, 1880. Under this contract dredging was continued up to September 10, 1881, at which time the contract was closed. Nine thousand three hundred and thirty-seven cubic yards of sand, gravel, and mud were excavated during the fiscal year, the 7-foot channel being extended upstream to Tappan's Dock. By act of March 3, 1881, $10,000 were appropriated for continuing the improvement. In answer to public advertisement, sealed proposals for continuing the dredging were submitted and opened October 18, 1881, and the contract awarded to William Chamberlain, the lowest responsible bidder, at 63 cents per cubic yard. Owing to the lateness of the season, and to the fact that during the winter ice-blockades frequently produce great changes in the river bottom, it was not thought advisable to begin operations under this contract until the following spring. Accordingly work was commenced on May 6, and is still in progress. Up to June 30, 1882, 7,641 cubic yards were excavated, making a total of 16,978 cubic yards removed during the fiscal year under both contracts. The 7-foot channel with a width of 50 feet was advanced to a point 200 feet above Milton avenue draw-bridge.

It is estimated that under the appropriation of March 3, 1881, a total of 14,000 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 existing contract, 34,676 cubic yards. The original estimate places the amount of material to be excavated at 65,642 cubic yards. To allow for the washing in of the banks of the cut, while dredging is in operation, and during the winter when work is suspended, and for necessary dredging below grade, in excavating embedded bowlders, and also for increase in bulk of material, when measured on scows, this estimate should be increased about 30 per cent., giving a modified estimate of 90,000 cubic yards to be removed. The probable total amount that will be removed at the close of the existing contract is 34,676 cubic yards, leaving 55,000 cubic yards approximately yet to be

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removed. The cost of dredging was originally estimated at 50 cents per cubic yard. The prices paid heretofore were 37, 85, and 65 cents per cubic yard; taking the latter figure as a basis of cost for future dredging, there will be required $35,750 for dredging, and if to this is added $500 for the removal of two large bowlders noted in the original estimate, the total amount to complete the improvement will be $36,250. This improvement affects principally the shipping and commercial interests of the city of Rahway, situated at the heads of navigation, where many manufacturing and other interests, more or less dependent on water transportation, are centered. At present the principal articles of shipment consist of general merchandise, coal, lumber, and other building materials. The total annual tonnage for the year 1881 was estimated at 68,900 tons, valued at $521,400. It is believed that the tonnage for 1882 equals, if it does not exceed, that for 1881.

This work is in the collection district of Perth Amboy, N. J., which is the nearest port of entry. The nearest light-house is Prince Bay light. Fort Tompkins is the nearest fort.

$36, 250 00

Amount required to complete existing project
Amount appropriated from March 3, 1879, to March 3, 1881, both inclusive. 30,000 00
Amount expended to June 30, 1882

24,962 43

Money statement.

July 1, 1881, amount available..

July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of

outstanding liabilities July 1, 1881..

July 1, 1882, outstanding liabilities..

July 1, 1882, amount available....

Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882.

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Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883..

29, 250 00

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project..
Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884. 15,000 00

Abstract of proposals for dredging in Rahway River, New Jersey, opened October 18, 1881, by Maj. G. L. Gillespie, Corps of Engineers.

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Contract awarded to William Chamberlain, lowest responsible bidder, with the approval of the Chief of Engineers.

COMMERCIAL STATISTICS.

I am indebted to Mr. William Chamberlain, a prominent business man of Rahway, N. J., for the following information relative to the commerce of Rahway River:

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Tonnage of merchandise will increase considerably when we have the depth of water in our river. We have a fine water front for 54 miles from Water Island Sound, for factory purposes. When the improvement of the river is completed there will be a line of steamboats to New York, as the freighting of Rahway is considerable.

Our carriage factories alone employ over 1,000 men; we have large woolen mills, printing-press works, hub and spoke shops, and a number of others, which are all interested in having the improvements in our river.

E 6.

IMPROVEMENT OF ELIZABETH RIVER, NEW JERSEY.

The existing project for this improvement provides for deepening the existing channel, by dredging, to a depth of 7 feet at mean high-water, the improved channel to be 60 feet wide and to extend to the stone bridge at Broad street, in the town of Elizabeth.

By the river and harbor act of March 3, 1881, $4,000 were appropri ated for the continuance of this improvement; under this appropriation proposals for continuing the dredging were invited by public advertisement. The proposals were opened on June 16, 1881, and the contract awarded to Thomas H. Benton, the lowest responsible bidder, at $1.05 per cubic yard. The amount available July 1, 1881, was $3,950.16, and at that time the channel, excavated under previous contracts, extended from the foot of Atlantic street to a point about 350 feet below the iron draw-bridge at the gas works; one cut, only 25 feet wide, was carried 200 feet further. Operations under the new contract were commenced July 18, 1881, and continued to August 25, 1881, when the funds available for this work became exhausted and the contract was closed. A total of 3,335 cubic yards was excavated. At the close of the contract the 7-foot channel had advanced to the iron draw-bridge, at South street, above the gas works, in the city of Elizabeth.

The total amount of material excavated up to date is 24,413 cubic yards. According to the original estimate the total amount required to be removed was 44,400 cubic yards; 19,987 cubic yards yet remain to be excavated, but owing to constant deposits from city influences the original estimate will be exceeded. The price paid for dredging under the two last contracts was $1.05 per cubic yard. On this basis of cost, and adding 15 per cent. for contingencies and superintendence, there will be required to complete the improvement in accordance with the existing plan, $24,134.

This improvement is of special interest to the city of Elizabeth, through which the stream flows. The shipping is carried principally by canal boats and the smaller class of sailing vessels, engaged in carrying coal to the city gas works and building material to the several lumber yards situated on the banks of the stream. A pottery and an oil-cloth works are also located on the stream, and are dependent on the navigation of the river for the transportation of their heavy and bulky freights.

Elizabeth is in the collection district of Newark, N. J. Nearest light-house, Newark Bay, New Jersey, and the nearest fort is Fort Tompkins.

Amount of revenue collected during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882.. $15,981 19
Amount appropriated from March 3, 1879, to March 3, 1881, both inclusive.
Total amount expended...

19,000 00

19, 000 00

Money statement.

July 1, 1881, amount available....

July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1881..

$3,950 16

3,950 16

Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882....

8,000 00

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project ......
Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884.

16, 160 00 16,200 00

Abstract of proposals for dredging in Elizabeth River, New Jersey, opened June 16, 1881, by Lieut. Col. N. Michler, Corps of Engineers.

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Contract awarded to Thomas H. Benton, the lowest bidder, with the approval of the Chief of Engineers.

COMMERCIAL STATISTICS.

I am indebted to Mr. Charles C. McBride for the following statistical information:

Statement of the tonnage of the shipments of merchandise and materials through the Elizabeth River, from July 1, 1881, to July 1, 1882.

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Mr. McBride further states that:

In addition to the above figures it is proper to say that they are somewhat liable to be misunderstood without explanation. The city of Elizabeth has felt, to an extent that was limited because of its greatly embarrassed finances, but little of the commercial activity existing elsewhere. Several new manufacturing firms have located on the river since it has been partially improved, but they are either beyond the point to which the improvements have yet been carried, or have located so recently that their tonnage of merchandise does not make a large exhibit. The Elizabethport Milling Company, credited with but 750 tons, has been running but a month; they will probably ship and receive 12,000 tons during the coming year. L. B. Beerbower & Co. now receive no material by the river, the dredging not having reached them, but if a channel of sufficient depth is obtained they will ship and receive from 1,500 to 3,000 tons annually. The Elizabethport Cordage Company have recently bought a property that will give them a large dock on the river, and they expect to receive and ship from 5,000 to 6,000 tons the coming year. Other manufacturers recently come to this city would make large use of the river if boats could reach landings near their factories.

The improvements already made have greatly enlarged the commercial advantages of the river and have given corresponding satisfaction; yet a greater depth of water is much to be desired. Rarely can boats drawing more than 5 feet 6 inches be brought up the river without great difficulty and delay in waiting for tides. Most of the manufacturers, while acknowledging the advantage of the dredging, suggest that a suitable lock at the mouth of the river would secure at all times a depth of water sufficient for all present commercial purposes, and would at the same time furnish a means of keeping the river comparatively clear by occasionally opening the lock at low-tide allowing the water to carry out the matter that might otherwise be held in suspension only to be deposited somewhere along the bed of the river; this lock, of course, in addition to the dredging to the Broad Street Bridge, now in progress. Others are of the opinion that only deeper dredging will fully open the river, and make it the great commercial highway it was in the earlier days of the borough.

These suggestions are here noted because they are the expressed opinions of those who are practically interested in the improvement of the Elizabeth River, and who have factories along its banks.

E 7.

IMPROVEMENT OF WOODBRIDGE CREEK, NEW JERSEY.

The project for this improvement was adopted in 1878, and provides for a uniform depth of 12 feet at mean high-water in a channel 80 feet wide from the mouth of the creek as far up as Salamander Dock.

In 1879-'80 a cut 80 feet wide and 9 feet deep was dredged through the shoal above Valentine's dock, in the upper section of the stream, and a pile revetment was constructed for the purpose of straightening and strengthening the east bank of this reach.

During the fiscal year 1880-81 a cut was made through the bar at the mouth of the creek, connecting the 12-foot curve of Staten Island Sound with the 12-foot curve of the creek above the first bend. This cut was 12 feet deep at mean high-water, and 80 feet wide as far upstream as Boynton's Dock, above which point it gradually diminished to a width of 20 feet.

By the river and harbor act of March 3, 1881, an appropriation of $5,000 was made for the continuance of the improvement. In answer to advertisement, proposals for continuing the dredging were submitted and opened June 16, 1881, and the contract awarded to Mr. John Van Patten, the lowest responsible bidder, at 65 cents per cubic yard.

Work under this contract was commenced September 12, 1881, and continued to November 10, 1881, when the funds available for the work became exhausted and the contract was closed and further operations were suspended.

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