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The work done under the above contract was in extension of that of 1880-'81 before described, and consisted in widening the cut through the shoal above Boynton's dock from 20 feet to 75 feet; excavating a cut 50 feet wide through the shoal below Maurer's brick-works, and dredging a cut nearly through the shoal above Anderson's dock. This cut is 50 feet in the lower reach and 25 feet in the upper, but work was suspended before the full depth of 12 feet was reached in the upper section. The total amount of material removed under the contract was 7,324 cubic yards, and 12 feet at high-water can now be carried from the mouth of the stream to above Anderson's dock, a distance of about 1 mile above the entrance to the stream.
The total amount of material removed up to date is 19,878 cubic yards. The original estimate provides for the removal of 34,000 cubic yards, and there yet remains to be excavated 14,122 cubic yards to complete the improvement in accordance with the existing plan.
This stream, although classified as a creek, has really a more important and extended bearing on commerce and industry than many smaller streams called rivers. Traversing as it does the richest fire-clay region of the State of New Jersey, it affords a direct outlet for the product of the numerous and valuable clay pits of the adjacent country. The clay on being mined is drawn to the docks on the stream, and is shipped thence to all parts of the country. Numerous fire-brick and drain-pipe works, some of which are the oldest and most extensive works of this kind, are also located on the banks of the stream, and ship their constantly increasing products directly from their docks to various ports. Woodbridge Creek is in the collection district of Perth Amboy, N. J. Nearest lighthouse, Prince's Bay, and nearest fort, fort at Sandy Hook
Amounts appropriated from March 3, 1879, to March 3, 1881, both inclusive.. $14,000 Total amount expended....
July 1, 1881, amount available..
July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1881..
Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882
Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project.......
$5, 262 27
5, 262 27
Abstract of proposals for dredging in Woodbridge Creek, New Jersey, opened June 16, 1881, by Lieut. Col. N. Michler, Corps of Engineers.
Contract awarded John Van Patten, the lowest bidder, with the approval of the
Chief of Engineers.
I am indebted to Mr. William Poillon, president of the Salamander Works at Woodbridge, N. J., for the following information relative to the commerce of the creek.
Statement of the shipments of fire-brick, clay, &c., and receipts of coal, merchandise, &c., from July 1, 1881, to July 1, 1882, through Woodbridge Creek, New Jersey.
The original project for this improvement was adopted in 1879, and had for its object the improvement of the river and opening and protecting its inlet from the Atlantic Ocean so as to make it available for purposes of commerce and to afford a harbor of refuge for coasters upon the long reach of unbroken shore of New Jersey.
In execution of this plan of improvement a contract was entered into with C. F. Drake April 18, 1879. The contractor, however, failed to commence operations under the contract, and it was annulled. The project was subsequently referred to the Board of Engineers for Fortifications and River and Harbor Improvements. In accordance with the suggestion of the majority of this Board, and with the views of the local engineer expressed in his report submitted to the Chief of Engineers
September 17, 1880, the idea of constructing a harbor of refuge was abandoned, and the object to be sought by the improvement confined to the "opening of a direct channel-way across the beach, and protecting the same from the flow of the tidal currents between the river and the ocean." In accordance with the above, contract was entered into with Henry Du Bois & Sons for the construction of timber jetties at the mouth of the river, the north jetty to be first constructed, the construction of the south jetty being optional with the officer in charge. On July 1, 1881, the amount available for the work was $28,581.91, and operations under the above contract had just commenced. Work on the construction of the north jetty was continued to March 8, 1882, when the contract was closed, the total length of jetty built on the north side being 1,515 feet.
When the construction was begun the site of the projected jetty was quite shoal. After the inshore part was finished an increased velocity was given to the currents, which caused a deepening of the inlet in advance of the improvement, and, in addition, the entrance had moved to the northward so that the line of the jetty crossed the gorge of the inlet, and it seemed impossible to make any work of the character adopted stand the force of the currents. It therefore became necessary, as the work progressed, to modify the construction of the outer section of the work. This was done by driving an extra row of round piles having greater penetration than was provided by the original specifications, and also by placing alongside the outer 200 feet of the jetty, as built, an equal length of diking of the kind described in the specifications as "channel sections." The injurious scour inshore and near the outer end continuing, a crib 130 feet long was placed in front of the outer end of the inshore piling and adjacent to the outer section, and the whole line from outside to inside was further protected by placing fascine mats with a pitching of stone along the river face of the jetty, and bags filled with sand on the inner side. Spur-dams of plank, fascines, and sand bags were also built at right angles to the line of the works on the north side, with a view to arrest and hold the sand drifted by the winds and to relieve the north side of the sheet-piling from the pressure of the tidal reservoir against it by inducing a sand accumulation between the piling and the reservoir. The fascine mats and stone pitching on the south side extend back from the outer end of the jetty a distance of about 850 feet. The jetty is now believed to be stable and in a condition to withstand the further action of the elements. The effect of the jetty on the condition of the inlet has been so far beneficial; the present depth on the outer bar is 4 feet approximately at low-water, the crest of the bar being generally about 300 feet seaward of the end of the jetty; the position of the line of deepest water across the bar is less changeable than heretofore, but considerable wanderings still take place in the same.
It is probable that the further extension of the north jetty, and the construction of the jetty on the south side of the inlet will tend to restrain this movement, and keep the crest of the bar at a lower level. The work, however, is of so experimental a nature that a prediction of definite results does not seem warranted at the present time.
To extend the north jetty 255 feet seaward to its full projected extent and to build 905 feet of jetty on the south side will require, it is esti mated, the sum of $40,000.
The Manasquan River has at present but little significance as a place of commerce. It is believed, however, that permanent trade would rapidly follow in the accomplishment of any successful improvement.