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Counting from Station 872 at Tekoa mountain, the distance to the Hinsdale summit is 251 miles, and the ascent of grade 12114 feet. Owing to the unequal descent of the valley, and the impracticability of making a road surface of its bottom lands, only. 3743 feet of this ascent can be overcome in the first 13] miles, giving an average of 27.7 feet per mile, the maximum grade being 41.39 per mile. The remaining ascent of 837 feet is distributed as equally as possible through the next 12 miles, giving an average of 69; feet per mile; the maximum grade being 82.18 feet
From Hinsdale summit to the crossing of the Housatonic in Pittsfield, the distance is 9} miles, and descent of grade 4523 feet. Three and three fourths miles of this distance through Hinsdale meadows, admit a descent of 323 feet only, averaging 8.66 feet per mile, leaving the descent of 420 feet to be effected in 53 miles, giving an average of 76.38 feet per mile, the maximum grade being 81.78 feet
From the crossing of the Housatonic river the grade slightly undulates; descending 5 feet in 4 of a mile, then ascending 15 feet in 21 miles to Pittsfield village, thence descending 5 feet in about 1} miles to near K. Strong's, distant from Housatonic river 3.8 miles, where commences the ascent to the second summit which is attained in the distance of 4.88 miles by ascending 120 feet; average per mile, 24 feet-maximum grade, 45.04 feet per mile. From the second summit to the state line is 5.17 miles, descending 214.32 feet-average 41.45 feet per mile-maximum grade 55.84 feet per mile. Total of ascending Grades from Tekoa 13461 feet. descending
48.617 miles. Counting from Connecticut River Total of ascending Grades from Tekoa 1537 feet. descending
62.925 miles. The first consideration, in making the location, has been to render the grades as uniformly ascending, or descending, and consequently as easy as practicable, without increasing the distance, or in any case the degree of curvature; and secondly, wherever a short curvature could not be avoided, the grade has been reduced as much as possible. The result shows the
distance from Connecticut river to Pittsfield, to be about 2.20 miles, and on the whole distance from Connecticut river to the State line, 2.85 miles shorter than Mr. Baldwin's line. And although the grades are generally easier than might have been anticipated, from the experimental survey, yet the ascent from Root's to McElwain's, is steeper than was indicated by Mr. Baldwin, occasioned entirely by making the line straighter than his, by frequent crossings of the stream, which reduces the distance nearly 4 a mile between those points.
For a full description of the approximately located line relative to the choice of ground, curvature, crossings of river, &c. see, in connection, the plan and profile. Commencing at 872, the line passes along the western base of Tekoa mountain, on pretty good ground, to the short bend of the river, east of Capt. Brunson’s, around which two lines have been traced, uniting at Station 937. The first begins at Station 911, passes the bend by a 7o_curve, which, at Station 9264, is reversed into one of 5,90 which continues to 936). The second line begins at Station 909 , and passes the bend
) by 540 curve, which, at Station 928, reverses into the same, ending at 9374. The first throws half the width of the road into the water, on the length of 200 feet. The second throws the whole road into deep water, on the length 460 feet, and increases the cutting considerably, in front and east of Brunson's house. The estimated cost of the second is $6670,21 more than the first. Either of these lines would be preferable to the passage of this bend by two bridges, especially as the grade is horizontal from Station 904 to 955. From · Brunson's to Finney's the line curves continually to the right or left, and passes three rocky spurs, with intervening meadows. The curves cannot be improved without increasing the rock cutting at Stations 944, 957, 969, and by building into the river at Station 940. To this point, Finney's, a route on the west side of the river seems out of the question. Continuing the route up the river, and looking at Tuttle bend, there appears no alternative, but to cross the river, at the “ Narrows,” and follow up the base of Tuttle mountain, as the only practicable way of passing that bend, with a curvature less than 10°, and without heavy rock cutting. The bridge at the bend, may be of two spans of 120 feet each, and so constructed that the road may curve while crossing it. The bridge at the “ Narrows" will be crossed on a right line ; both bridges being about 30 feet above the water.
The curvature from 1031 to 1080.60 is necessarily short, being composed of 6°, 6.10 and 5o curves ; but the grade ascends only 10.77 feet per mile. The impossibility of avoiding Tuttle bend, by passing South West of Tuttle mountain, by Hawley's tavern, is rendered certain by a test level, which gives the highest point of the valley 105 feet above the river at the “ Narrows,” and at a distance of less than of a mile therefrom.
The ground is excellent from Station 1080.60 to 1116.85, whence two lines are traced, one on each side of the river, uniting at Chester village. That on the south side is 375 feet shorter, is straighter, admits of a more favorable grade, and requires but one bridge, at a favorable point for crossing the river below Gould's Inill, but is estimated to cost $5899.12 more than the other, which requires two bridges, one over the main or north branch of Westfield river--the other over the west branch at the village. Both of these crossings are much exposed to floods. The principal obstacles on the west side are, the high point at Gould's mill, and the turnpike. To cut through the one, and preserve the other, requires the stated excess of cost, over the other line.
, From the 7 mile mark, the ground, for some distance is about the same on both sides of the river, but between Babcock’s and Fisk's, the curvature would be much the greater on the N. E. side. This, joined with the difficulty of crossing the river at Fisk’s, which is necessary, and an unfavorable crossing place, at the 7 mile mark, gives a decided preference to the South West side, where the line is traced, and no bridges required.
From Fisk's to N. Root's the ground is very favorable, and the line of easy curvature, requiring 3 bridges from 8 to 11 feet above the water.
The crossings at Porter's and Wilcox's may be avoided however, by running nearer Stebbins's house, and cutting through the two rocky points, opposite the crossing places.
The cost of doing this should be estimated before a final location is made. The curvature would be greater, and grade the same.
The crossing above the old glass-house, is indispensable, also that above Fay's mill.
Up to this point the whole cost from Connecticut river, 27 miles, is $337,103.09, averaging $12,147.86 per mile, including Connecticut river bridge.
From Fay's mill the ground rises rapidly, and by crossing
again, above D. Bigelow's, the highest ground is taken, without running on the mountain side, for the purpose of gaining height at the beginning of the short curve around Rhinoceros point, which is 50, and nearly a semicircle. The grade through this curve, is, in consequence, reduced to 54.77 feet per mile.
mile. In like manner, the grade through the next two curves, around and from Walnut hill, is slightly reduced. The length of these curves is one mile-radii 1348.23 and 14323 feet. The two crossings, each 50 feet above the stream, cannot be avoided, but the amount of embankment at Station 1740, and between Stations 1750 and 1762, may be reduced, by moving the 1st curve a few feet to the right.
At Station 1778 commences the steepest grade on the northern route, 82.18 feet per mile on the length of 4.016 miles, terminating at Station 1990, a little way above McElwain's tavern. Although the foot of this grade is 48 feet above the river, yet the latter falls so rapidly from McElwain's, that the grade passes but 2, feet above the sill of his mill dam. It will probably be necessary to lower this dam, or remove it altogether, not for the purpose of materially reducing the grade, for that is impossible on account of its being so little above the bed of the stream from McElwain's to the next crossing below, which crossings cannot be avoided, but to render the bridge secure which crosses the river and dam without raising the grade. The flood marks along here are about 5 feet above ordinary water, as shown upon the profile. The most costly and difficult pass upon this most difficult section of the route is from Middlefield and Becket road, to Clark's saw mill. Two high mountain spurs of solid rock shoot by each other, separated only by the narrow bed of the stream, which winds between, receiving the waters of Cold brook upon the north. Two lines were traced here from Station 1826 to Station 1883, and the maximum curvature adopted was 3o, radii 1910 feet, but the amount of rock cutting (70 feet in depth on both) appears too formidable. The estimate, therefore, has been made upon the lightest part of each, assuming 4o curves and passing the river at a point between the crossing of the two lines. The connection of parts of the two lines is dotted on the map. The passing of this point involves the construction of four bridges, all of which are short, 70 and 90
The space between Stations 1990 and 2002 presents a favorable stopping place, the only one between
Hubbard's in Chester and the summit in Hinsdale, 9 miles from the former, and 4 from the latter.
After turning nearly a right angle at McElwain's, by a curve of 2292 feet radius, the course is very direct to the highest ground at Sibley's. Through half this distance the ground is very favorable, but the directness of the line involves heavy embankments on the upper half, at and above Crane's. These embankments, however, ought not to weigh much against a direct line, inasmuch as a heavy cut must be made at Sibley's—whether there be embankments to receive the spoils or not. It is proposed to turn the road from Deming's to Crane's, across the meadows, and pass it and the stream under one bridge, or else turn it up the hill to the right, and pass it over the Rail Road.
The latter may be cheaper, as the meadow ground is held exceedingly high. From Station 1677 below Capt. Root's to 2168 west of Sibley's, is, in every respect, the worst part of the whole route. Distance, 9 miles. Estimated cost, $447,708.14. Average per mile, $48,480.88.
From Sibley's the line passes along the west side of Mud pond, and turning to the N. W. through a ravine, passes a point of the hill near Simmons's, which forms the summit of the road, thence into the valley of Hinsdale mill stream, which is one of the head streams of the Housatonic river, The bottom of this valley from 26 mile mark to near Capt. White’s, except two gravel knolls, is soft mud, from 1 to 12 feet deep, resting upon hard white gravel. In many places, piling may be required, in all of a mile.
Another line from Mud pond to Capt. White's is proposed and dotted on the Map. It passes over harder and less valuable ground, is more direct, and would have been traced but for the serious difficulty of crossing the N. W. part of Mud pond, the bottom of which is reported to be from 20 to 25 feet of soft mud. This, however, may not balance its apparent superiority in all other respects over the present line.
From Capt. White's, the ground is very favorable to Merriman's mills, and the line is most of the way straight.
The line from Watkins's should be thrown a little south, which may be done without any additional cost, and thereby avoid one curve of 4° deflection at the 29 mile mark, and shorten the artificial channels east of that curve which will be required to keep the river the north side of the road.
From Merriman's mill, the rapid descent to the Housa