Page images

be any deficiency while there is water in the Delaware and Raritan rivers. A guard bank, extending from Bull's Island to the first guard lock, is constructed about three-quarters of a mile below the head of the island, which forms a large, safe harbor for boats, rafts, &c.; it is more than 200 feet in width, and three-quarters of a mile in length. Through the guard bank there are two culverts; one for the passage of the water to the canal, the other for water power. The work is also constructed in such a manner as to admit of the water being taken out and used for water power, on the main shore side of the lock. From this point to Prall's creek, about three miles, the canal is made by constructing an embankment in the bed of the river, along and parallel to the shore from fifty to one hundred feet distant, raised two feet above top water line of the canal, and protocted on both sides by a substantial slope wall, which will admit of the water passing over the bank during the floods. This arrangement has been found to answer the intended purpose, and has withstood the floods without receiving any injury. Across the mouth of Prall's creek there has been erected a dam of crib work, filled with stone, 200 feet in length which serves the double purpose of waste weir and dam for the creek. There is another guard lock at this place.

From this place to Trenton, about 19 miles, the canal generally passes along within a short distance from the river; but in some places the rocky bluffs made it necessary to construct high embankments in the bed of the river. In all such cases, the banks are protected with heavy slope walls, varying from 1 to 3 feet in thickness, and from 20 to 40 feet in height. About half a mile below Lambertsville is a lock of 10 feet lift, construct ed of hammer-dressed masonry. Above this lock there is a large and spacious basin. The works at this place are likewise so arranged, that the water passing around the lock into the canal below, can be used for water power. From Bull's Island to this lock, nearly 8 miles, the bottom has a descent of two inches to the mile, and the top of the banks carried level; below this lock it has two inches to the mile.

The banks throughout the whole canal are made on a slope of two feet base to one rise, and generally lined either with coarse gravel or fragments of quarry stone. There are 14 culverts over the different streams over which this part of the canal passes, of from one to four arches, varying from six to twenty-five feet in span, and from 110 to 130 feet long. There are also a number of waste weirs, which are placed at proper distances to carry off any surplus water, which may accumulate from the drainage of the lands above. The bridges are all made to turn, so as to admit the passage of masted vessels. This portion of the canal joins the main branch, about one-fourth of a mile east of Trenton.

The main canal is 43 miles in length, 75 feet wide, and constructed for 9 feet depth of water; during the last season it has been 7 feet 4 inches. It commences at the Delaware river, near Bordentown, about 500 feet from where Crosswicks creek enters that river, and passes along the flats near the river shore, to Lamberton, thence in the rear of Lamberton, to the summit at Trenton, a distance of six miles, where it receives its water from the section above described.

Between Bordentown and Trenton there are seven locks, which overcome an elevation of 57 feet, made of cut-stone masonry, and laid in hydraulic cement, 110 feet long between the gates, and 24 feet wide; the whole length, from the head to the lower end of the wings, being 162 feet. Over the Assanpink creek, near Trenton, there is an eliptical arch of 36 feet, span 140 feet in length, and 16 feet in height, from the foundation.

From Trenton the canal takes an eastwardly direction, following the valley of the Assanpink, to Lawrence meadows; thence by a deep cut across Lawrence meadows into the valley of Stony Brook; thence down that valley, passing about a mile south of Princeton to Millstone river; thence across the Millstone on an aquaduct of 10 arches, and 100 feet in width of water way; thence along the east side of the Millstone to Kingston, about 13 miles. This portion of the canal is level, it being the summit; in its course it passes over several streams on arches from 6 to 12 feet span. The Shabbakunk creek has three arches, of 12 feet span each.— From Kingston the canal continues along on the east side of the Millstone valley; in some places it passes so near to the river as to require a slope wall to protect the embankment; but generally it passes along at the foot of a red shell bluff which bounds that valley on the east. At 133 miles, it intersects the Raritan river, where the bluff approaches so near as to rerequire the canal to be made in the bed of the river by a high embankment, which runs along in the bed of the river to Bound Brook, about 21 miles, and which has been well protected by immense slope walls and loose stone lining; thence to Follett's farm 13 miles, it runs along in the flats. At this farm there is a dam built across the Raritan river, 8 feet high, and about 400 feet long, and connected to the high ground on the north side of the river by a guard bank raised above the highest flats. This dam was made to let in the river to assist in case of need in supplying the canal with water. From this point to New Brunswick, 43 miles, the canal has been constructed, for the most part by embankments in the bed of the river, protected by a slope wall and loose stone lining.

The basin at New Brunswick is formed by the construction of a pier in the river in front of the city, from 200 to 300 feet distant from the wharves, extending nearly a mile in length, and terminating at the steamboat wharf.

From Kingston to this place there are seven locks, overcoming an ascent of 58 feet, built of hewn granite, one at kingston, one at Griggstown, one at the mouth of the Millstone, one at Bound Brook, one at Follett's, one at the upper end of the New Brunswick basin,* and one at the outlet at New Brunswick, all of the same size as those on the other side of the summit, except the last, which is 30 feet wide, and 130 feet long between the gates, the whole length from the head to the lower end of the wings being 185 feet. There are besides several culverts over the different streams, from 6 to 20 feet space. All the mason work throughout the canal is laid in hydraulic cement. Waste weirs have been constructed throughout the line to carry off the surplus water, of which there has been a great deal during the last summer, although the business has been greater than at any previous time. The bridges are all made to turn, as before stated, for the purpose of passing masted vessels. At each bridge and lock there is a keeper's house. Basins of suitable size have been made at all the public landing places. Besides the banks before described there are guard banks about seven miles in length, constructed at an expense of $15,000 per mile.

At this lock, the works have been so arranged as to be able to use the surplus water to drive machinery. At the ordinary suminer height of the Raritan, the whole of its waters can be turned into the canal, and used here with a fall of fourteen feet.


SECTION I-From South Amboy to Bordentown depot, distance thirtyfive miles.

This road was commenced to be graded in December, 1830. It is graded 15 feet in width, at the grade of the road; ditches 3 feet deep, 18 inches in width at the bottom, and 11 feet in width at the top, level of grade.— From Hightstown to Gravel Hill, a distance of five and a half miles, the road is graded 25 feet in width, for a double track of rails. The foundation of this road is formed by two continuous trenches, three feet in width, and one foot in depth, being filled with broken stone; over these trenches a roller, weighing three tons, was passed a number of times, until the whole was a solid mass.

On 26 miles 76 chains, stone blocks, two feet square, 10 to 13 inches thick, were placed 32 feet apart, from centre to centre-embedded with small stone on the trenches; then settled with a heavy wooden driver, worked by horse power; two holes were then drilled into each stone block, (except at the junction blocks, which have four holes,) one inch in diameter, and five inches deep. Upon the stone blocks, locust chairs 14 inches long, 6 to 8 inches in width, and from 1 to 2 inches thick, are placed, and attached to the stone blocks, by tree nails driven into the holes of the stone blocks. The chairs were then dressed, to receive the edge rail, of the I from (invented by R. L. Stevens, Esq.,) 3 inches high, 21 inches on the upper running surface, and three and a half inches in width on its base, weighing 42 lbs. to the yard, is laid and fastened by spikes six inches long, with hooked heads, the ends of the bars resting upon wrought iron plates, or cast iron chairs, and are conneated together by an iron tongue five inches long, two inches wide, and five-eighths of an inch thick, with two rivets passing through the ends of the bars and tongues-oblong hole, to allow for expunctral contraction.

Seven miles and twenty-seven and a half chains are laid with cross sleepers, placed 2 feet 8 inches apart from centre to centre, of oak and chestnut, 8 feet long, 6 inches thick, and not less than 6 inches in widthembedded with small broken stone, upon the stone trenches, and consolidated with heavy hand pounders. The cross-sleepers were then dressed to receive the edge rail; to which they were fastened with hooked head spikes; wrough iron plates at the joints of the rail, and tongue fastened as before described.

Twenty-three chains of road, near South river, were laid with continuous granite sills, 12 by 14 inches, in lengths of 8 to 10 feet, on which a flat bar of iron two and a quarter inches wide, and seven-eighths of an inch thick, was attached. This part of the road was found, after experience of four years, to be expensive in its repairs, besides very rough and objectionable; so much so, that it has been replaced, in part, by taking off the flat rail, and substituting cross sleepers of locust, 7 feet long, and 6 inches square, transversely upon the stone sills, and placing the edge rail upon them; which have completely remedied the defects of this part of the road.

Whole distance of bridging is 2,179 feet, or 33 chains. The principal bridges, to wit, over South river, Rocky brook, at Hightstown and Crosswick's creek, have been partially renewed, upon a new plan; by which, it is believed, they will require but little repairs to the end of the charter.

It is done by covering the bridge in such a manner as to protect the superstructure from the action of the rain.

That part of the road laid with stone blocks, is of the most permanent character, and has required but a very small expenditure per mile annually, and it is believed it will continue, without renewal, to the end of the charter, with but small annual repairs. This opinion has been founded upon the fact, that at the end of the road, the passing over has been more than equal to that which, in all probability the main road will have undergone at the end of thirty years-as the engines, for eight years past, have necessarily to go from the water station to the wharf three times for every one they pass over the road; besides the running backwards and forward, to pump water into the boiler. Here the rails have not been renewed, and are still in good order.

The same applied to all the edge rail laid upon the road. The distance of 14 miles, from Bordentown depot to Hightstown, was so far completed on the 20th October, 1832, that a line of cars, drawn by horses, was placed upon it to convey passengers, and on the 17th December, 1832, the whole distance was used for the transportation of passengers and merchandise.

SECTION 2.-From Bordentown Depot to Camden. Distance 26 miles 10 chains.

The road bed is graded 17 feet in width-slopes of excavation and embankment, 13 feet base, to I foot perpendicular-ditches 3 feet deep, 2 feet wide at bottom, and 12 feet wide at top, or grade of road. The whole road bed was covered with 18 inches of sand or gravel, wherever loam or clay was found at the grade of the road. The object of this being to secure the road from the unequal action of the frost, and gave, in consequence a better foundation to lay the superstructure upon.

There are six turnouts. These portions of the line, a distance of 60 chains, are graded 27 feet wide, with the same slopes and ditches as before described.

A part of this line near Camden, was commenced to be graded in March 1831, and the remaining distance in April, 1833.

The superstructure for eight and a half chains, at Camden, is laid with stone blocks, 2 feet square, not less than 5 inches thick; 5 stone blocks are placed in the length of a rail 16 feet, for the foundation. Upon these are placed locust cross-sleepers, 8 feet long, and 6 inches square; upon which is fixed an edge rail, fastened by spikes, wrought iron plates under the joints of the rails, and tongues fastened as before described.

For 31 chains, red ceder piles, 7 feet long, from 7 to 9 inches diameter, are driven into the ground every 3 2 feet for the foundation; upon the ends of these piles is placed the edge rail, fastened on the head of the piles, with the same kind of spikes; the same connection at the joints of the rails, and the same kind of wrought iron plates as before described. Twenty-nine chains of roads are laid through the street at Burlington in the same manner as the last described. These parts of the road were laid in 1833, and have required but little repairing, are apparently perfectly sound, and likely to remain so. Seventy-two chains of road, near the Pensauken Creek, are laid with wood rail, and flat iron; foundation of plank 3 inches thick and 2 feet wide under each rail, continuous its whole length; cross sleepers of oak every 4 feet, with blocks 2 feet long, intervening; upon these sleepers and blocks, a wood rail, 6 inches square, of yellow pine, is placed; upon the wood rail, a flat bar of iron, 24 inches wide, and seven-eighths of an inch thick, is placed, fastened by spikes and screw bolts; the bolts passing through the ends of the iron bars and wood rail.

One mile sixty-five chains are laid with a foundation of plank, 3 1-2 in. thick, by 2 feet in width, under each rail, continued the whole distance; upon these plank, cross sleepers of red cedar, from the northern lakes, 8 feet long, 5 inches thick, and not less than 6 inches flat surface, are placed every 4 feet, and short blocks, 2 feet long, (of the same dimensions otherwise as the long sleepers,) between each space supporting the rail; upon these cross sleepers and blocks, an edge rail rests; with wrought iron plats at the joints, fastened by hooked spikes, and tongues at the ends as before described. This road was laid in 1833, and the red cedar cross sleepers appear perfectly sound.

Twenty-two miles and twenty-six and a half chains are laid in the same manner as that last described, except that the cross sleepers are of oak and chestnut, instead of cedar. This road was laid in 1833 and 1834.

Whole distance of bridging, is 1,188 feet, or 18 chains, of wood structure. Two of the principal bridges, to wit: one over Black's creek, 133 feet long, and one over the Rancocus creek, 497 feet long, have been renewed on the new plan, before alluded to in section 1.

A distance of 16 miles from Bordentown, below the Rancocus creek, was travelled upon in the winter of 1833, and the remaining distance, to Camden, in the spring of 1834.

SECTION 3.- From Bordentown to lower depot near Trenton. Distance 6 miles.

It was commenced in September, 1837, and passengers carried upon it in 1838. This road branches from the main line of the Camden and Amboy railroad, in the borough of Bordentown, at Prince street, following round the edge of the hill, and crossing the Crosswick's creek immediately above the mouth or entrance of the Delaware and Raritan canal; thence following the tow-path, on the right bank of the canal, to Trenton.

The superstructure of this part of the branch railroad is wood rail, and flat iron bar, except 12 chains at the commencement, which is of edge rail and cross sleepers, and 7 chains of edge rail on bridges.

The wood road, with flat iron, is laid by placing cross pieces, 3 inches thick, 9 inches wide, and 8 feet long, 8 feet apart; upon these are placed longitudinal pieces, 16 feet long, 5 inches thick, and 12 inches wide; being embedded in the earth; again upon the centre of these pieces, are placed oak, 3 by 4 inches, and 16 feet long, fastened by tree nails; upon which is put a flat bar of iron, two and a quarter inches wide, and fiveeighths of an inch thick; these ends and joinings of the bars being secured by a small cast iron chair; the spikes for attaching the iron rails passing through the oak pieces into the longitudinal sill below.


One mile fifty-five and a half chains is constructed in the usual way, shoes or mud sills, cross-sleepers and wood rail, with flat iron bar. The principal part of the timber used in the construction is of hemlock, which was saturated with lime and salt, or salted by means of one and a quarter inch holes being bored ten inches deep in the longitudinal sills, 18 inches apart; then filled with salt, and stopped with wood plugs.

There are two bridges upon this section: one over the street in Bordentown, 150 feet long, and one over the Crosswick's Creek, 323 feet long; both constructed upon the new plan before described.

Port Clinton Tunnel.-We are pleased to learn that the enterprising contractors have effected a junction between the east and west workings of the Tunnel at Port Clinton. This is indeed most acceptable inteligence, and we are gratified with the zeal of the company and contractors, in spite

« PreviousContinue »