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RONDOUT HARBOR.

LETTER

FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR,

TRANSMITTING

Report of Chief Engineers relative to the improvement of Rondout harbor.

FEBRUARY 27, 1869.-Referred to the Committee of Commerce and ordered to be printed.

WAR DEPARTMENT, February 27, 1869. The Secretary of War has the honor to submit to the House of Representattves, in obedience to the resolution of January 28, 1869, the accompanying report of the Chief of Engineers upon the proposed improvement of Rondout harbor, New York.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, D. C., February 24, 1869. GENERAL: In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 28th January last, I herewith transmit a plan and estimate for the improvement of Rondout harbor, New York, prepared by Brevet Major General John Newton, lieutenant colonel of engineers. I concur in the recommendations made in this report. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Brig. Gen. of Engineers, Commanding.

NEW YORK, February 16, 1869. GENERAL: I have the honor, in compliance with instructions from headquarters corps of engineers of the 4th instant, to present the following plan and estimates for the improvement of the harbor of Rondout:

1. To direct the down current of Rondout creek, and to concentrate its action for the permanent improvement of the bar, a north dike concave to the channel, and 660 yards in length, is designated.

2. To guide the down current of the Hudson near the western bank into a direction nearly coincident with the current issuing from the creek, in order to insure the co-operation of both in the transport of silt away from the mouth of the harbor, the branch dike springing from the external end of the north dike and running in a northerly direction, is recommended. This dike should be concave towards the channel of the river, and may be about 300 yards in length.

The two dikes first described are considered of first importance, and would undoubtedly of themselves cause an amelioration of navigation.

3. But to develop the full capacity of improvement of this locality, the south dike, 1,200 yards in length, should also be constructed; and without such dike it would likewise be a matter of doubt whether a nar. igable channel of sufficient width could be maintained.

4. Dredging a channel 100 feet wide, 2,100 feet long, and 14 feet depth at mean low water, might likewise be necessary.

From information collected from those who should be acquainted with the facts in the case, it is inferred that the work of dredging could be easily executed.

The directions and lengths of the dikes, as recommended, may be subject to moditication, from information to be hereafter derived from examinations and surveys.

Owing to the season of the year at which the call was made upon me to prepare plans and estimates, I have been obliged to content myself with the information compiled in existing coast survey charts, and that derived from individuals acquainted with the locality.

The mode of construction of the dykes is supposed to be the same as of those already constructed, under my charge, upon the upper Hudson; the information collected, as to the nature of the bottom, being to the effect that piles can be driven with facility.

The prices of material and labor are assumed not to be essentially different from those paid upon the works of improvement of the upper Hudson.

ESTIMATE.

North dike, 660 yards long.

$35,410 47 Branch dike, 300 yards long

13,968 83 South dike, 1,200 yards long

52,636 26 Dredging channel 2,100 feet long, 100 feet wide, to depth of

14 feet at mean low water, 29,300 cubic yards, at 50 cents
per
cubic yard....

14,650 00 Contingencies, such as examinations and surveys, superintendence, clerks, office hire, watchmen, &c., &c...

16,000 00

132,665 56

And the above estimate is supposed to be ample to insure the full permanent improvement, of which the locality is susceptible, and to secure a depth of water from 13 to 14 feet at mean low water.

To comply with the terms of a “joint resolution in relation to surveys and examinations of rivers and harbors," approved July 27, 1868, I have to submit the following, as collected from gentlemen of 'standing who are well acquainted with the subject, and containing all the information which can be immediately obtained.

The products of northern Pennsylvania reach this harbor by the Delaware and Hudson canal, and almost the entire products of Delaware and Ulster counties find their way to market through this outlet. Bluestone flagging, lime, cement, anthracite coal, lumber, wood, lead, iron and glass, are the exports.

Vessels from all parts of the coast discharge and load at this harbor.

As an illustration of the amount of commerce and navigation to be benefited by the improvement of the harbor, it is stated that from the 1st to the 15th of November last over 350 foreign vessels arrived for cargo, and during the same period over 800 canal boats arrived laden. More than 20 steamboats run regularly from this place. Thirty-four schooners and sloops are constantly engaged in carrying bluestone, lime, and wood, and 22 vessels constantly engaged in transporting cement. Besides these, there are many transient vessels engaged in the same trade, varying in size from 150 to 400 tons.

At present vessels drawing over 12 feet are compelled to load outside the bar; and it is believed that a large increase of trade would be the result of the improvement of the harbor.

The amount of commerce and navigation to be benefited by the improvement of navigation would be annually from $70,000,000 to $80,000,000. This is as near as could be estimated from the data available. Respectfully submitted :

JOHN NEWTON, Lt. Col. Engineers, and Brot. Maj. Gen. U. S. A. Brevet Major Gen. A. A. HUMPHREYS, U. S. A., Chief of Engineers, Headquarters Corps of Engineers,

Washington, D. C.

creek, in order to insure the co-operation of both in the transport of silt away from the mouth of the harbor, the branch dike springing from the external end of the north dike and running in a northerly direction, is recommended. This dike should be concave towards the channel of the river, and may be about 300 yards in length.

The two dikes first described are considered of first importance, and would undoubtedly of themselves cause an amelioration of navigation.

3. But to develop the full capacity of improvement of this locality, the south dike, 1,200 yards in length, should also be constructed; and without such dike it would likewise be a matter of doubt whether a nar. igable channel of sufficient width could be maintained.

4. Dredging a channel 100 feet wide, 2,100 feet long, and 14 feet depth at mean low water, might likewise be necessary.

From information collected from those who should be acquainted with the facts in the case, it is inferred that the work of dredging could be easily executed.

The directions and lengths of the dikes, as recommended, may be subject to moditication, from information to be hereafter derived from examinations and surveys.

Owing to the season of the year at which the call was made upon me to prepare plans and estiinates, I have been obliged to content myself with the information compiled in existing coast survey charts, and that derived from individuals acquainted with the locality.

The mode of construction of the dykes is supposed to be the same as of those already constructed, under my charge, upon the upper Hudson; the information collected, as to the nature of the bottom, being to the effect that piles can be driven with facility.

The prices of material and labor are assumed not to be essentially different from those paid upon the works of improvement of the upper Hudson.

ESTIMATE.

$35,410 47 13,968 83 52,636 26

North dike, 660 yards long.
Branch dike, 300 yards long
South dike, 1,200 yards long.
Dredging channel 2,100 feet long, 100 feet wide, to depth of

14 feet at mean low water, 29,300 cubic yards, at 50 cents

per cubic yard..... Contingencies, such as examinations and surveys, superin

tendence, clerks, office hire, watchmen, &c., &c...

14,650 00

16,000 00

132,665 56

And the above estimate is supposed to be ample to insure the full per manent improvement, of which the locality is susceptible, and to secure a depth of water from 13 to 14 feet at mean low water.

To comply with the terms of a "joint resolution in relation to surveys and examinations of rivers and harbors," approved July 27, 1868, I have to submit the following, as collected from gentlemen of standing who are well acquainted with the subject, and containing all the information which can be immediately obtained.

The products of northern Pennsylvania reach this harbor by the Delaware and Hudson canal, and almost the entire products of Delaware and Ulster counties find their way to market through this outlet. Bluestone flagging, lime, cement, anthracite coal, lumber, wood, lead, iron and glass, are the exports.

Vessels from all parts of the coast discharge and load at this harbor.

As an illustration of the amount of commerce and navigation to be benefited by the improvement of the harbor, it is stated that from the 1st to the 15th of November last over 350 foreign vessels arrived for cargo, and during the same period over 800 canal boats arrived laden. More than 20 steamboats run regularly from this place. Thirty-four schooners and sloops are constantly engaged in carrying bluestone, lime, and wood, and 22 vessels constantly engaged in transporting cement. Besides these, there are many transient vessels engaged in the same trade, varying in size from 150 to 400 tons.

At present vessels drawing over 12 feet are compelled to load outside the bar; and it is believed that a large increase of trade would be the result of the improvement of the harbor.

The amount of commerce and navigation to be benefited by the improvement of navigation would be annually from $70,000,000 to $80,000,000. This is as near as could be estimated from the data available. Respectfully submitted :

JOHN NEWTON, Lt. Col. Engineers, and Brut. Maj. Gen. U. S. A. Brevet Major Gen. A. A. HUMPHREYS, U. S. A., Chief of Engineers, Headquarters Corps of Engineers,

Washington, D. C.

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