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Walbach and Crow creek, and the other via Lodge Pole creek, Camp Walbach, and Cheyenne pass. It is expected that the definite location of this part of the road will not be long deferred.
The company report that in April, 1865, their engineer commenced an extended reconnoissance of the country east of Great Salt Lake, with a view to find a practicable route over the Wasatch mountains to Green river via Spanish Fork and the Uinta. After ascending the Spanish Fork to its headwaters, he explored the whole district of country lying between the hundred and tenth and hundred and cleventh meridians of longitude and between the parallels of forty degrees and forty degrees and thirty minutes of latitude. The result of these examinations satisfied him that such a route could not be found.
The survey of the line by the way of the valley of the Sweetwater, the south pass of the Rocky mountains, and the valley of Black's Fork of Green river was then commenced. It established the important fact that the summits of all the passes of which surveys had been made in the great ranges of those mountains have
very nearly the same altitude above tide.water. Further examinations were made by the company's engineer in that region, the details of which have not been furnished to the department.
One of the most important of this company's surveys extends from Great Salt Lake west to the Humboldt valley, between the hundred and fifteenth and the hundred and sixteenth meridian of longitude, traversing the Great American desert. Although incomplete, it has resulted in the discovery of a line, with grades not exceeding sixty feet per mile, from Great Salt Lake City to the valley of the Humboldt, across the Humboldt range of mountains, a distance of two hundred and eight miles. For about one hundred and fifty miles across the desert no fresh water was found by the engineer. He ie satisfied, however, from his examinations, that it can be obtained in the passes over Cedar mountain, on the eastern side of the desert, and the first range west of the desert, leaving only sixty miles without fresh water. The soil is admirably adapted to a fine hard road-bed. The results of the survey are satisfactory to the company, and show that the difficulties to be overcome are much less formidable than were anticipated.
The company report that the amount actually expended on the road in money is nine million six hundred and ninety thousand and eighty-two dollars and one cent. Of this amount three million one hundred and thirteen thousand two hundred and twenty-one dollars and twenty-five cents have been derived from the sale of three million two hundred and eighty thousand dollars of government bonds, three million nine hundred and one thousand three hundred and fifty-seven dollars and one cent from loans, and two million five hundred and eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars from stock subscriptions. This amount does not embrace the indebtedness to the contractors for the first two hundred and forty-six miles of road, extending from Omaha to the one hundredtb meridian. Their contract expired by the completion of this part of the line, and when the whole indebtedness of the company is adjusted, the entire expenditure, including a million of stock which the contractors agreed to
take, will not fall short of twelve million five hundred thousand dollars. The amount of the company's loans is three million six hundred and sixty-eight thousand two hundred and thirteen dollars and ninety-five cents. To meet this debt it has five million four hundred and eighty thousand dollars of its first mortgage bonds unsold, and five hundred and sixty thousand dollars of government securities.
The amount of bonds actually executed is three million five hundred and sixty thousand dollars. The company is entitled to issue the following amounts : first, for two hundred and forty miles of road accepted by the government, three million eight hundred and forty thousand dollars; second, for one hundred miles in advance, one million six hundred thousand dollars, making a total of five million four hundred and forty thousand dollars.
None of these bonds bave been offered for sale. They are made, by the act of Congress, a lien prior to that of the government, and it was deemed advisable to wait, before negotiating them, until the work had made such progress as to give to the public the assurance that its successful completion was no longer a matter of doubt. They have, therefore, been used to a limited amount as a basis for temporary loans.
The rolling stock on the road consists of twenty-one locomotives, one hundred and fifty-six flat, forty-six box, thirty-five hand, and five passenger cars.
The Union Pacific Railway Company, eastern division, have constructed their road to Fort Riley, one hundred and thirty-five miles west of the Missouri river, of which one hundred and thirty have been accepted by the government, thus giving a continuous line of railroad and telegraph four hundred and eighteen miles west of St. Louis.
They have also constructed a branch road, thirty miles in length, from Lawrence to Leavenworth, which affords them another line of communication to the Missouri river.
The company report that the present equipment of the road is as follows: nine locomotives, ten first-class passenger, three baggage and express, one hun. dred and one box, ninety-four flat, and twenty-seven hand-cars. They have also purchased eight locomotives, five passenger, fifty flat, twenty stock, and four hand care, have supplied the road with the requisite stations, depots, and water-tanks, and commenced the construction of machine shops and roundhouses at Wyandotte and Lawrence. Iron, weighing fifty-six pounds to the linear yard, and sufficient to construct one hundred and sixty additional miles of road, with sidings, has been purchased and will be delivered monthly until Dext April. Contracts have been made to complete the road two hundred and fifty miles beyond Fort Riley by the 31st day of December, 1867.
The traffic of the road is already considerable, and gives promise of great increase in the future. The gross receipts of one hundred and five miles of. main line and thirty miles of branch road, for the month of September, were forty-two thousand dollars.
The commissioners, under date of September 28, report that they have examined, and they recommend the acceptance of, an additional section of the road of the Central Pacific Railroad Company of California, making a distance of
seventy-four miles from Sacramento. The company report, under date of the 13th ultimo, that they have constructed an additional section of twenty miles, reaching at the terminus an elevation of about sixty-one hundred feet above tidewater at Sacramento. A force of ten thousand men is now engaged in grading the next two sections; the ties are redwood, equal to cedar in durability, and number about twenty-five hundred to the mile ; and the culverts are constructed of granite or other hard stone, except in the valley, where hard-burnt brick is substituted, as stone could not be procured. The bridges are made of the best quality of red fir. The drainage is ample, and the road well ballasted with gravel and broken rock. The grades are necessarily high. The maximum authorized by law has been reached for a distance of three and one-half miles. There is no difficulty in operating these portions of the road. The passenger trains make twenty-five and the freight trains twelve miles
hour. There are on the road, or in transitu, thirty locomotives and six hundred and seventy-one cars. The company have in Sacramento the machinery for a large machine and repair shop, including a powerful horizontal engine for furnishing the driving power. The shop is in process of erection, and the company expect soon to be able to build locomotives and cars equal to those furnished in the eastern States. The tunnels have been constructed sufficiently wide to accommodate double tracks. A full force is at present employed in constructing a tunnel sixteen hundred feet in length at the summit of the Sierra Nevada, and one of nine hundred feet in length seven miles east of that point.
Examinations and surveys indicate the valley of the Humboldt as the most advantageous route through the State of Nevada.
The company expect to reach, during next year, the Big Bend of the Truckee river, to which point the road has been permanently located, a distance of one hundred and ninety-five miles from Sacramento. They allege that their expenditure exceeds twelve million dollars, and they entertain no doubt that the road will be completed to Salt Lake City during the year eighteen hundred and seventy
The Atchison and Pike's Peak Railroad Company have completed forty miles of their road west from Atchison. The company report that they have on hand six locomotives, two passenger, one baggage and express, fourteen box, and thirty-two flat cars, three tanks and two turntables, &c., with a machine shop and a blacksmith shop complete, the former being built of stone masonry and covered with an iron roof, and they are now engaged in the erection of a roundhouse. The road is generally built in a very substantial manner; nearly all tho bridges and culverts are of the best quality of solid masonry. The longer span bridges are of the Howe truss pattern. The road-bed for the next thirty miles is nearly ready for the superstructure. The ties, iron, chains and spikes 'for the same are on hand or in transitu. The company report an expenditure, in the construction and equipment of the road, of two million three hundred and seven thousand six hundred and fifty dollars. They confidently expect that sixty miles of road will be completed by the first of January next.
The Western Pacific Railroad Company filed, on the 13th of last July, their acceptance of the provisions and conditions of the resolution of Congress es
tending the time for the construction of the first section of twenty miles of their road, approved May 21, 1866. On the 2d instant this department received the report of the government commissioners, showing the completion and equipment of that section. It extends from San José, in the direction of Sacramento, to a point in Alameda county, a distance of twenty miles.
The report of the president of the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad Company, under date of the 16th instant, sets forth that renewed surveys by their engineers, during the past season, justify and confirm the opinion that the most direct and practicable route from Sioux City to a point which they have selected upon the Union Pacific railroad from Omaha is on the east side of the Missouri river, to a crossing near De Soto, thence via Fish creek to the Platte valley, and thence to the point of connection with the latter road at Fremont, forty-six and one-half miles west from Omaha. It is also stated that the grading of the northern sixty-eight miles has been placed under contract, and a force already engaged on the work. The company has arranged to construct about six miles of road, which will connect its line very advantageously with the Cedar Rapids railroad at a point, where it is expected that the latter road will reach the Missouri River valley in a few days.
There is nothing on file in the department to show that the company, authorized to construct the Atlantic and Pacific railroad by the act of Congress approved July 27, 1866, have accepted the provisions of the act.
The work on the wagon road from Niobrara to Virginia City has been continued, though with serious annoyance from hostile Indians. The route has been shortened nearly one hundred miles.
Operations on portions of the projected road from Sioux City to the mouth of the Big Cheyenne river have been prosecuted with great activity and success. That part between the initial point and Yankton, with the exception of the bridges, is finished and in perfect order. The bridge over the Big Sioux river is being built. If the construction of it does not absorb the appropriation now on hand, the remainder will be applied to the completion of the bridges over the Vermillion river and the James. Apprehended Indian difficulties have prevented the extension of the road from the mouth of the Big Cheyenne.
The superintendent of the road from Virginia, City, Montana, to Lewiston, reports that a considerable force is employed. The funds at his command will not, in his opinion, more than suffice to locate and clear out a trail ten or twelve feet wide from Lewiston to the valley of the Bitter Root. From thence roads are already open to Virginia City. He prefers the route by the Loo-Loo Fork, though it, in common with the others, is subject to obstruction from snow during one-half of the year.
The northern and western porticos of the north wing of the Capitol are completed, and the columns of the southern portico are soon to be set. It is believed that the ensuing year will witness the completion of all the porticos. Efforts have been made, which it is hoped will prove successful, to improve the imperfect and objectionable ventilation of the Senate chamber and hall of the House of Representatives. In order to obtain a supply of air that shall at the same time be pure and, in the summer, cool, it is proposed to construct from each hall an underground duct, opening in the centre of a fountain in the eastern grounds. The jets and overflow would at once assist in cooling the air and serve to relieve it of all mechanical impurities.
The pipes to the government spring now supply the Capitol with abundance of pure water.
The balance on hand of the appropriation for the Capitol extension, October 31, 1866, was eighty thousand four hundred and ten dollars and eighty-three cents. The architect estimates that two hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be required to continue the work during the next fiscal year.
The apparatus for lighting, by means of galvanic electricity, the one thousand and eighty-three gas-burners of the dome, has proved a complete success. They can now be lighted in a few minutes. An interesting paper on this subject has been prepared, at the request of the Commissioner of Public Buildings, by three electricians of reputation, and is annexed to his annual report. The sum of forty-eight thousand four hundred and eighty-one dollars and seventy-nine cents was expended on the dome during the year ending October 31, 1866, at which date there was on hand a balance of one thousand five hundred and thirty-nine dollars and fifty-nine cents. An appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars will be required to complete this work. The belt between the second and third cornices of the rotunda should be ornamented by a series of national pictures, or in some other appropriate manner; and designs for the purpose
will be invited from eminent artists, if Congress confer the requisite authority.
The extension of the library is nearly completed. The work has been done in the most substantial and elegant style, and the rooms are now an appropriate setting for the rich literary treasures within them. It is proposed to heat them with steam from the boilers in the basement, by means of Gould's apparatus. The Commissioner of Public Buildings urges, on sanitary grounds, the necessity of warming the passages of the centre building, and of improving the manner of heating and ventilating the Supreme Court rooms. The expenditures on the library extension from October 31, 1865, were one hundred and thirtyseven thousand nine hundred and twenty-six dollars and sixty-one cents, leaving a balance of thirty-one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine dollars and fifty cents.
The architect repeats the recommendation made in his preceding report in favor of the extension of the central portico, in conformity with the plan proposed by his predecessor, Thomas U. Walter, esq. Should this recommendation be sanctioned by Congress, it would be advisable to commence the work at an early day, while operations on the other portions of the edifice are in progress, and before the eastern grounds are improved. In view of the anticipated early completion of the Capitol, should the central portico not be extended, it is recommended that Congress authorize enclosing the public grounds north and south of the building, and squares numbered six hundred and eighty-seven and six hundred and eighty-eight, should the bill which passed the Senate at the last session providing for the purchase of them become a law, and improv