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The existing project provides for the formation of a channel 8 feet in depth at mean high-water, extending from Bricktown up to Monroe street bridge, in the town of Rahway, at the head of navigation. On July 1, 1881, there existed, as the result of dredging operations carried on under previous appropriations, a channel 7 feet deep at mean high-water, extending from Edgar's Dock to the mouth of the South Branch of the Rahway, the channel width being about 70 feet. The amount available for the continuation of the improvement at this date was $19,497.54.
Dredging operations were in progress at the beginning of the fiscal year under contract with John Van Patten, dated November 29, 1880. Under this contract dredging was continued up to September 10, 1881, at which time the contract was closed. Nine thousand three hundred and thirty-seven cubic yards of sand, gravel, and mud were excavated during the fiscal year, the 7-foot channel being extended upstream to Tappan's Dock. By act of March 3, 1881, $10,000 were appropriated for continuing the improvement. In answer to public advertisement, sealed proposals for continuing the dredging were submitted and opened October 18, 1881, and the contract awarded to William Chamberlain, the lowest responsible bidder, at 63 cents per cubic yard. Owing to the lateness of the season, and to the fact that during the winter ice-blockades frequently produce great changes in the river bottom, it was not thought advisable to begin operations under this contract until the following spring. Accordingly work was commenced on May 6, and is still in progress. Up to June 30, 1882, 7,641 cubic yards were excavated, making a total of 16,978 cubic yards removed during the fiscal year under both contracts. The 7-foot channel with a width of 50 feet was advanced to a point 200 feet above Milton avenue draw-bridge.
It is estimated that under the appropriation of March 3, 1881, a total of 14,000 cubic yards will be removed, making the total amount that will be excavated from the river, from the beginning of the improvement up to the close of existing contract, 34,676 cubic yards. The original estimate places the amount of material to be excavated at 65,642 cubic yards. To allow for the washing in of the banks of the cut, while dredging is in operation, and during the winter when work is suspended, and for necessary dredging below grade, in excavating embedded bowlders, and also for increase in bulk of material, when measured on scows, this estimate should be increased about 30 per cent., giving a modified estimate of 90,000 cubic yards to be removed. The probable total amount that will be removed at the close of the existing contract is 34,676 cubic yards, leaving 55,000 cubic yards approximately yet to be
removed. The cost of dredging was originally estimated at 50 cents per cubic yard. The prices paid heretofore were 37, 85, and 65 cents per cubic yard; taking the latter figure as a basis of cost for future dredging, there will be required $35,750 for dredging, and if to this is added $500 for the removal of two large bowlders noted in the original estimate, the total amount to complete the improvement will be $36,250. This improvement affects principally the shipping and commercial interests of the city of Rahway, situated at the heads of navigation, where many manufacturing and other interests, more or less dependent on water transportation, are centered. At present the principal articles of shipment consist of general merchandise, coal, lumber, and other building materials. The total annual tonnage for the year 1881 was estimated at 68,900 tons, valued at $521,400. It is believed that the tonnage for 1882 equals, if it does not exceed, that for 1881.
This work is in the collection district of Perth Amboy, N. J., which is the nearest port of entry. The nearest light-house is Prince Bay light. Fort Tompkins is the nearest fort.
Amount required to complete existing project
July 1, 1881, amount available...
July 1, 1882, outstanding liabilities
July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1881..
July 1, 1882, amount available....
Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882.
Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883....
Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project.....
Abstract of proposals for dredging in Rahway River, New Jersey, opened October 18, 1881, by Maj. G. L. Gillespie, Corps of Engineers.
Contract awarded to William Chamberlain, lowest responsible bidder, with the approval of the Chief of Engineers.
I am indebted to Mr. William Chamberlain, a prominent business man of Rahway, N. J., for the following information relative to the commerce of Rahway River:
Tonnage of merchandise will increase considerably when we have the depth of water in our river. We have a fine water front for 5 miles from Water Island Sound, for factory purposes. When the improvement of the river is completed there will be a line of steamboats to New York, as the freighting of Rahway is considerable. Our carriage factories alone employ over 1,000 men; we have large woolen mills, printing-press works, hub and spoke shops, and a number of others, which are all interested in having the improvements in our river.
IMPROVEMENT OF ELIZABETH RIVER, NEW JERSEY.
The existing project for this improvement provides for deepening the existing channel, by dredging, to a depth of 7 feet at mean high-water, the improved channel to be 60 feet wide and to extend to the stone bridge at Broad street, in the town of Elizabeth.
By the river and harbor act of March 3, 1881, $4,000 were appropri ated for the continuance of this improvement; under this appropriation proposals for continuing the dredging were invited by public advertisement. The proposals were opened on June 16, 1881, and the contract awarded to Thomas H. Benton, the lowest responsible bidder, at $1.05 per cubic yard. The amount available July 1, 1881, was $3,950.16, and at that time the channel, excavated under previous contracts, extended from the foot of Atlantic street to a point about 350 feet below the iron draw-bridge at the gas works; one cut, only 25 feet wide, was carried 200 feet further. Operations under the new contract were commenced July 18, 1881, and continued to August 25, 1881, when the funds available for this work became exhausted and the contract was closed. A total of 3,335 cubic yards was excavated. At the close of the contract the 7-foot channel had advanced to the iron draw-bridge, at South street, above the gas works, in the city of Elizabeth.
The total amount of material excavated up to date is 24,413 cubic yards. According to the original estimate the total amount required to be removed was 44,400 cubic yards; 19,987 cubic yards yet remain to be excavated, but owing to constant deposits from city influences the original estimate will be exceeded. The price paid for dredging under the two last contracts was $1.05 per cubic yard. On this basis of cost, and adding 15 per cent. for contingencies and superintendence, there will be required to complete the improvement in accordance with the existing plan, $24,134.