Items of Interest

Mayor Mitchel of New York city formally completed the borings of the Catskill tunnel at noon on Jan. 10. Workmen previously prepared for the ceremony by a series of blasts, which broke down nine feet of barrier rock four hundred and forty-one feet underground, at One Hundred and Fifty-first street and St. Nicholas place. The mayor pushed the button setting off the final blast. The work of opening the aqueduct will take more than a year.

The great tube extends from Ashokan dam, in the Catskills, to Schermerhorn street and Flatbush avenue, Brooklyn. Eventually, it will extend to Staten Island. The entire distance is about one hundred and ten miles. The tunnel, which throughout its length runs many hundred feet underneath the surface of the earth, has already cost more than one hundred and twenty-nine million dollars. When completed, it will have cost one hundred and sixty-two million dollars or more. The work in building it has taken the greater part of nine years, with from seventeen to twenty-five thousand men laboring at it daily. Engineers point out that the Panama canal, except for the Culebra cut, did not furnish so many and diverse engineering problems as has the aqueduct. To make way for the new water system that, beginning in 1915, will give New York two hundred and fifty million gallons of water daily, and ultimately a supply of five hundred million gallons, eight villages, with a total population of three thousand persons, were razed.

In its final report to the Massachusetts Legislature the Merrimac valley waterway board has reached the conclusion that the Merrimac river should be improved and opened to navigation by providing an eighteen-foot channel from the sea to Ward Hill, about one mile above Haverhill, and from thence by canal, locks, and channel to Hunts Falls at Lowell; that the federal government carry into effect the project of building the channel from the sea to Haverhill; that the commonwealth of Massachusetts build the canal from Haverhill to Lowell; that the commonwealth and the federal government cooperate as much as possible in the construction of the waterways; and finally, that an appropriation of one million dollars be made by the Legislature for this purpose, but the expenditure of the appropriation to be conditioned upon the passage by Congress of appropriations for the same purpose. It is estimated that in order to make Lowell accessible to vessels of seventeen-foot draft, it will be necessary to expend a little over seven million dollars, and cost for a dredge channel for seventeen-foot draft with Haverhill as the upper limit, would be approximately one million six hundred thousand dollars.

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Mental Unity
January 24, 1914

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