Accounts of the progress of construction work year by year and also of the new work being put under contract appear in chronological sequence in the chapter but are not listed in this outline. The other chief items are the following: First Contracts Awarded and Construction Begun -- Study of Rome Level Water-Supply -- Studies of Rome Routes -- Advisory Engineer for Superintendent -- Criticisms by Superintendent -- Barge Canal Bulletin Begun, 1908 -- Federal Aid for Termini and Hudson Canalization Asked -- Survey and Assumption of Hudson River by Government -- Cayuga and Seneca Branch and Terminals Added -- Leaks Occasioned by New Work -- Oswego Partly Closed, 1909 and 1910 -- Rival Projects in 1910 -- Mohawk River Contracts -- Tests of Models of Proposed Medina Arch -- First Locks and First New Sections Used, 1910 -- Canal Affairs Reviewed in 1910 at Request of Governor -- Statement Concerning Railroad Crossings -- Government Adoption of Hudson above Troy Questioned -- New Plans for Lock and Dam at Scotia -- Break in Bushnell's Basin in 1911 -- Terminals Begun -- Serious Break at Irondequoit Creek -- Publicity of 1912 -- Flood of 1913 -- Beginning of Navigation Aids -- Oswego Closed for Sixth Year -- Lyons Routes -- Court Decision on Railroad Crossings -- Exhaustion of Appropriation -- Attempted Legislative Investigation -- State Engineer's Reply -- Full Discussion of Exhaustion and Reasons for It -- New Referendum for Funds -- Referendum Explained -- Eastern Section of Erie Opened with Ceremony, 1915 -- Extended Review of Railroad Crossing Problem -- Other Sections Opened, 1916 -- Lake Navigation Aids Studied -- Possible Deficiency of Cayuga and Seneca Fund Reported -- Rochester Work Begun -- Its General Plan -- Former Land Acquisitions Delaying N.Y. City Terminals -- Canal Open, Ocean to Lake Ontario, 1917 -- First Warehouse and Machinery Contracts Let -- Intense Activity in 1917 -- Tonawanda Situation -- Rome Centennial Celebration -- Cayuga and Seneca Fund Increased -- Whole Canal Open, 1918 -- More Terminal Funds Needed -- Pier 6 Opened with Ceremony, 1919 -- Terminal Fund Increased and Elevators Added -- New System of Buoy Patrol -- Statements of Terminal Work Accomplished -- Elevators Begun -- Governor Miller's Interest in Canal.

In our study of the Barge canal we have not as yet said much about the actual work of construction, but rather have been considering chiefly questions of policy and matters of procedure. Reverting now to the beginning of the year 1905 we recall that, because certain contractors, upon request, had submitted both lump sum and itemized proposals on the first contracts and the legality of this action was in question, Superintendent of Public Works Boyd had refrained from awarding these contracts and had left the disposal of the whole subject to his successor. Early in January the new Superintendent, N.V.V. Franchot, asked Attorney-General Mayer to render an opinion on the question. This opinion held that the Barge canal law rather than the general canal law governed the methods of asking for proposals and awarding contracts and that the Barge canal statute invested the Superintendent with large discretion, and as the contractors had acted in conformity with the request in his advertisement for proposals the bidding was lawful; also that it was the duty of the Superintendent alone to determine which was the lowest bid and to act in accordance with his best judgment for the interests of the State. Of the six contracts for which tenders were asked at the first opening lump sum proposals were received on only three and in each case itemized bids were also received which on their face were lower than the lump sum bids. The Superintendent, therefore, awarded the six contracts, each to the contractor whose bid was lowest on that particular contract. The experiment of asking for lump sum proposals ended with this first letting. Thereafter throughout the whole course of construction itemized bids have prevailed to the exclusion of any other method.

By April and early May, 1905, all of these six contracts had been signed and soon afterward the work of construction was begun. The first actual contract work was performed at Fort Miller, on the Champlain canal, on April 24, 1905; the first work on the Erie canal was done at Waterford on June 1, 1905. During the early months of these first contracts there was no remarkable showing in the amount of construction work accomplished. The contracts were all large, some of them quite large, and time was needed to assemble the various plants, most of the dredges, scows, excavating apparatus and other large machines having to be built on the sites of the work.

While it seemed at the time that good progress was being made during the early years of construction, in the light of later accomplishment such progress appears very slow. But this was only what naturally might be expected. In large undertakings of this character, for which carefully-wrought plans and extended preparations have to be made, it usually takes several years to get the work well under way. For a while after that it goes with a rush and later, as the end approaches and less and less remains to be done, there is a gradual slowing down. Precisely the same law seems to hold as applies to moving bodies. At first force is required to overcome the inertia and then the momentum carried the body until another force stops it, and the larger the body the greater the force needed to start it and also the greater the momentum that keeps it going.

In the first two years of the work 1905 and 1906, the apparent result was very small, less than a million dollars being paid for construction. The next two years showed a large increase and the two after that an increase still larger by many times. But these were all years of planning on the part of the State and of preparation as well as accomplishment on the part of the contractors. Indeed the State Engineer was severely criticised for not completing all plans for all parts of the enterprise before any construction whatsoever was begun. But probably he would have been more severely criticised for doing other that he did.

After these six years there came four peak years in construction. During these four years more than fifty million dollars worth of work was done, but besides the momentum acquired from previous years there were two new additions to the project -- the Cayuga and Seneca canal and the terminals -- to augment the total of accomplishment for the period. No year since these four has witnessed so large an amount of work being done, but as long as there remained structures or canal to build each year's record was large and the aggregate has been very large.

In the present account of constructing canal and terminals it cannot be hoped to go into details very minutely. Nor indeed does such a course seem necessary. These details are available, however, for him who must have them. Enough of the records have been published in State documents to furnish all the information the ordinary investigator desires. The annual reports of both the State Engineer and the Superintendent of Public Works have told year by year what progress was being made and what portions of the canal had been built. The account in the State Engineer's report has taken up each contract quite at length and told in detail just what had been done and what it had cost. The Barge Canal Bulletin was issued monthly during most of the period of construction and its record went into still more circumstantial detail. It published month by month the progress made in preparing plans, also the facts in regard to the approval of plans, advertising for bids, the itemized bids received and the award of contracts, and then it described the work done each month on each contract till all was finished or the contract was terminated for some cause. The Bulletin account included also a record of the money value of all work planned, contracted for and done. The Comptroller told in an annual report of the money being spent on the project. The two boards which have had to do with the Barge canal -- the Canal Board and the Advisory Board of Consulting Engineers -- each published the minutes of its several meetings and at the end of each year these were bound in an annual volume. Also other State officials have had a part in Barge canal construction and their reports add to the sum of available information. Other records, even to the most minute detail, preserved mainly in the archives of the State Engineer's office, may upon occasion be consulted by those who must carry their search beyond these published accounts. With all of this wealth of information so easily accessible it seems best to devote the text of the present volume to a consideration of subjects of a somewhat general import and to limit the details of specific work performed to an appended table of contracts.

The most important events in canal history for the first three or four years of the period of construction have already been discussed in the chapter on early policies and methods. The actual work of building the canal was proceeding, not so rapidly as in subsequent years, but still proceeding, and while there were as many perplexing problems of construction for the engineers to solve as is the usual lot in large undertakings, they were not of sufficient moment to leave any lasting impress on the records.

Perhaps the most important of the things not already mentioned was a thorough investigation of the water-supply available for the Rome summit level of the new canal. This study was made in 1905 under State Engineer Van Alstyne by William B. Landreth, Resident Engineer, and it was reviewed by Emil Kuichling, the consulting engineer who had been employed to make the water-supply investigations during the preliminary survey of 1900. This study had a most important bearing on some of the plans which were about to be made, but it need not now concern us except to call our attention to the fact that such studies, of a purely technical character, were constantly being carried on in the work of designing the numberless structures and portions of the channel throughout all the years of canal construction. In the days of the original canal, engineering was a new and not a very precise science and rule-of-thumb methods largely prevailed. The early engineers used good judgment, however, and were spared grievous failures. But now engineering has so advanced that calculations are made for sizes, weight and strength down to the last minute detail and whatever may influence the stability as well as the usefulness of a completed structure is carefully considered in making the design. Engineering has become also a profession of many precedents and for successful designing there is needed a broad knowledge of what others have done in a like situation, or an originality which is so keen in foresight as not to make fatal mistakes.

In 1906 several important pieces of work were put under contract. Among them were the first of the movable dams of bridge type on the Mohawk river and the locks beside them, also the northern half of the Champlain canal, embracing the portion between the Hudson river channel at Fort Edward and Lake Champlain at Whitehall, the remainder of the land line section between the Hudson and Mohawk rivers at the eastern end of the Erie canal, a stretch near the western end of the Erie and another in the vicinity of Little Falls, and the portion of the Oswego canal extending through Fulton.

The record of contracts awarded in 1907 is not very large, although one having a length of nearly forty-four miles was included. This embraced the line in Oneida and Seneca rivers west from Oneida lake and extending to Mosquito Point. Besides this long stretch of channel there was a short section at the north end of the Oswego canal, which included the novel siphon lock at Oswego, and the fifteen miles at the lower end of Mohawk river canalization, containing the massive dams at Crescent and Vischer Ferry.

The beginning of the 1907 marked the coming of a new incumbent, Frederick Skene, to the office of State Engineer. There have been several such occasions in the history of the Barge canal and it will be noticed that whenever a break of this character has occurred in the continuity of the engineering organization it has been reflected in various ways, generally in a temporary slowing down in the work of preparing plans or carrying on construction. Whenever in Barge canal construction there has been a change of men in the State Engineer's office it has happened that it has been a change also in the political complexion of the incumbent.

Among the studies which occupied the engineers in 1907 there appear several of considerable importance. One had to do with the canal alignment at Rome. Plans had been well advanced on what was called the north route, which would carry the channel through the city, making necessary some objectionable bridge approaches and interfering with business interests to quite an extent. The citizens of Rome objected and plans were halted till a decision could be reached. Meanwhile investigations for a better line were being made. The solution of this problem was not easy. If the line were thrown farther south, then there involved on the one hand some very costly railroad crossings or on the other hand an entire change of railroad location for a long distance, this change including a new station for the city and being also very costly. Several years were spent on this problem before it was finally solved.

It is interesting to notice how the canal alignment has shifted back and forth in Rome and how at each change there has been difficulty in pleasing the inhabitants. Rome shared in the first artificial waterway improvement in the state. The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company, chartered in 1792, built as one of its undertakings a canal along the portage between the Mohawk river and Wood creek. This channel was near to the line just mentioned, that called the north route. When the State constructed the original Erie canal the location was changed to the south, much to the displeasure of the citizens. During the first enlargement of the Erie, that of deepening to seven feet, the canal came back north to the first location and again there was dissatisfaction. When it was proposed to build the Barge canal along the northern route the people wanted the line changed again. To anticipate the final decision it may be said that the new waterway has now been built much farther south than even the original Erie canal.

Among the other studies of this year was one on the Rochester-Lockport level, of which mention was made in a former chapter; also one to determine a type of dam and an arrangement of spillways to lessen rather than aggravate flood conditions in the Genesee river at Rochester, and another to find a kind of dam for the Oswego river at Phoenix which would prevent flood damages in Onondaga lake and at Syracuse. There was a study too of the harbor problem at Syracuse and this proved a question about which there were such divergent ideas that several years passed before a final decision was reached.

In 1907 the Superintendent of Public Works in his annual report complained that the new construction was making it very difficult to keep the canals open during the navigation season. This was especially true with regard to the Oswego canal and in his report a year later he recommended that the Legislature make provision for closing this branch during the season of 1909. It will appear later how during six seasons, beginning with 1909, portions of this canal were closed.

In 1907 the Superintendent was permitted by legislative authority to appoint an advisory engineer in his department. While the Barge canal law provided for all engineering work to be done by the State Engineer, it laid certain duties on the Superintendent which in the judgment of Mr. Stevens, the incumbent at that time, required the assistance of one competent to advise concerning engineering matters. The engineer appointed was Joseph Ripley, a man who had had charge under the Federal government of construction on the Sault Ste. Marie canal and who had but recently held very important positions on the Panama canal, having been a member of the board of consulting engineers, having had charge of designing the locks, dams and regulating works, and having been assistant chief engineer. It will be seen that later Mr. Ripley held other important positions connected with the Barge canal.

A rather interesting discussion is found in the 1907 annual report of Superintendent Stevens. It is a criticism of the way the work of construction had been carried on by the State Engineer. The Superintendent based his contention on an interpretation of section six of the Barge canal law, holding that this section directed the State Engineer to make plans for the whole project before any contract whatever should be awarded. He argued that a policy after this order not only would carry out the intent of the law but also would have been of the make-haste-slowly variety, which would accomplish more in the end, and moreover that it would have been in better accord with good business principles. He complained of the slow progress being made and intimated that it was due to the adoption of this wrong policy. From this argument he passed easily to a reopening of the main issue in the whole State canal problem -- whether a ship canal would not be preferable to a barge canal -- and before he finished he recommended that the Legislature should memorialize Congress to join with New York in making that portion of the Barge canal which extends from the Hudson river to Lake Ontario, by way of the Mohawk river, Oneida lake and the Oswego river, a ship canal of the type contemplated in the report of the Deep Waterways Board of Engineers in 1900 and also that such pressure should be brought to bear on Congress as to accomplish the suggested plan.

It is somewhat difficult to follow the logic of Mr. Stevens' argument. Knowing how great an amount of designing work the engineers have found necessary throughout the larger part of the construction period, it does not readily appear that the time required for building the canal would have been shortened materially by delaying construction till all plans were ready. His thought evidently was that the purpose of the law as he interpreted it was to guard against building the canal in such a manner as to overrun the appropriation. We have seen already that the State Engineer, because of charges during the canal campaign that the estimates were unreliable, had perceived the necessity of ascertaining as accurately as possible the whole probable cost. By his selection of a wide variety of work for the first contracts, thus making them in effect test contracts, he had demonstrated with what appeared to be reasonable certainty that the entire canal could be finished within the appropriation. In a former chapter it was seen also with what care and thoroughness the State Engineer had proceeded during the first years of planning. His policy indeed had virtually been to make haste slowly. It may be said in passing the Mr. Stevens' interpretation of the law was deemed untenable by legal authority. The Superintendent's suggestion that the whole work should have been put into ten contracts and that this arrangement would have resulted in less contract machinery and at the same time would have hastened contract work seems rather absurd.

The whole argument shows a lack of an appreciative understanding of the engineering features of the project, but on the other hand, it must be remembered that Mr. Stevens was a remarkably astute and successful business man. It cannot be denied, however, that in the attitude of Mr. Stevens and also in that of others who have held the office of Superintendent during Barge canal construction there may have been a querulousness which seems to arise from resentment at the inactive position in which they found themselves under Barge canal law, in evident forgetfulness that it was due to the evils of dual responsibility under the nine-million project that they had thus been shorn of power.

Mr. Stevens' advocacy of the ship canal plan illustrates the persistence of this idea. Throughout the whole period of the Barge canal and in all parts of the state many persons have continually been met who would shrug their shoulders whenever the canal was mentioned and say that perhaps it is all right but it ought to have been made large enough for ocean-going ships to reach the Great Lakes and moreover the Federal government should have built it.

A year later Mr. Stevens again deprecated the lack of progress and suggested that power given under the Barge canal act should be invoked and the work taken from certain contractors and put into the hands of the Superintendent. Occasionally in the course of contracting the canal this drastic remedy has been resorted to, but such measures have been reserved for extreme cases of failure on the part of the contractor and then not until no other way seemed open.

In the years 1907 and 1908 we find the beginnings of several important canal affairs. Both the State Engineer and the Superintendent of Public Works were recommending canal terminals, but these suggestions were limited to New York and Buffalo and the terminal idea of broad scope did not appear until later.

In January, 1908, State Engineer Skene adopted a policy that was rather wide-reaching in its influence and which was continued by all of his successors. This was the issuing of a monthly publication, the Barge Canal Bulletin, which ran from February, 1908, to January, 1919. Since this publication is discussed at some length in the chapter on advertising the canal, it need not at present have more than this brief mention.

Mr. Skene also took a firm stand for the canalization of the Hudson river by the United States government. He joined forces with those who were advocating a 22-foot channel between the Barge canal and the ocean, this having been the time when the business organizations along the river formed the Hudson River Improvement Association in order to advance the interests of that project.

Mr. Skene continued the attempt of his predecessor to induce the Federal authorities to assume responsibility for canalizing the Hudson north of Troy. He even went to the length of printing in attractive form the report of the study made under Mr. Van Alstyne on this subject and presenting it to Congress in the form of a memorial. This study we have already reviewed. He also urged the Legislature to request the National government to improve both Lake Champlain at the northern terminus of the Champlain canal at Whitehall and the Oswego river at the northern terminus of the Oswego canal at Oswego. It happens that Federal waters adjoin the four main termini of the Barge canal system, these lying at Waterford, Whitehall, Oswego and Tonawanda. If improvements were not made at these four points by the time the new canal should be completed, then boats of enlarged size would be confined to the canal itself and the value of the deepened channel would virtually be nullified as long as the outlets of like dimensions were withheld. It can be seen then that the time was none too soon to begin agitation for this Federal coöperation. The Niagara at Tonawanda was already being improved under the United States engineers, but as we shall see, the other projects dragged along for years and finally the State had to step in and open a channel at one terminus in spite of the fact that it was working in Federal waters and was doing what in fairness the Federal government should have undertaken.

Although with 1909 there came another change in the office of State Engineer, Frank M. Williams entering upon the duties, in the matter of the channel between Troy and Waterford the new incumbent continued along the same line as his predecessors. But the time was growing short and so we find him urging upon the Legislature all speed lest the Champlain branch be completed before the southern outlet should be ready. Early in 1909 Superintendent of Public Works Stevens had been instrumental in securing a Federal appropriation for a survey of the Hudson, which was to determine whether the United States would assume this enterprise. It appeared probable that the engineers would report favorably and also Government officials seemed disposed to grant the desired aid, the chairman of the House Rivers and Harbors committee having assured representatives from the state the he would do all he could to induce the United States to undertake the work and complete it in time for Barge canal traffic, but the prospect for immediate action was doubtful and so Mr. Williams was urging haste. And this effort was not in vain. The Congress in session in 1909-10 made an appropriation for the work and on July 1, 1910, as soon as the funds became available, the army engineers, under the direction of Col. William M. Black, began work on the plans for a lock and dam at Troy. Credit for securing this aid from the Government belongs to several people and also to a number of organizations. Chief among them are the State officials and the chambers of commerce of Albany and Troy.

Among the pieces of work put under contract in 1908 were some that covered stretches of canal extending for twenty-two miles between South Greece and the Monroe-Orleans county line; also a section of canal at Little Falls including the lock of highest lift ever undertaken up to that time, and another section at Baldwinsville, together with the dam in the Oneida river at Caughdenoy, In addition contracts were awarded for building three more locks and movable dams of the bridge type in the Mohawk and for constructing the great reservoir on the headwaters of the Mohawk at Delta.

For several reasons the year 1909 is memorable in Barge canal history. The obtaining of Federal assistance in the Hudson is one reason. In this year also the Cayuga and Seneca branch was added to the enlarged system. A renewed and an aggressive agitation for this project began with the year and by means of a quick and intensive campaign legislative approval was secured during the current session and also popular authorization was achieved before the year had closed. But the outstanding reason for remembering 1909 is the terminal investigation begun in this year. Almost on a parity with the canal question itself stands that of adequate terminals, and the time of its inception, therefore, becomes a mile-stone in canal progress. But it is not necessary now to do more than mention either the new branch or the added terminals; each has already had its special chapter. Of the Hudson river scheme we shall hear again.

Because of interference arising from new construction the Superintendent of Public Works was having trouble in maintaining navigation on the canal, chiefly on the sections where the old and new alignments coincided. During the winter of 1908-09 more than forty culverts and other structures on the stretch between Rochester and Lockport were uncovered for the purpose of reconstruction or enlargement. Fearing that there would be leaks when the canal was refilled in the spring, the Superintendent set patrols, installed a temporary telephone line and at critical points stored supplies for making repairs. These precautions were wisely planned. Even before the canal was full leaks began to show at several of the structures and at a dozen or more of these the trouble proved so serious that the levels had to be emptied and the structures reinforced with a concrete covering. This experience resulted in adopting new methods for doing work of this character; also in a closer coöperation between the Superintendent and the State Engineer, the latter instructing his resident engineers not to allow a contractor to disturb any old structure which was essential to navigation until the Superintendent had been notified and had given his written permission.

It will be recalled that the Superintendent had recommended that the Oswego canal be closed while reconstruction was going on, since the maintenance of navigation on this branch was particularly difficult. In response the Legislature authorized him to close about half of it, the part between Three River Point and lock No. 10 at Fulton, during the whole season of 1909, and the remaining portion, that from Fulton to Lake Ontario, until the middle of July. By a law of 1910 permission was given to keep the southern half closed again for all of that year or to open any part of it from time to time as the Superintendent deemed best.

Publicity was given to two rival canal projects at about this time. On June 10, 1909, a Federal board of engineers reported to Congress on a proposed 14-foot canalization of the Mississippi from St. Louis to the Gulf, a scheme known as the Lakes-to Gulf project. This was estimated to cost $128,000,000 for construction and $6,000,000 annually for maintenance. The engineers reported that this scheme was not desirable. A few months earlier a Canadian report was made on the Georgian Bay Ship Canal, a proposed 22-foot channel between Georgian bay, an arm of Lake Huron, and the St. Lawrence at Montreal, estimated to cost $100,000,000,

In work put under contracts let in 1909 there were four which redounded much to the honor of State Engineer Williams. These were the contracts for canalizing the Mohawk from Rexford to Little Falls, well known among contractors at the time as the original Contract No. 20. In one form or another this work had been unsuccessfully submitted to bidders several times, beginning with October, 1907. In December, 1908, it had been offered for the last time in its entirety of nearly fifty-nine miles. The lowest bid at that time was $4,913,168.25, which was more than ten per cent above the engineer's estimate and consequently could not be accepted without formal approval by both the Canal Board and the State Engineer, but such approval was withheld. Because of earlier failures to receive acceptable bids the specifications under the offering of December, 1908, had provided for the acceptance of the finished work in eleven sections, the contractor thus not being required to maintain the whole length in a finished state until the entire contract should be completed. The plans were revised in 1909 by dividing the work into four parts. The aggregate of the four lowest bids on these parts was $4,690,546.90, a sum less than the 1908 bid by nearly a quarter of a million dollars. The elimination of the objectionable feature of accepting the work in eleven sections was perhaps of still more importance, since under the modified arrangement each contract had to be maintained in a completed state until it was accepted -- a marked advantage for the State.

A series of tests was carried on under State Engineer Williams in 1910 which was extremely important, but since the tests were of purely technical character little public comment was elicited. These tests were important to the engineer because they were in a field previously almost devoid of authoritative information, but they had a very practical purpose, their engineering value being entirely adventitious. They were of vital importance to the State because they were made in order to determine whether it was safe to build a certain proposed structure of somewhat remarkable design. In the event of failure of such structure the people of the state surely would have been aroused to the importance of tests which might have prevented so unfortunate an occurrence. Such was the real purpose of making these tests.

The tests had to do with construction at Medina, where, if the canal should avoid an objectionable loop, it was necessary to cross a deep gorge. After careful consideration of various types of steel and concrete aqueducts and also of a high embankment, it was decided that a concrete arch of single span, carrying a reinforced concrete trunk, was to be preferred. The length of span, center to center, would be 290 1/2 feet; the clear span, 285 feet, five feet longer than any concrete arch structure theretofore attempted and by far the longest single span arch aqueduct ever planned and one which would have to carry loads much in excess of those ever imposed on any similar long arch. The weight of water to be carried by the single span was 12,400 tons, the total load, including weight of structure, 46,000 tons. The width of the aqueduct was to be 129 feet.

By virtue of the length of span, the total width, the great load to be carried and the necessarily great cost, the proposed Medina aqueduct may properly considered the most important piece of concrete arch construction ever planned up to that time. It was deemed both advisable and necessary, therefore, not only to develop the design with the greatest care along the lines of the most approved theory of arch construction, but also to make a series of tests on concrete prisms and arch models for the purpose of obtaining additional information concerning the behavior of concrete under certain conditions of stress. Moreover, from reputable sources suggestions had been made that such an arch was in danger of failure through shearing on a vertical plane at or near the skew-back at a comparatively low resistance and long before the true compressive strength of concrete should be developed.

This series of tests, however, which was continued until there could be no reasonable doubt of the results, did not corroborate the theory in this suggestion, but showed conclusively that the arch would sustain its load in true arch fashion and that there was no danger of failure from so-called shear. Reports of the results of these tests were published in the Barge Canal Bulletin and the State Engineer's annual report and were copied by the engineering press of the country. It may be added that although these tests removed all fear that the structure as designed was defective, the aqueduct was not built. Instead the new canal follows the objectionable loop of the old canal. The reason for this was the character of the rock upon which the aqueduct must have been founded. It was a sandstone, known locally as "red horse," and doubt of its sustaining power caused the aqueduct plan to be abandoned.

In 1910 the first of the Barge canal locks was used for passing boats. This was the lock at Baldwinsville and the time of its first use was May 9. In order to be used the walls, gates and valves had to be completed, but operating machinery was still lacking. To supply the deficiency the gates were swung by means of block and tackle and horse-power, and the valves were raised by chain hoists. The lock chamber filled smoothly and its operation was entirely satisfactory. But the use of the lock at this time was not connected with regular canal traffic. The channel at Baldwinsville was so situated that it could not be used until adjoining long sections had been completed. The boats to pass the lock were part of the contractor's construction fleet. About a month earlier the gates, valves and power culvert of the lock at Comstock, on the Champlain branch, were operated, although no boat was present to be locked through. Traffic passed through this lock during the 1910 season, but conditions were such that temporarily one level was being maintained on both sides of the structure and so it was not for the time fulfilling any of the functions of a lock. On May 28, 1910, another new lock was brought into use and this was the first one to serve really as a lock in regular canal traffic. Additional interest attached to this structure because it was the siphon lock at Oswego, the first siphon lock to be built in America and the largest lock of the siphon type ever to have been built.

With the opening of navigation in 1910 there came into use the first of such new sections of canal as were being built along new locations. This was the northern portion of the Champlain branch, from Fort Ann to the Lake Champlain terminus at Whitehall. Work along this stretch had not been entirely completed, but it was so far advanced that the old canal between these limits could be abandoned and traffic could be turned into the new channel.

In 1910 the first of the Cayuga and Seneca contracts were awarded. These provided for dredging about seventeen miles of channel and for building the lock and dam at Cayuga. The number of contracts let during this year on the other canals was large, totalling more than a score, and the work covered by them included very nearly all parts of all three branches not already under contract. Almost all of the eastern half of the Erie canal was previously under construction and a section between Rome and Oneida lake added in 1910 virtually competed the contracts for building that portion. The work under eight of the contracts let this year lay in the western half of the Erie and after awarding these not many miles of the whole Erie branch were still unprovided for. Much of the remaining portions of both the Champlain and Oswego canals was also included in the contracts of the year. In addition the first two of the contracts for installing electrical operating machinery were let and also a contract for the great storage reservoir at Hinckley and another for the diverting channel to carry the waters from this reservoir to the point of need on the Rome summit level.

With 1911 there came another change in the State Engineer's office. Since the break in this instance was more marked than on former occasions, it is well to consider the general status of canal work at this time. This is given succinctly in the State Engineer's annual report for 1910, which reads as follows:

"At the end of 1910 about one-third of the work of construction on the whole canal is completed. There are under contract 422.2 miles of canal (including the Cayuga and Seneca), besides contracts for various electrical installations, bridges, dams and other structures, two great storage reservoirs and a feeder of nearly six miles leading from one of them. Of the remaining work, plans for 7 miles are completed, while those for 2.3 miles are at least three-quarters finished and those for 9.1 miles of canal and for the Glens Falls feeder are well under way. Thus it is seen that about 96 per cent of the canal mileage is under contract.

"With the exception of various minor structures, operating machinery and the like, there remains to be contracted for: Two sections of less than a half-mile each, one at either end of the Erie canal, a stretch of about two miles at Medina, the spur of seven miles to Syracuse, including five miles of lake navigation, the arm of 3 1/4 in the Genesee river, together with a dam, to form a harbor for Rochester, and some five and one-half miles of the Cayuga and Seneca canal. Thus, the Champlain and Oswego canals are under contract throughout their entire length, the extent of the Erie is broken only by a gap of two miles at Medina and by half-mile stretches at each end, and the 23 miles of the Cayuga and Seneca is three-quarters contracted for.

"The value of work under contract, at contract prices, or completed, amounts to $72,710,553, exclusive of the Cayuga and Seneca canal, and at the close of 1910, $25,869,723 has been earned on construction work. ...

"It was expected that 1910 would make a better showing than any of its predecessors and it did not fail in this respect. During the year construction work to the value of $9,578,408 has been done, and 107 miles of canal have been put under contract, besides the great storage reservoir at Hinckley and a feeder 5.75 miles long, to divert its waters to the Rome summit level.

"From the figures for former years ($330,120 in 1905, $711,490 in 1906, $2,216,300 in 1907, $5,443,303 in 1908 and $7,590,102 in 1909) a comparative view may be obtained. In the years 1909 and 1910, the period of my administration, the value of work done, $17,168,510 is seen to be twice as large as that for the whole period of work (four years) that went before. Also, studying the mileage table of contracts let (23.9 miles in 1905; 43.6 miles in 1906; 59.5 miles in 1907; 67.1 miles in 1908 and 121.1 miles in 1909) it may be seen that the miles of canal awarded during these two years of 1909 and 1910 is 54 per cent of all that under contract to the present time, or 52 per cent of the mileage of the whole undertaking.

"When the amount of work done in 1910 is considered, it must be remembered that many of the large contracts have been let so recently that actual construction has not yet started or has but just begun. Even on the great dredging contracts on the Mohawk river, that were awarded more than a year ago, the work has scarcely begun, so extensive plant installations being required that the machines are still in the trying out stage, before acceptance from the builders."

The period 1909-1910 marked the high tide of canal work so far as planning and putting work under contract was concerned. During these two years $39,594,432 worth of work, according to contract bids, was awarded.

Near the end of 1910 there came an inquiry into canal affairs by the Governor which demands our attention. The political situation of the day may have influenced the Governor in part in his action, for the campaign that autumn had been most stormy, but probably his own observations during a long public career had more to do with it. Governor White had but recently become the chief executive of the State. Upon the appointment of Governor Hughes to a place on the United States Supreme Court in October he had succeeded to the office of Governor. Governor White had been State Senator for many years and immediately afterward had been elected Lieutenant-Governor. As Senator he had known much about the canal and as Lieutenant-Governor he had been a member of the Canal Board. At a Chamber of Commerce dinner in New York on November 17, Governor White gave expression to his views on canal matters in a speech which attracted considerable attention. This he followed by addressing letters of common import to the State Engineer, the Superintendent of Public Works and the Advisory Board of Consulting Engineers, in which he said in part:

"After becoming Governor, this [the Barge canal project] seemed the most important subject before State government, and since then I have been giving it careful study and investigation. The complaints and criticisms received, and the information obtained convinced me that it was a public duty to call to the attention of the people of the State, not only to the progress of the work up to this time, but also to dangers and problems of the future, -- not so much in a spirit of criticism as in the hope that public attention might be fixed upon this great work and the most strenuous efforts be made to complete it expeditiously and in a way creditable to the State. ...

"I believe it is desirable that the people of the State shall have a complete and thorough knowledge of the conditions at this time, and that those in charge of the future conduct of the work may have the benefit of your information and experience.

"I, therefore, request a report from you covering, as fully as practicable, in the brief time remaining, the situation presented by the constitutional and statutory provisions, the character of the work up to this time, and such recommendations as you may see fit to offer."

Replies were receive from the two officials and from the board and in them the canal problems were discussed very freely. In reviewing these replies it is well to consider first the one from the Superintendent of Public Works, since his letter partakes largely of the nature of a criticism of the existing order, while the replies of the State Engineer and the Advisory Board contain a general defense of that order.

It will be recalled that in 1907 Superintendent Stevens criticised the State Engineer for the manner in which he had begun construction before the plans for the whole project had been completed. Mr. Stevens was now finishing a term of four years as Superintendent of Public Works. In company with the State Engineer and members of the Advisory Board the Superintendent had spent nearly two weeks in June, 1910 in visiting the various pieces of construction work. On the 15th he had made a report to Governor Hughes, criticising some of the work, and on the 25th the State Engineer had replied to these criticisms and had furnished to the Governor a detailed statement of the status of work upon the several canal contracts.

A reading of the Superintendent's reply gives one the impression that the whole official machinery charged with canal construction was fundamentally wrong and that as a result very slow progress was being made. The criticisms covered nearly the whole field of activities, but they were not constructive, the only definite suggestion for a change being one which was considered by many to possess very grave faults and which also would have occasioned much delay in carrying out. The Superintendent seems to have ignored the chief cause which had brought about the existing order of conducting canal work, namely, the failure of the method governing the 1895 enlargement.

There was much foundation in fact, however, for some of the criticism and people in general recognized this, but remedies which would not bring other troubles of as serious a nature did not seem to be at hand. The Superintendent decried the lack of continuity in responsible control, calling attention to the fact that a change had occurred every two years in the office of State Engineer. This complaint was only too true; there had been up to this time as frequent a swapping of horses in crossing the stream of canal construction as could naturally have happened. The Superintendent charged also that the State Engineer had too many other duties thrust upon him, that the salary was inadequate to the grade of service demanded and that he was detrimentally handicapped by not being allowed under civil service rules to secure such assistance as would be for the best interests of the State. The Superintendent also reiterated at length his belief in what he termed his make-haste-slowly policy, he deprecated the necessity of maintaining navigation during new construction, he complained that contracts had been allowed to drag along without applying the remedy of cancelation and reletting, he told of his requiring from the Advisory Board certificates of construction satisfactorily done, and he suggested as his solution for the difficulties a commission of three or five members, to have supreme and directing control.

State Engineer Williams in his reply acknowledged that the official machinery was somewhat unwieldy and did not always work as expeditiously as might be desired, but he said that on the other hand it possessed the advantage of putting a check upon each act of the State Engineer, the official in chief responsible charge, by three independent persons or bodies, thus minimizing the number of mistakes likely to be made inadvertently, although sacrificing something of speed. He believed it would be of considerable advantage to the project if some scheme could be worked out whereby there could be obtained a continuity of administration and some consolidation of authority and responsibility without at the same time losing the feeling of confidence inspired by the existing plan of control. He considered it impossible to put the work in the hands of a commission without amending the State Constitution, and said that a commission containing the State Engineer and the Superintendent of Public Works with their duties as then defined would have no real authority aside from these two officials and would be subject to a biennial change in its most important members. He agreed with the Governor in thinking it desirable that the people should have a complete knowledge of the progress of construction and said that to that end his department had issued a monthly publication, the Barge Canal Bulletin, which had been given wide circulation and had shown each month the exact status of the work and the money spent for it. He declared that as a rule contracts were progressing satisfactorily and moreover that as yet the State had not suffered by reason of the failure of any to make rapid speed, since uncompleted adjoining contracts prevented the use of these portions of the canal. Several times the State had annulled contracts because of slow progress and in each instance, if a new contract had been let, about a year had elapsed between the stopping and the starting of work. These experiences had taught that this method of hastening progress could not be looked upon with much favor. The State Engineer believed also that the whole work could be completed within the original appropriation, if it were pushed honestly and economically.

The reply of the Advisory Board was along somewhat the same lines as that of the State Engineer. The members said that they did not look upon the existing plan of administration as ideal but doubted if it could be improved under constitutional requirements. The really serious defect, they thought, arose from the frequent changes of the officials in control, and this condition would be almost fatal were it not for the provision in the Barge canal law for a continuing body -- the board of which they were members, which during the progress of the work had changed in its personnel in but minor part and very slowly at that. In view of past lessons and future prospects they deemed it undesirable to make any change in the administrative system, adding, "The Board believes that the present system while cumbersome in some respects does and will in its final result succeed in guarding the work and having it carried to completion in a good and economical manner and within the appropriation."

The autumn of 1910 witnessed a heated political campaign in New York state. Feeling ran high. Policies, measures and public acts were bitterly criticised and as stoutly defended. Among the matters thus attacked and upheld the Barge canal had a conspicuous place. The campaign ended in a political turnover, a sweeping change from the existing order in the executive, the administrative and the legislative branches of the State government. That work on the canal should reflect this upheaval was but natural.

When State Engineer Bensel entered upon his duties he found several things not to his liking. Among them was the slow progress by some of the contractors. In February he published a table showing the status of contracts. The text accompanying the table tells the story and we quote it:

"The accompanying table, now for the first time published in the Bulletin, sets forth more clearly than a lengthy description can tell it, the exact condition of contract work at the beginning of 1911.

"Analyzing this table, it may be said that the work covered by 9 contracts has been finished, 4 contracts have been terminated for one reason or another and 10 contracts were let so recently that the requirement for beginning operations was not in force at the beginning of the year. Of the 58 remaining contracts, 5 are for structural steel work and are somewhat dependent on the completion of structures under other contracts for opportunity of progressing; 6 are ahead of the percentage that should be done; some 5 are very nearly equal to this percentage, and 3 or 4 others are not far behind.

"This leaves 38 contracts, or nearly half the 81 let thus far, that are noticeably backward in progress. For some of the large contracts, awarded more recently and requiring extensive plant installations, there may be opportunity to increase speed and finish on time. But trouble may be looked for on the contracts that are much behind the schedule."

Another feature the new State Engineer objected to was the manner in which negotiations had been made with railroads for changing such of their bridges as crossed the new canal. We quote what he said in his annual report of 1911 concerning this matter and at the same time call attention to what was said about the same subject in the statement the State Engineer issued early in 1915, when he was speaking in regard to the condition of the Barge canal appropriation.

"At several locations along the line of the new Barge canal," said State Engineer Bensel, "the work of construction had been hampered and in some cases stopped by the fact that no negotiations had been consummated for the necessary rearrangement of the contracts along the railroads' right of way. Throughout the length of the Barge canal there are 86 separate crossings and in the majority of cases changes are necessary in the grade of the railroad and the requirements also necessitate new bridges being erected. Negotiations have been consummated for some of the most important of these crossings and the work where such negotiations have been completed is now under way by the railroad companies. Previous to the present year but little had been done in this regard and the nature of the work is both difficult and troublesome on account of the features which enter into the question of damage and the difficulty of maintaining the traffic while the work is in progress. During the past year six agreements have been consummated with the railroad companies and at eight other locations construction work has been started by the railroad companies and negotiations are at present pending at numerous other places and the progress of the canal work is but little hindered except at two localities which are now under way for settlement."

Another change of policy was that effected by the Canal Board in 1911 in reversing the action of its predecessor in regard to water leases at the Troy dam. This is a subject of which we shall hear later. Concerning its status in 1911 State Engineer Bensel said in his annual report:

"During the year 1910 action was taken by the previous Canal Board in an effort to cancel existing leases of the water not necessary for navigation purposes at the Troy dam. Early in the year discussion arose as to the right of the Canal Board to cancel in the manner which they did these existing leases on which depended the carrying on of certain portions of the work necessary for navigation at this locality by the United States Government. In accordance with the opinion of the Attorney-General the previous action by the Canal Board was not deemed proper and was rescinded. This brought about some discussion between the State authorities and the United States Government as to the building of the Troy dam, and while the questions at issue have not as yet been definitely decided it is hoped that in the near future the work of constructing the Troy dam may be undertaken by the State in such manner as was originally contemplated when the people voted the $101,000,000 for the improvement of the canal system, to extend from Congress street, Troy, to Buffalo, and thus preserve for the benefit of the people the water, which will be collected by the dam and which will not be needed for purposes of navigation. I am of the opinion that the State should construct this portion of the canal system in accordance with the vote of the people and thus secure the control and operation for the benefit of the people of not only the lock, which will be the throat or entrance to all of the State canal system, but also the water which will be available for power."

During 1911 a new design was made for the lock and dam at Scotia. Work had been started at this site in the latter part of 1908, but the contractors were not successful in unwatering the coffer-dam they had built, although attempts to do this had been made at various times until May, 1910. In August of that year the contractors had made application to be released from building these structures and had asked for reimbursement for alleged damages. The State had held that conditions here had not thus far proved more difficult than those successfully met in constructing dams on similar natural foundations in other rivers and that there was therefore no cause for annulling the contract or altering the plans. The new administration took a different view of the case and drew plans for building the foundations within pneumatic caissons.

Another problem to confront the engineers in 1911 was the method of strengthening the bridge superstructures at the movable dams in the Mohawk river. These bridges carry the movable parts of the dams and also the operating mechanism. Some little time before this it had become evident that the superstructures were too light, and the question now arose whether they should be strengthened simply so that they could operate as dams, as originally intended, or so that they might serve as highway bridges in addition.

An act of 1911 allowed parts of the Oswego canal again to be closed -- that between Three River Point and lock No. 11 at Fulton until July 31 and that between Three River Point and Lake Ontario from September 15 to the end of the season.

A break early in 1911 in the canal at Bushnell's Basin, near Rochester, where the channel is carried on a high embankment, called attention to the need of some means for guarding against similar accidents in this vicinity. The contract plans were altered so as to provide for conducting the canal over the embankment in a concrete trough.

In March, 1911, the first of the winches for operating the movable dams on the Mohawk river were delivered. These came to the Fort Plain dam and after certain preliminary work the gates were lowered into place against the concrete sill in the river bottom and the structure began to function as a dam.

So much of the whole canal line was under contract at the beginning of 1911 that we find but few new contracts let during the year and even these were of a minor character. The list contains three contracts for bridges, one for a guard-gate, two for transferring bodies from flooded areas to new cemetery sites and one for completing work in Fulton, which a former contractor had failed to do, thereby forfeiting his contract. But the year 1911 saw much work done on the contracts already in force, the increase being sixty per cent over that of the previous year and the total amount being equal to three-fifths of all that which had been accomplished during the six preceding years, the period of construction. The contracts found backward at the beginning of the year had advanced, so that at the close they averaged about 86 per cent of completion.

Channel in rock cut near Rochester

Channel in rock cut, near Rochester. The length of this rock cut is five miles. It reaches a maximum depth of 40 feet. The channel has a bottom width of 94 feet. In some places the sides were cut by channeling machines.

The outstanding event of 1912 was the beginning of work on the canal terminals. As soon as the official canvass of the vote on the referendum was made in December, 1911, State Engineer Benselhad appointed an engineer to take charge of the new undertaking and had begun to assemble for it an engineering organization which was distinct in large part from that engaged on the main project. While the terminal law described rather definitely the locations of most of the terminals, the exact locations were left for determination by the State Engineer and the Superintendent of Public Works, subject to the approval of the Canal Board. To gain the benefit of the opinions and desires of the people chiefly interested the State Engineer conducted several public hearings. That rapid progress was made in planning terminals is evidenced by the record, which is shown in the following quotation for the State Engineer's annual report. It should be explained that the fiscal year ended with September.

"To the end of the present fiscal year location plans for Barge canal terminals for the following localities have been approved by the Canal Board: Ithaca, Albany, Little Falls, Utica, Gowanus Bay (South Brooklyn), Schuylerville, Schenectady, Rome, Lockport, Mechanicville, Fonda, Fort Edward, Greenpoint (North Brooklyn), Amsterdam, Erie Basin (Buffalo), Herkimer, Ilion, Troy, Constantia, Syracuse, Cleveland, Watkins, Port of Call (New York city) and Dresden.

"Contracts have been entered into providing for the construction of terminals in the following localities: Ithaca, Albany, Little Falls, Mechanicville, Fort Edward, Schenectady and Herkimer.

"Plans have been completed for the terminals at Gowanus Bay, Whitehall, Fonda, Ilion, Amsterdam, Rome, Lockport and Utica, and partly completed for Troy and Syracuse."

On the morning of September 3, 1912, there occurred a serious break in the canal at Irondequoit creek. At this point the new canal coincided with the old and ran on top of a high embankment, widened for the purpose, the new channel being carried in a concrete trough, which had been built the year before. The break was occasioned apparently by the giving way of the culvert which carried Irondequoit creek under the embankment. This caused the trough to break and the escaping canal waters washed out about five hundred feet of embankment. So great was the length of the damaged portion that some persons familiar with repair work predicted that navigation could not be resumed during the season. But officials from the State Engineer's and Public Works departments were on the ground within a few hours and before the day had passed plans had been formulated and the organization of forces and the shipment of equipment and materials had begun, and within five weeks a new temporary channel was ready. In making repairs a concrete dam with an opening for the passage of boats was built at the end of each unimpaired section of canal and after the necessary filling had been made a wooden trough was constructed between these dams. The trough was 887 feet long, 22 feet wide inside and carried a seven-foot depth of water. It was supported by piles 25 to 35 feet long and driven to refusal in the embankment.

The State Engineer's report for 1912 contained a recommendation for the Legislature to take such action as was necessary to secure again for the State the work of constructing the lock and dam at Troy, in order that the State at the same time might regain jurisdiction over the dam and the potential water-power there available. Another recommendation urged on the Legislature the necessity of securing Federal coöperation without delay in the matter of improving the outlets at the several canal termini. The report also mentions the problem of railroad crossings and states that questions concerning financial responsibility at these crossings were being taken to the courts.

The publicity accorded to the Barge canal in 1912 calls for brief attention here, although the details of some of the events are given elsewhere in the volume. Canal exhibits were shown at six expositions, one each at Philadelphia and Pittsburg, Pa., New London, Conn., and Syracuse, and two at New York city, and at the three out-of-state places lectures were delivered. Papers were read at two waterways conventions -- that of the State association at Watertown and that of the National organization at Washington. Many lectures were given throughout the state, and two excursion parties, composed of eminent foreigners and each traveling by special train, made inspection trips over the length of the canal, accompanied by representatives of the State Engineer's department.

A fairly large number of canal contracts was awarded in 1912. Fourteen bridges were included, two of which were long structures of concrete arch type, across the Oswego river, the State in each case building the span over the canal and the town building the remaining portions. Five contracts were let for completing work where former contractors had failed and these embraced the southerly part of the Champlain canal, the redesigned lock and dam at Scotia, part of the stretch in Fulton and a section in the Seneca river near Mosquito Point. Work on the Cayuga and Seneca branch included the locks and dams at Seneca Falls and Waterloo and the spurs at the heads of both Cayuga and Seneca lakes, that at Watkins having been authorized by amendment to the original law. Then there were contracts for the Glens Falls feeder and the Onondaga lake outlet; one for electrical installation, another for a building at the Delta reservoir, and one or two more for minor details, such as clearing areas to be flooded and removing bodies to new cemeteries.

The closing of the Oswego canal authorized in 1912 included the portion between lock No. 11 at Fulton and Lake Ontario and extended from the beginning of the season to July 10.

In March, 1913, there occurred a flood of unprecedented proportion, which severely tested Barge canal construction. The high water was due to very unusual rains rather than to melting snow, and a wide area was affected, the flood that wrought such havoc at Dayton, Ohio, being caused by the same storm. The whole of the old Champlain canal and the eastern portion of the Erie, as far west as Little Falls, were completely under water. Embankments both old and new were washed away in several places, especially on the Champlain branch, but the new concrete structures escaped with almost no damage, in spite of the fact that they were forced to withstand strains which had never been anticipated. The Legislature, then in session, appropriated $75,000 for immediate repairs and these were made in time for the opening of navigation. A second appropriation, amounting to $200,000, was made for repairing damages to the Barge canal and this work was done later by contract.

The terminal contracts awarded in 1913 included those for Whitehall, Fonda, Ilion, Frankfort, Amsterdam, Fort Plain, Utica, Rome, Lockport, Port Henry and Plattsburg. Plans were prepared for terminals at Troy, Erie basin at Buffalo, Oswego and Watkins. Other sites approved by the Canal Board were Varick, Waterford, St. Johnsville, Cohoes and Ohio basin at Buffalo. All of the terminal contracts awarded thus far had provided for nothing more than dockwalls, terminal areas and harbor or approach channels. Warehouses and freight-handling devices were to be added and already studies for these essentials were being carefully made.

By the close of 1913 we find the State Engineer stating that 250 miles of completed canal were ready for use as soon as proper connections could be made with the existing canal. Among the completed structures aside from the locks were the movable dams in the Mohawk, the Delta reservoir and the dams at Vischer Ferry, Phoenix and Fulton.

In spite of former warnings that there was danger that the Federal government would not provide outlets at the canal termini by the time the canal should be completed there were two of these places, Whitehall and Oswego, where nothing beyond making investigations and reports had been accomplished. In the Niagara river the Government had done some work, but it was still to be decided how much it would do at Tonawanda. At Troy construction was progressing. It was very important that work at all these termini should be undertaken without more delay and so State Engineer Bensel in his 1913 annual report again and most earnestly urged the Legislature to give the subject careful attention and to memorialize Congress, setting forth the necessity for immediate action.

A law of 1913 authorized the Superintendent of Public Works to close such portions of the Oswego canal between Barge canal lock No. 2, at Fulton, and Lake Ontario during the year as in his judgment might result in expediting the work of construction.

Among the canal contracts awarded in 1913 was one for an important section of canal now for the first time put under contract. This was the channel at Medina. The elaborate tests made in 1910 on models of a concrete arch aqueduct will be recalled. The idea of carrying the canal over the gorge by aqueduct or otherwise was finally abandoned and instead it followed the old alignment through Medina, employing an exceptionally wide channel to compensate for lack of easy curves and requiring immense retaining walls where it circled the gorge. In the year's list were also two contracts for finishing work left uncompleted by former contractors, one a section near Utica and the other a portion at Mechanicville. Ten bridges were included, four of them being on the stretch between Syracuse and Oswego, three at villages in the western part of the state, one at Little Falls and another near by and one across the Seneca river at Howland island. Three contracts for electrical operating machinery were awarded and the remaining work to be let included a guard-gate near Crescent dam, steel sheet-piling at various places on the Rochester-Lockport level and the delivery of lumber and piles at Bushnell's basin.

Both 1912 and 1913 were years of large accomplishment in canal construction, just as 1911 had been and as 1914 too proved to be for that matter. These were the banner years of construction, the central period of activity, when nearly all parts were under contract and the great bulk of work had not yet been finished. In explaining why more was not done in 1913 the State Engineer said that one cause of delay was the litigation connected with the railroad crossings.

In 1914, just before long stretches of river canalization were about to be opened, we find canal officials considering a new feature of construction, that of aids to navigation, such as lights, buoys, lighthouses and the like. In the old canal the channel ran generally in land line, bordered on both sides by immediately adjacent banks; in the few river sections it hugged closely to the bank on which the towing-path was built. In channels of this character a navigator must have been grossly careless to run aground, but in the new canal, nearly three-quarters of which lay in canalized lakes or rivers, conditions were entirely different. Somewhere in the broad expanse of the lakes and rivers a comparatively narrow channel had been excavated and usually in the rivers there was not sufficient depth for navigation outside of this channel. It became imperative therefore to mark the limits of the channel carefully and in 1914 Superintendent of Public Works Peck carried on some experiments with lighted and spar buoys, endeavoring especially to devise a suitable type of light. The proper color scheme for lights and buoys also demanded considerable thought. The Federal government had adopted a rule that a certain color should be used on the right and certain other colors on the left side of a channel in proceeding upstream. As Federal waters adjoined the canal in several places it was expedient to conform to the Federal rule, but the difficulty arose that in doing this the colors would change sides while continuing in the same direction, since summit and depressed levels would be encountered alternately. The final decision was to regard the whole canal system as proceeding upstream in going away from tide-water, without respect to actual physical conditions. With this understanding a navigator on a trip away from the ocean finds red buoys and red lights on his right and black buoys and white lights on his left.

Two other features to occupy the Superintendent at this time were the method of making repairs to lock gates and a better means of protecting these gates than was provided by the buffer-beams. We find him recommending the purchase of portable cranes for handling damaged gates and also a type of protection like that used on the Panama canal, which is a chain that does not stop a boat abruptly, like a buffer-beam, but is paid out gradually by an automatic release until the boat comes to a stop.

In 1914 the Superintendent of Public Works was permitted by a legislative act of the same year to close such portions of the Oswego canal as he deemed expedient. The plan, practiced since 1909, of keeping the Oswego canal closed during a part at least of each navigation season doubtless hastened considerably the completion of the waterway, and in spite of this procedure the traffic did not seem to suffer.

Because of the political change which occurred in 1911 we examined closely the status of canal construction at that time. So now again, at the time of the next change in administration, we shall see how the record stands. State Engineer Bensel in his annual report for 1914 tells what had been accomplished thus far. Virtually all of the important structures except two near Rochester and a lock at Mays Point had been completed or were within a year of probable completion. Included in the list were the movable dams in the Mohawk river, eight in number, the fixed dams at Vischer Ferry and Crescent, the dams in the Oswego river at Oswego, Minetto, Fulton and Phoenix and in the Seneca at Baldwinsville, the movable dams at Cayuga and Waterloo, the fixed dam at Seneca Falls, the three dams in the Hudson river near Mechanicville, two of them fixed and one in part movable, the several locks and appertaining structures, and the two large storage reservoirs, that at Delta being completed while that at Hinckley was within five per cent of completion.

Mr. Bensel said that the Erie canal from Waterford to Three River Point and the Oswego canal thence to Oswego was so far advanced that by the spring of 1916 it should all be completed to Barge canal dimensions, this giving passage from the Hudson river to Lake Ontario. The Erie from Three River Point to the Montezuma aqueduct and also the connecting channel between Onondaga lake and the Seneca river were still farther advanced and should be finished by the spring of 1915. Between the aqueduct and Lyons there had been a delay on account of the existence of several railroad crossings. From Lyons to a point a little east of Rochester the canal was virtually completed except at the crossing of the Irondequoit creek, the place were the serious break occurred in 1912. From the point east of Rochester to a point about four miles west of the city, a distance of some eleven miles, canal work was about half done. Within this stretch eight railroad crossings were encountered and because adequate provision had not been made for these crossings in the original contracts, said Mr. Bensel, great delay in advancing construction work had resulted. From the point four miles west of Rochester to Tonawanda, approximately a hundred miles, the canal might be said to be entirely completed, the unfinished parts being small pieces of work which could not be done until immediately prior to the time of opening the whole new canal in that part of the state to navigation. At Tonawanda there was a short extent of canal to build before entrance into the Niagara river might be had, but it was considered that this section could be completed in a short time.

The northerly portion of the Champlain canal, from Lake Champlain at Whitehall to Northumberland, a stretch of thirty-five miles, had already been opened and used for navigation during the season of 1914. The remainder had reached such a stage, said Mr. Bensel, that it seemed probable that it would be so nearly completed by the spring of 1916 that traffic could be turned in, even though certain small sections might not have the full depth of twelve feet. The portion of the Cayuga and Seneca canal from its junction with the Erie branch to Cayuga lake and on through to Ithaca would be entirely completed by the spring of 1915. Work on the remainder, the section between Cayuga and Seneca lakes, was rapidly approaching completion and by the spring of 1916 should be ready for opening to navigation.

It would appear from this recital that most of the canal should have been put in operation in the spring of 1916, but it will be seen presently that the forecast was entirely too optimistic. It was only by almost superhuman effort that the canal throughout its whole extent was opened to navigation in the spring of 1918.

In this catalogue of accomplishments by the State Engineer there are one or two things which should have special attention. One is a discussion of what he called the northerly and the southerly routes in the vicinity of Lyons. He said that when he assumed office he found contracts in force for a line north of the railroads and that early in 1912 he made a thorough study of the situation with a view to a possible change of location. Finding, however, that if the change would be made at that time all that had been done theretofore would be wasted and also the State would subject itself to claims for loss by the contractor, he decided to continue along the line already begun. But in his opinion the other route would have been better, in that it eliminated several railroad crossings and also some of the crossings of the old canal alignment and moreover would have cost considerably less. Furthermore work upon the section would have been nearer completion.

Another subject is that of railroad crossings in general throughout the whole canal project. During all of Mr. Bensel's administration it was apparent that in the matter of railroad crossings he and also his associates on the Canal Board were not in accord with their predecessors. The early policy in regard to railroad crossings was one of the first things he criticised and to delays by reason of these crossings he attributed much of the lack of better progress during his administration. From a statement issued by the incoming State Engineer it will be seen presently that questions raised in 1911 as to the legality of former negotiations between the Canal Board and the railroads had thrown the matter into the courts, where after three years of litigation the original settlements were upheld. This decision was handed down by the Court of Appeals in 1914 and in his report of that year Mr. Bensel said that the extent of the State's liability having thus been determined the way was open to satisfactory agreements and also to putting an end to further delay. Throughout the whole period of construction the railroad crossing problem has been one of the most troublesome. It would seem that the stand taken in 1911 retarded rather than hastened operations.

In his report of 1914 we find the State Engineer again urging upon the Legislature the need of persuading the Federal government to make haste in beginning work at the Barge canal termini. The channel in Lake Champlain north of Whitehall was both shallow and exceedingly tortuous and although it involved no great amount of work its improvement was very necessary. In the situation at Oswego a new factor comes to light at this report. Between the end of canal construction and the point where the project of Federal improvements ended there was a distance of about a thousand feet. Although this stretch was regarded as being under Federal jurisdiction the existing Federal project was interpreted not to include it. The State Engineer suggested that the Legislature might be called upon to authorize the State to do this work.

Another item of interest in the State Engineer's report was a recommendation that the Legislature take steps to provide for suitable management and operation of the canal, now so nearly completed. In this connection Mr. Bensel called attention to the fact that the new canal demanded radical changes in the method of management and also an entirely different grade of men in its operation.

A large number of contracts was let in 1914. The erection of steel structures make up the bulk of the list, there being more than a score of bridges, some of them large and important. These included the superstructure for the movable dam at Scotia and highway bridges at Rome, Amsterdam, Crescent and Brewerton. Other types of steel construction in the list were guard-gates, Taintor gates, lock gates, lock valves and the strengthening of seven of the movable dam superstructures in the Mohawk. Three contracts were for completing work left unfinished under earlier contracts, the stretches being that between Crocker's Reef and Fort Edward, that from Mindenville to Little Falls and that between Fox Ridge and the Montezuma aqueduct. Under other contracts of this year were included the electrical operating machinery for the Cayuga and Seneca canal, a dam at Trenton Falls, channel excavation at Waterloo, a stretch of channel at the eastern extremity of the Erie canal, some piling at the movable dam at Rotterdam, the filling of the old canal at Fulton, the removal of buildings at Seneca Falls, the making of closures in the Vischer Ferry and Crescent dams and the removal of the Crescent aqueduct. Eight new terminal contracts were awarded, among them those for some large and important terminals. The sites included Troy, Erie basin at Buffalo, Gowanus bay in New York city, lake terminal at Oswego, Crescent, Thomson, Constantia and Schuylerville.

But the subject that was uppermost in the canal affairs of this period has not yet been touched upon -- the exhaustion of the appropriation before the completion of the canal. The prospect of this event was pointed out in 1912, two years before the incidents we have just been discussing, but we purposely refrained from mentioning this warning in is proper chronological setting, in order that the entire matter of exhausted and new funds from beginning to end might be treated all together.

All through the early years of constructing the Barge canal the engineers steadfastly guarded against overrunning the preliminary estimates. It was the engineers who had made these estimates and many of the same men who had been employed during the preliminary stages were engaged in building the canal, and in a way they all felt a personal responsibility for not exceeding the estimates. Perhaps the feeling that their professional honor and their reputation for accuracy were at stake was a more potent agent in inducing strict economy than was even their duty to the State, sacred as that was considered. The odium of the nine-million project had fallen largely upon the undeserving heads of the engineers, and these men did not desire a like experience, for they realized that failure to complete the canal within the original appropriation would put them on the defensive and no matter how blameless, censure was almost sure to follow.

The law which ordered the preliminary survey in 1900, reflecting public disapproval of the late fiasco, had directed that the plans and estimates should be made with as much care as for actual construction. One who is familiar with the numberless details of preparing contract plans for large and intricate engineering projects knows of course that, considering the immensity of the proposed waterway and the limit of time and money available for preliminary investigations, this law was asking the impossible. The resulting estimates, however, as revised in 1903, have proved to be much more accurate than is usual on undertakings of comparable size.

But watchful as had been the engineers, unprecedented increases in the cost of labor and materials, the placing of unexpected burdens upon the appropriation by legislative action, unforeseen difficulties and delays, changes of administration, and above all, enormous claims for damages followed by court awards on a considerable portion of them, all these conspired against the hoped-for accomplishment and additional moneys had to be sought in order that the canal might be completed.

Up to about 1912 the public seems to have had no thought that the whole enterprise could not be finished within the original estimate. State Engineer Bensel was the first to intimate that this expectation was futile. In his annual report for 1912, transmitted to the Legislature on January 7,1913, he stated that after thorough investigation he had reached this conclusion. The main deficiency in the estimate he found to be in the items for appropriated lands and damages for water-powers and riparian rights. The actual cost of building the canal, he thought, together with the engineering expenses for preparing plans and supervising construction, would come within the estimated amounts for such items.

This disclosure did not have the effect of causing the Legislature to take any immediate steps to supply additional funds. In fact, Mr. Bensel repeated his warning in two succeeding annual reports, those for 1913 and 1914, presented to the Legislatures of 1914 and 1915, respectively, before any such action was taken. The public, however, took cognizance of the statement and was inclined to criticise. But the fault, if fault there was, appeared to lie largely in failure to foresee court decisions. These had made large awards for damages and also had placed on the State the burden of other unanticipated expenditures. There was nothing therefore that the people could do about the matter.

In studying this period and especially in reviewing this incident of exhausted funds it must be remembered that canal construction was begun and finished under the administration of one political party, but that there have been two periods, one of two years and one of four years, when the opposing party has been in immediate charge of canal affairs. It was at the middle of the four-year period that the State Engineer sent his first report to the Legislature telling of the need of additional funds. It was to be expected therefore that such a revelation would be used for partisan ends and whatever was said might be colored by party feeling. Furthermore the year 1913 was one of unusual political turmoil. The Legislature, convened by the Governor in extraordinary session in June, remained in session the rest of the year and meantime removed the Governor from office.

On December 10, 1913, a resolution was introduced in the Assembly, which, although it did not become effective, shows somewhat the temper of at least one faction of public sentiment. After reciting that announcement had been made that the canal could not be completed within the original appropriation, that a former State Engineer has said that it could be completed, that it had been charged that contractors had been permitted to abandon contracts after having excavated earth for which they had been paid an average earth and rock price, that funds were said to have been applied from the appropriation toward work not contemplated in the original plans, and that large sums were alleged to have been expended for emergency work under extra and unspecified work orders, the resolution called upon the State Engineer to present to the 1914 Legislature a report in answer to certain questions.

A perusal of these questions will help to an understanding of the whole situation and so we quote them. Although the resolution was not concurred in by the Senate and had no authority to draw an answer from the State Engineer, nevertheless he did in substance respond to it and his answer was contained in his annual report to the Legislature of 1914. But before we quote the resolution we must notice what the State Engineer retiring from office at the close of 1910 had said concerning canal completion. A knowledge of this statement is necessary to an understanding of the resolution.

"At the end of another year," said the State Engineer in 1910, "I repeat the statement that the whole canal can be built within the original appropriation. Since 96 per cent of the entire length of the canal is under contract at prices aggregating between two and three million dollars less than the appropriation for these pieces of work and since a contingent fund of about four million dollars, included in the original appropriation, has not been drawn upon, this prediction seems well founded."

The latter part of the Assembly resolution reads as follows:

"Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the State Engineer and Surveyor be and hereby is requested to present to the Legislature of 1914, upon the day on which it convenes, a detailed report showing:

"1. What has been the expenditure during his term of office for actual construction work. How much has been expended under the title of emergency work and extra or unspecified work orders.

"2. How much has been paid from funds accruing from bond issues under his administration for engineering expenses and a detailed report of what those engineering expenses include and how far the Civil Service regulations have been complied with in the expenditure of such moneys, and a further detailed report of the expenditures of all moneys not actually paid to contractors for construction work.

"3. What contracts have been cancelled and relet in the course of his administration. What has been the extra expense to the State thereby and what attempts have been made to hold the contractors failing to complete their contracts liable on their bonds, and what was the loss to the State by reason of delay.

"4. That he also report what has become of the contingent fund of $4,000,000 referred to in the report of Frank M. Williams, December 31, 1910, and the $3,000,000 excess created by the letting of contracts at prices less than the original appropriation for that specific portion of work.

"5. That he give the Legislature a full statement of all new contracts let during his administration, the amount of work covered by these contracts and a statement of the cost of work under such contracts as compared with the cost of similar work under previous administrations.

"6. That he also render a statement of any and all supplemental agreements during his administration of changes in original contracts or whether the cost of construction was increased or decreased thereby and how much.

"7. That he render a statement of all contracts or work done during his administration without competitive bidding and of all competitive lettings of contracts. How many competitors put in bids. What those bids amounted to and whether the contract in each case was let to the lowest bidder.

"8. That he state how much money will be required to complete the canal, without reference to claims for damages, the acquirement of lands or the payment to riparian owners and when, in his opinion, work on the canal must cease for lack of funds unless there be a further appropriation or bond issue."

The State Engineer's gratuitous response to these questions explained the situation at considerable length. (Anyone desiring the details may find them in the report for the year 1913 and again in a somewhat similar review of the status of canal affairs in the next year's report.) The State Engineer had a few criticisms for the work of the earlier years. He said that contracts for work crossed by railroad lines had been entered into before he took office and he found that these made no provision for new crossings or placed contractors in possession of the sites at such crossings; also that, had certain contracts been carried out according to the plans on which such contracts had been let, navigation on the existing canal would have been destroyed. These were among the things that had caused delay. But on the other hand he paid a signal tribute to those who had made the preliminary estimates and this is the more noticeable because they were men with whom he had strong political differences. He said that he had "no hesitation in stating again that seldom if ever [had] a work approximating the magnitude of the Barge canal improvement been carried to completion at a final cost for construction so near to that originally estimated as [would] be the result on the Barge canal."

At the beginning of 1915 the incoming canal administration was confronted with an appropriation more than exhausted after existing obligations should be met and a waterway only 85 per cent completed. State Engineer Williams at once issued a statement setting forth conditions as he found them and urging immediate action, in order that such an important undertaking might not fall short of completion by so little or not even be delayed in its progress. This statement, though somewhat long, tells so lucidly and succinctly just what is needful for a clear understanding of both the whole financial situation and its causes that it seems best to quote it here substantially in full. The quotation comes, however, from the annual report for 1915, which contained the statement given out in January of that year but changed the figures slightly to suit the difference in date. It also describes what action the Legislature took to meet the emergency.

"Upon taking office on January 1, 1915," said Mr. Williams, "I found, as had been reported by my predecessor, that the appropriation made for building the Barge canal would not be sufficient to complete the work.

"This appropriation was based on an estimate made by the State Engineer in 1903. According to this estimate the work involved in constructing the canal would cost approximately $84,000,000. The balance of the appropriation was designed to cover damages, engineering, incidental expenses and contingencies. It was estimated also that $2,000,000 would be realized from the sale of abandoned canal lands, which would no longer be necessary to the State because of deviations from the line of the old canal in the course of new construction. This $2,000,000, it was estimated, would be turned into the canal fund for the general uses of the appropriation, thus making the estimated total cost of the canal $103,000,000, of which $2,000,000 would be recovered. About 90 per cent of the construction of the canal channel with its locks and smaller structures has now been completed, and I estimate that the total cost under this head will amount to $90,000,000, 1 thus overrunning the original estimate for actual constructions by about $6,000,000. The principal reasons for this shortage in the original estimate are show in the following seven paragraphs:

"In 1905 the Legislature amended the original Barge Canal Law, giving power to the Canal Board to increase the width of the locks from 28 feet, as originally provided, to 45 feet, thus adding to the cost of construction about $2,500,000 without increasing the appropriation.

"During the prosecution of the work up to 1911, the Canal Board negotiated settlements with the railroads whose lines were crossed by the new canal, providing by such settlements for the necessary changes in railroad grades and alignments and necessary railroad bridges. Soon after the advent of a new State administration in 1911, the legality of the agreements already made and future agreements on the same basis was questioned, thereby throwing the matter into the courts. After three years of litigation the Court of Appeals upheld the legality of the settlements made. This litigation, however, had made it necessary to cancel several of the existing contracts, for the reason that it was not possible to provide the contractors with the entire site of their work. Other contracts were canceled by the Canal Board on the representation by the Superintendent of Public Works department that the prosecution of such contracts under the existing plans would make impossible the maintenance of navigation on the present canals, for which the Superintendent of Public Works is responsible. Another class of contracts which has caused a distinct loss to the State includes those on which the contractors have been unable to complete the work because of financial difficulties and on which the State has been compelled to enter and finish the uncompleted construction. This has involved the reletting of the balance of the work under new contracts, the State holding the bonds of the original contractors as a protection against the increased cost. In the meantime many of the bonding companies have failed, making recoveries on some of the bonds doubtful. As the contractors in all cases mentioned above had completed a portion of their work, as the portion done was usually the most favorable part and as the cancellation and reletting involves much additional expense, due to resurveying, readvertising and the movement of heavy machinery and damage claims, I believe that the appropriation has suffered through these causes to the extent of over $4,000,000, in addition to the overhead charges for running the various departments, which should not be estimated at less than an additional million dollars.

"Other reasons for the increased cost of construction over the 1903 estimate will be found in the increased cost of materials, particularly cement, in the Eight Hour Labor Law and in the Workmen's Compensation Law, both pieces of legislation passed subsequent to the making of the estimate in 1903. All of these causes have increased the construction cost to a very considerable amount, but just how much it is almost impossible to estimate in actual figures. The practical working out of the legislation will have to be taken into account in making any further estimates. The 1903 estimate of the cost of constructing these canals will prove to be closer to the mark than is usual in engineering works of like magnitude, as, for instance, the Panama canal; and the State Engineer's department of 1903, headed by State Engineer and Surveyor Edward A. Bond, is entitled to credit for the closeness of its construction estimate.

"Many changes have been made against the original appropriation under the head of incidental expenses which were not contemplated by the 1903 estimators. The necessity of maintaining navigation on the old canal while building the enlarged channel on the same site, as is the case in many sections, presented a number of unexpected and expensive difficulties.

"Two serious breaks have occurred in the canal east of Rochester, one in 1911 and one in 1912, which have already cost about $400,000 and for which permanent repairs will entail an expense of $250,000 additional. These expenses, together with others arising from the necessity of maintaining navigation in the old canal while the new channel is being constructed, have been paid by the Department of Public Works out of the 101-million appropriation. The duty of rebuilding highways destroyed by construction operations has also devolved upon the Superintendent of Public Works, the cost of which he has paid out of this appropriation, and the total expenses of that department charged against the appropriation have amounted to $1,387,525.17.

"Injunctions on the part of property owners which delayed work or made necessary the readjustment of plans have also added to the expense.

"The department of the Comptroller has charged against the appropriation $375,631.10, while the Claims Department and the appraiser's expenses have amounted to $461,751.25.

"The original estimate did not take into consideration the necessity for many of these expenditures.

"The total charge for engineering, including the charges for Consulting Engineers, amounts to $9,726,423.64.

"Under the head of property damages no provision was made in the 1903 estimate which at all adequately provided for the enormous damage claims which have been filed nor even for the awards which have been made to date, such awards now amounting to $11,955,619.55. The above amounts show expenditures under the various classifications as of December 31, 1915. It was not contemplated that the various power developments encountered on the rivers to be canalized, which had been made possible in many instances by the use of waters retained by the State dams, would be entitled to damages when these dams were altered to suit the requirements of the new canal. The total amount originally estimated for such damages was less than $200,000. More than this amount was awarded by the Court of Claims in a single water power damage case. Nor was it expected that the land damage could rise to so high a figure. Moreover it was not expected that the adjudication of these various claims for damages would drag through so long a period of time, involving on the part of the State considerable expenditure for interest charges.

"On January 1, 1915, the State had under contract, work which at contract prices would cost a little over $6,500,000 to complete. The total expenditures charged against the 101-million appropriation up to January 1, 1915, amounted in round figures to $96,000,000. It is apparent, therefore, that the State was at that date obligated to an expenditure of $1,500,000 more than was available in the appropriation. The contracts then in force were of great importance and I estimated that to cancel them at that time would involve the State in a loss of approximately $5,000,000 unless the work was to be permanently abandoned, when the loss would have to be measured by the damage claims of contractors, plus the greater part of the $101,000,000 already spent.

"I promptly reported this condition of the appropriation and urged that immediate steps be taken to correct a situation which appeared to be in direct violation of the Finance Law. On April 24, 1915, the Legislature took action by making a direct appropriation for carrying on the work. In the meantime, however, the Board of Claims had handed down a number of decisions involving damages against the State and on April 1, I found that the over-obligation of the appropriation had increased to over $3,000,000. It was necessary to make provision to cover this over-obligation as well as the amounts necessary to carry the running expenses of such departments as were charged with carrying on the work, and accordingly the Legislature of 1915 appropriated the sum of $3,654,000 to provide for the completion of contracts that had been let prior to January 1,1915, and for the attendant necessary departmental expenses. This appropriation did not permit the letting of any new contracts.

"I estimated as of date of January 1, 1915, that to complete the Erie, Oswego and Champlain canals in accordance with the requirements of the law as it then stood would require the additional sum of $27,000,000. This estimate includes the completion of construction, engineering, incidental expenses of other departments and the settlement of damage claims of various kinds. The amount required to cover such damages is very difficult for me to determine accurately, particularly as the adjudication of such damage claims is in the hands of departments other than that of the State Engineer.

"The Legislature, therefore, passed an act submitting to the people for disposition the question of issuing additional bonds to the amount of $27,000,000 for the completion of all work contemplated under the previous act, and for the settlement of damage claims arising by reason of canal construction. Provision was made that in the event of raising $27,000,000 by bond issue the $3,654,000 would be refunded to the State treasury.

As on other occasions when canal legislation or organized public endeavor were needed, the executive and legislative committees of the State Waterways Association were on hand to help. At first the advocates urged the Legislature to make a direct appropriation of the entire amount necessary to complete the canal, but that proposition was refused. Then they suggested the appropriation of enough money to put under contract all sections which would require two years to complete and that too was refused. Finally the Legislature decided to appropriate a fund sufficient only to complete existing contracts and to submit to the people a referendum for a $27,000,000 bond issue, the sum named by the State Engineer as the amount needed to finish the waterway and settle the damage-claim awards.

Later in the year the Waterways Association helped by organizing and carrying on an energetic campaign of education in support of the referendum. The assistance of commercial bodies in New York and other cities was secured and considerable interest was aroused, sufficient to pass the measure by a majority of 44,917 votes.

That we may know just what the people were voting on, it will be well to refer to the presentation of the case as it was made by the Barge Canal Bulletin a week or two before the electorate give its decision. The article is terse and directly to the point, especially the conclusion. A few of the more telling excerpts are chosen.

"At present," reads the Bulletin, "the work of constructing the Barge canal is about 90 per cent completed. Although it is so nearly finished, the uncompleted portions are so located that the usefulness of the enlarged waterway cannot be realized without their completion. On the stretch between the Hudson river and Lake Ontario one uncompleted contract forms the chief obstacle to the opening of navigation along the new route. Also, on the Champlain canal a single contract forms a similar obstacle.

"Of the $27,000,000 carried in the referendum practically one-half is for the settlement of awards for damage claims. The situation in regard to these damage and property claims seems not to be generally understood. It should be realized that the policy already adopted by the State has obligated it to pay these awards, and if funds are not provided by the sale of bonds, money must be appropriated by the Legislature within the next year or two, to meet this obligation, and probably this money would have to be raised by direct taxation.

"From the other half of the $27,000,000 the $3,654,000 appropriated by the 1915 Legislature must be deducted, leaving $9,846,000 for the work of construction and its attendant expenditures. The reasons for the canal costing more than originally estimated were clearly explained by the State Engineer, printed in the January Bulletin. It was there shown that the cost of actual construction would overrun the estimate by only $6,000,000, in spite of the fact that $9,000,000, not included in the original estimate, had been added by legislative acts, by delays and contract cancellations due to court decisions and by expenditures for repairing breaks and maintaining navigation on the old canal, and in spite of the additional fact that the cost of labor and materials has largely increased since the estimate was made in 1903. It was also stated that the chief discrepancy in the original estimate was in the item of property damages, there being no precedent at that time to indicate that the courts would uphold enormous power development claims or award such high land damages. Already awards to the amount of over $10,000,000 have been made and, as stated, another large sum is required.

"To understand fully the situation, it may be well to consider what would happen, should the people fail to approve the $27,000,000 referendum. It would mean that the State would fail to realize any return for a present investment of over $100,000,000, at least, until some means of completing the project should be devised, and annual interest charges would be going on meantime. ... Failure to pass the referendum would mean also that about $13,500,000 would have to be raised, probably by direct taxation, to meet the State's obligations in settling awards. It might mean, too, that the Legislature would feel obliged to appropriate the $10,000,000 necessary to complete the canal (possibly in several yearly installments) and such action would probably necessitate additional direct taxation. ...

"Briefly, in conclusion, the decision to be made by the voters this fall resolves itself into the following simple question: Shall the State raise a little less than $10,000,000 by bond sale to complete the canal project in the shortest possible time, and $17,000,000 more, $13,500,000 of which it is already obligated to pay and must raise in some way, and $3,654,000 of which will go back into the treasury; or shall the work be halted, the expenditure of more than $100,000,000 bring no return, interest charges of $4,000,000 or $5,000,000 be paid each year on a useless investment and $13,500,000 be raised by direct tax rather than by bond issue to meet unavoidable obligations, It will be seen that the real question centers on the $10,000,000, an amount, it should be noted, about equal to interest charges for the two years needed for the entire completion of the project."

With the coming of a new administration in canal affairs as well as in State governmental affairs in general there were several changes in organization. But the new administration in the State Engineer's department was merely the return of an old administration, Mr. Williams having been the State Engineer in 1909 and 1910 and before that a member of the department engineering force for many years. Soon after he took office he found that he could make a large reduction in the number of engineers without jeopardizing the efficiency of the corps and so he reduced the force. For one thing he dispensed with the separate terminal organization, merging it with that earlier effected for canal construction and thereby saving a duplication of several high-salaried officials. To the office of Superintendent of Public Works came Gen. W.W. Wotherspoon, a man of national fame in army affairs.

An important section of the new channel, that from Waterford to Rexford, was ready for opening in the spring of 1915 and because this was the portion that emerged from the Hudson and began the route across the state and also because it was an unusual section, containing the greatest series of high lift locks in the world as well as other interesting structures, it was decided to make a gala occasion of the opening day. This occurred on May 15 and the ceremony consisted of the passing of a boat bearing State officials through the Waterford series of locks and on through the new body of water formed above the Crescent dam. On board were Governor Whitman, Secretary of State Hugo, State Engineer Williams, Attorney-General Woodbury, State Treasurer Wells, Superintendent of Public Works Wotherspoon, the Governor's military secretary, the deputies, secretaries and chief assistants of both the State Engineer and the Superintendent of Public Works and a few others. A second boat carried press representatives.

The people of Waterford, where the officials embarked, welcomed the Governor and his party as they arrived by automobile. Amid the decorations and waving of flags, to the sound of ringing bells and less musical whistles, the party alighted in front of the village officials assembled at the town hall and then, between lines of about six hundred school children, flanked by most of the population of the village and near-by localities, it passed to the waiting boat, escorted by a band of musicians and a troop of Boy Scouts.

Before this new section of canal could be put into use it had been necessary to demolish the aqueduct which carried the old canal across the Mohawk river at the village of Crescent and also a final section of the Crescent dam had to be built. Not until Superintendent Wotherspoon was well assured that the new line would be ready in time did he give the orders to make the closure and destroy the aqueduct. This aqueduct, by the way, consisting of twenty-six masonry arches supporting a timber trunk, was erected about 1842. The Superintendent's order was signed on April 15, just a month before the day set for the opening.

In 1915 navigation was open for the full season on the Oswego canal for the first time since 1909. All the new locks were in operation and the new channel was available, but as yet it could accommodate boats of only six feet draft.

There was no money available for new work in 1915 and so no new contracts on the Erie, Champlain and Oswego canals were offered for letting. But the State Engineer had faith to believe that the people would vote the additional appropriation and so he prepared plans for the remaining contracts, thereby saving considerable time and being ready to begin construction almost as soon as money from the new bond issue became available.

But the terminal and the Cayuga and Seneca funds were not exhausted and a few contracts for these projects were awarded during the year. Most of the Cayuga and Seneca canal was already under contract, however, and only two minor pieces of work were let -- one for removing buildings in Seneca Falls and one for two bridges in the vicinity of Waterloo and Seneca Falls. Of the terminal contracts new ones were awarded for terminals at Cleveland, Canajoharie, Weedsport, St. Johnsville, Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Spencerport, Syracuse and Holley and for paving the Albany site.

In discussing the status of railroad crossings in 1914 we said that the problem of these crossings was one of the most troublesome of the whole canal project; also we called attention to the criticisms of the earlier policies and to the court decision that had recently been handed down. In his annual report for 1915 State Engineer Williams explains this whole railroad situation and he does it so clearly that the whole account, although it is somewhat long, is worth quoting. The importance of the subject demands a careful reading of this explanation.

"The points at which the Barge canal crosses the various railroad lines," said Mr. Williams, "have presented many intricate problems necessitating careful study on the part of this department. The whole matter has been complicated by the lack of definite judicial decisions clearly defining the rights and responsibilities of the parties at these crossing points. During my previous term as State Engineer, however, decisions had been made to an extent which satisfied the then Attorney-General, that in those locations where the Barge canal channel is planned to deviate from the channel of existing canals, or from the beds of streams which are claimed to be navigable, the responsibility is upon the State to meet the expense of providing suitable crossings for those railroads which are thus encountered.

"Acting upon this principle some of my predecessors and myself concluded negotiations in respect to a number of railroad crossings falling under this head, and several important problems involving crossings were taken up and disposed of on that basis. The succeeding administration raised the question as to the legality of agreements of that nature and three years were spent in obtaining a decision which was finally handed down by the Court of Appeals, in effect, confirming the principle on which the agreements up to that time had been made. In the meantime, however, the State Engineer was unable to negotiate any new agreements, with the result that the whole project of canal construction was very seriously retarded.

"On assuming office one year ago it immediately became apparent to me that the disposition of a considerable number of such crossings, which remained undetermined and which constituted more than two-thirds of the total number, would influence, more than any other one factor of construction, the date on which the final completion of the canal could be consummated. With that idea in mind I at once began preliminary negotiations with the several railroads whose crossings of the Barge canal line had not yet been adapted to the requirements of that channel. These railroad crossings naturally fell into three classes.

"1st. -- Crossings of 'Land Line' sections of the canal.

"2d. -- Crossings of the present canals which must be enlarged to meet Barge canal requirements.

"3d. -- Crossings of rivers claimed to be navigable.

"As to the crossings falling under the first head, it has been legally determined that the State must pay the full expense. The practical working out with the railroad companies of agreements covering such crossings involves a great deal of negotiation covering the points as to what facilities shall be afforded, type of structures, allowance by the State for maintenance and renewals, and the granting of equitable rights to the railroad companies to operate their lines over such crossings. Inasmuch as the principal feature was to pay the railroad companies a fixed sum arrived at by agreement, they to perform the necessary work on and under their lines, much engineering detail has been involved. The stand early taken by the railroad companies that, in view of their liability to the public for accidents, they must have full control of any work on or under their lines of track, is in my judgment well taken and settlements have been made on that basis.

"In order to arrive at the amount which the State should pay, each of the crossings is taken up as a separate matter. Plans and estimates of quantities are furnished by the railroad companies, which plans and estimates are carefully checked over by this department and such modifications are made as are deemed proper from the standpoint of the State. The plans and estimates for a crossing having been agreed upon, a number of responsible contractors named by the railroad company and agreed to by this department are invited to submit sealed proposals for doing the work. The proposal of the lowest bidder if within the estimate of cost determined by this department is thereupon accepted as the basis of the amount to be paid by the State in full settlement of damages and to cover the construction work involved, such construction work to be carried on under the direction of the railroad company, thus relieving the State of any liability for possible accidents to trains. Under this method several important crossings have been determined upon by me and the construction begun. Negotiations covering all the remaining crossings under this class have reached a point which insure their completion within a very short time.

"Lacking judicial decisions it appeared to be an exceedingly difficult problem to determine the disposition of the crossings falling under classes 2 and 3. After considerable negotiation, however, with the New York Central Railroad Company which has a majority of the crossings coming under these heads, an agreement has been reached by me with that company, that having mutually determined the requirements covering clearances, foundations, and other details of the structures involved, the railroad company will proceed at its own expense to provide the necessary structures. The engineers of this department keep an accurate account of the cost involved in the work on these crossings, and an agreement has been made between the railroad company and the State, that the question as to whether the railroad company shall ultimately bear the expense of the work thus done or the State shall be compelled to reimburse the railroad company for such expense, shall be determined by the courts.

"Under this plan several important crossings are now in progress of construction and preliminary agreements have been reached as to all those remaining, so far as the New York Central railroad is concerned. I am still negotiating with the other railroad companies, and believe that they will follow the example of the New York Central Railroad Company in meeting this problem."

"One of the most important railroad crossing problems which has been successfully worked out by this department," continued Mr. Williams, "is the crossing of the New York Central main line at Lyons. The Barge Canal Law, chapter 147 of the Laws of 1903, provides that the route of the canal shall run from the mouth of the Clyde river 'up the Clyde river or any tributary thereof and through valleys, or portions of the present canal, on lines selected by the State Engineer, to Fairport.'

"At the beginning of my former tenure of office as State Engineer I found that several routes had been considered for a location of the canal in the vicinity of Lyons, but that no decision had been made as to which should be adopted. Not being entirely satisfied with any of the proposed routes I adopted a line which involved following the bed of the Clyde river through Lyons. Considerable opposition arose in certain quarters to this decision, and a line located on the hillside south of the village of Lyons was urged by many, including certain members of the then Advisory Board of Consulting Engineers. One of the principal arguments advanced in favor of this line was that it would be cheaper because the line following the Clyde river involved the crossing of the New York Central railroad east of Lyons station, and it was argued by those favoring the south route that this crossing would involve the necessity of raising at the expense of the State a large part of the New York Central freight yards at Lyons at an estimated cost of considerably over one million dollars. The objection to the south route, however, from an engineering standpoint was that it involved carrying the canal in embankment around the bend of the hill where the water surface would be seventeen feet above the level of the New York Central and West Shore tracks and the Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern trolley line, all located within 200 feet of what would be the line of the canal. It seemed to me that the State would be taking unnecessary risks by such construction as a break at that point would result in a complete cutting off of all important rail communications running east and west. Moreover, my study of canal building had convinced me that better engineering practice would be followed by adopting the low-level line through this valley, keeping the canal on a line which would follow the thread of the stream, and thus obviate the necessity of embankment with an attendant loss of water by leakage and danger of breaks. Such decision is also in line with the best modern European engineering practice in canal construction.

"The contracts covering the construction of the canal in this vicinity were let a short time previous to the expiration of my former term of office, and work under such contracts was progressed for some time under the succeeding administration. The contracts, however, were all subsequently cancelled in an uncompleted condition because of the legal problems relating to railroad crossings in general, which applied to the crossing east of Lyons. I found, therefore, that the work of the canal in this vicinity was uncompleted and that no attempt had been made to solve the railroad crossing problem. I also found that many plans had been suggested for meeting this problem, but none were advanced which did not either involve the raising of the Lyons yards or the expenditure of so much money to avoid the raising of the yards that the total was prohibitive.

"Early this year I gave my personal attention to this matter and a thorough study of the subject convinced me that it was practicable to regulate the flow of the Clyde river by the construction of controlling works to be situated two miles east of the village of Clyde, which could be build at an estimated cost of $14,600. By adopting this plan, it became possible to carry the canal under the main line of the Central railroad at Lyons without affecting the freight yards. After considerable negotiation an agreement has been entered into with the New York Central Railroad Company for the complete construction of this crossing at an expense of $329,656.60. I feel that this determination of the question entirely justifies the decision of the State reached five years ago from the standpoint of the only objection made to it, namely, that of expense, inasmuch as it is now clear that the route selected is not only in line with better engineering practice, but is also cheaper than would have been the so-called 'Southern Route.'

"My investigation which resulted in the determination to regulate the Clyde river by controlling works, also relieves the State of a possible expenditure of a quarter of a million dollars for the reconstruction of other railroad bridges lying between Lyons and the location of the controlling works."

It will be recalled that State Engineer Bensel had reported at the close of 1914 that the spring of 1916 should see the new channel open for navigation throughout the whole of the Champlain canal and also the Erie and Oswego stretches from the Hudson to Lake Ontario. This was found impossible of accomplishment and Mr. Williams' account of the reasons is enlightening. At the beginning of 1915, he said, there were two essential sections of the canal, one at Schuylerville and the other near Utica, which were not under contract, and as the fund was already over-obligated and additional money had to be appropriated to keep existing contracts in force, there could be no thought of letting these two contracts until after the people had voted another appropriation. In fact the Legislature had stipulated that the money furnished for carrying on existing contracts should not be used for new work.

The State Engineer's report for 1915 gives in compact form the status of canal and terminal construction at the close of that year and we paraphrase it. It appears that the northern portion of the Champlain canal, from Whitehall to Northumberland, 35 miles, had been practically completed and was opened to navigation in 1915. A contract for work between Northumberland and Schuylerville was about to be let. From Schuylerville to a point three miles above Waterford the canal was virtually completed, while the remaining portion, the three miles to Waterford, was sixty per cent completed.

All of the Erie canal from Waterford to Three River Point was completed except a section near Utica and also certain excavation between Jacksonburg and Herkimer and at Rome, New London, Sylvan Beach and a few points on the Mohawk river. The greater part of the uncompleted work lay west of Three River Point and this included the completion of the lock and dam at Mays Point, the completion of the canal from the Wayne-Seneca county line to Lyons, from the Wayne-Monroe county line to a point just west of Rochester and in a five-mile stretch through the Montezuma marshes, also the construction of the Rochester spur and the entrance into the Niagara river at Tonawanda. The State Engineer said that there would seem to be no difficulty in completing this western section of the canal by the opening of navigation in 1918. He laid no special emphasis on this statement at the time but in the light of subsequent events it becomes important and we should remember it.

The Oswego canal was completed to full dimensions virtually throughout its entire length. The Cayuga and Seneca canal was finished with the exception of some excavation between Seneca Falls and Geneva and the completion of minor structures.

Concerning terminal construction at the close of 1915 the State Engineer said that on the Champlain canal dockwalls had been completed at Mechanicville, Thomson, Fort Edward, Whitehall, Port Henry and Plattsburg. On the Erie canal dockwalls had been competed at Albany, Troy, Crescent, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Fonda, Fort Plain, Little Falls, Herkimer, Ilion, Frankfort, Rome, Holley and Lockport, and construction was in process at Canajoharie, St. Johnsville, Utica, Cleveland, Constantia, Syracuse, Weedsport, Spencerport, Tonawanda, North Tonawanda and Buffalo. On the Oswego canal only one contract had been let, that for the lake terminal at Oswego and here work was under way. On the Cayuga and Seneca canal also there had been only one contract, that at Ithaca, where the dockwall had been completed. The time had come when warehouses and freight-handling machinery could be added to the terminal equipment and plans for doing this were nearly ready. At New York city, where nearly half of the terminal appropriation was to be expended, only the Gowanus bay terminal was under contract. The State Engineer said concerning the New York situation that in 1914 land had been appropriated for the construction of four terminals not mentioned in the terminal act; also that the appropriation was not large enough for construction at all the places specifically mentioned, to say nothing about the four additional sites. Pending the settlement of existing claims in New York the State was proceeding slowly in incurring new obligations.

In his report for 1915 the State Engineer again made his perennial plea for Federal coöperation at the Barge canal termini. To a casual observer reviewing the events of these years this subject, because of its continuous sameness and lack of results, might almost appear as an annual joke, but in reality it was farthest removed from this characteristic. The situation had become serious and still Federal assistance was withheld.

At the close of 1915 it was expected that by August 1, 1916 the new Champlain canal, with a channel of sixty feet minimum and twelve feet depth, would be in use throughout its whole length. But subsequent study showed that by speeding up construction and leaving a part of the work temporarily unfinished the canal could all be opened to traffic on May 15 and moreover by doing this the making repairs on the old canal simply for a part of a season's use would be eliminated. Accordingly this plan was followed and it was deemed that the saving thus effected in cost of repairs more than compensated for the necessity of deferring the contemplated size of channel for a year, especially as the time for passage from Whitehall to Troy was thereby nearly halved and the deeper river channel permitted an increase in size of cargo of about fifty per cent.

Also a long new section of the Erie canal, adjoining that opened in 1915, was first put to use on May 15, 1916. This extended from Rexford to Jacksonburg, all except a few short stretches being in the Mohawk river channel. Thus the 86 miles of new canal at the eastern end of the Erie branch were navigated during 1916. This extent, together with the completed portions in the western part of the state, made a total of 184 miles of improved Erie channel in use this year. In addition all of the new Oswego branch was in operation.

The only celebration connected with the opening of new channel in 1916 was one at Little Falls, held on June 30 and July 1, in honor of completing the new lock at that place. This structure has the distinction of having the greatest lift of any of the whole canal system and also of being, when construction was begun, the highest single lift lock in the world. Governor Whitman was at the celebration and made an address. The ceremonies included a pageant which consisted of series of spectacles depicting various stages of progress -- from the glacial age to the present time, which latter was denominated the period of prosperity.

We have seen that an additional appropriation was voted by the people in 1915 and also that the State Engineer had anticipated this favorable verdict and was ready, with plans prepared, to begin operations as soon as possible. Proceeds from the bond sale were not available until February, 1916, but shortly thereafter new contracts were awarded and construction was in progress. Among the contracts of the year were a large number for finishing work left uncompleted under former contracts. This work was rather widely scattered. There was a piece between Sterling creek and the Oneida county line, another near New London, one near Lyons, quite a stretch a little east of Rochester, sections on each side of the Genesee river, another east of Tonawanda, and one on the Champlain canal between Stillwater and Northumberland; also the completion of the lock and dam at Mays Point and of the river bridge at Schuylerville. All this work had been placed under contract once before but most of the contracts had been cancelled by State Engineer Bensel because of his inability to settle the railroad crossing problems. There were also contracts for bridges, some of them large and important. These were located at Minetto, Little Falls, Lockport and Northumberland and one, known as Freeman's bridge, was situated near Schenectady. Of the new work there were a few important pieces such as the Rochester harbor, lighthouses and other navigation aids in Oneida and Onondaga lakes, a junction lock at Rome and another at Mohawk and the channel at Oswego, which the Federal government had failed to dredge. The other pieces were small and of less account. These latter included dredging in the canal basin at Albany, a spillway at Waterford, governor equipment at the Crescent power-house, an apron at Vischer Ferry dam, a widening of channel at Canajoharie, repairs to the dam at the same village, channel completion at old canal intersections between Jacksonburg and Herkimer, repairs to the dam near Cayuga, sewers at Rochester, bank protection north of Waterford, a channel widening where the Hoosic river enters the Hudson and a diversion channel for Bond creek, near Fort Edward. New terminals put under contract in 1916 were those at Pier 6 and Greenpoint in New York city, Lyons, Rochester, Medina, Ohio basin at Buffalo, Rouses Point and the river terminal at Oswego.

Lighthouse on Oneida lake

Lighthouse on Oneida lake, at Brewerton. Three lighthouses, all similar in design -- one at the east end, Sylvan Beach, one at the west end, Brewerton, and one between, on Frenchman's island -- mark the two main sailing courses along the length of the lake, about 20 miles. Each lighthouse is about 85 feet high. Those at Sylvan Beach and Frenchman's island display occulting white lights of 1,500 candle-power; that at Brewerton carries a fixed red light of 1,000 candle-power.

We find the engineers giving considerable study to the larger kinds of navigation aids in 1916. Traffic was about to be turned into Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca lakes and plans for lighthouses, range lights, beacons, lights on breakwaters and large buoys for lake channels were demanding attention. But this was a subject in which there was an abundance of experience on other projects to draw from and conditions on the Barge canal were not so unusual as to present any very serious problems.

At the end of 1916 State Engineer Williams said in his annual report that in spite of steadily increasing difficulties in securing labor and structural materials and also in spite of delays in completing negotiations relative to work at Rochester and Tonawanda, he was still in hope of so progressing operations that the whole Erie canal could be opened in 1918.

In speaking again of the need of Federal coöperation at the canal termini the State Engineer said that it had become necessary for the State to undertake the work at Oswego. Although the waters in which this work lay were under United States control, the Government did not seem disposed to do it and therefore the State had obtained permission from the Federal authorities to excavate the necessary channel, in order to assure through navigation between the Hudson river and Lake Ontario in the spring of 1917. Of the remaining termini, that at the Hudson river entrance was provided for. With the opening of navigation in 1917 there would be a full depth channel there. In the Narrows in Lake Champlain, just north of Whitehall, a depth of only ten feet was available and no funds had been provided for deepening the channel. At Tonawanda certain material should be removed in order to effect a proper connection between the Barge canal and the Niagara river.

The Cayuga and Seneca canal was ready for full navigation at this time and in 1917 would have been available for boats of the increased dimensions except for the lack of direct connection to the new Erie canal. To supply this lack a temporary junction lock would be necessary and it use would be of only short duration. It was decided that the advantages to be gained were not worth while and accordingly, until direct permanent connection could be made, boatmen were obliged to use the long, roundabout channel, which, however, accommodated nothing but small boats.

In connection with this statement concerning the Cayuga and Seneca canal the State Engineer added that there was a possibility that the total expenditures incidental to the improvement of this canal might overrun the appropriation -- not that the cost of construction had exceeded the fund but that judgments against the State on account of property damage might more than exhaust the amount remaining of the original appropriation. The possible excess, however, in his opinion, would not be sufficient to require another referendum, but could be met by legislative appropriation, in the same manner as was customary in meeting other obligations of somewhat similar character.

Work not contemplated in the original Cayuga and Seneca scheme, the State Engineer explained, had been added without increase being made in the appropriation. It was intended at first to carry the canal through Seneca Falls without disturbing to any large extent the water-power or manufactories of the village. In 1912 contract plans were approved which involved the wiping out of many power and business interests, thus bringing on the State liability for large damage claims. Moreover Cayuga lake inlet had been improved, although the law described the route as going only to the inlet, and also the old Chemung canal between Watkins and Montour Falls had been improved, even though according to the original law the work was not to extend beyond Watkins. But this latter addition was ordered by a legislative amendment in 1911. These two pieces of work had cost $450,000, exclusive of engineering, land damages and other incidental expenditures. It will be noticed that the State Engineer in calling attention to the reasons for the Cayuga and Seneca canal costing more than was estimated was speaking of events which occurred prior to his administration.

The work in the vicinity of Rochester was the last portion of any considerable size to be undertaken. From the very beginning of Barge canal building there had been trouble in coming to any agreement with the authorities of the city as to the whole scheme of construction in this locality. Then too there were several nearby railroad crossings to complicate the situation. These railroad crossings were the key to the situation. State Engineer Williams on his return to office vigorously set about the solving of these neglected problems. Finally, after nearly all other parts of the canal were either built or nearing completion, the controversy was settled to the satisfaction of all concerned and work had been rapidly pushed during 1916.

The main line of the canal runs through the southern outskirts of Rochester and the city is reached through a spur. A dam in the Genesee river near the heart of the city maintains the river level to form this spur and also creates the pool upon the surface of which the main canal crosses the river. Along the banks of the river were located railroad lines and at six places within a few miles railroads crossed the canal. South of the city the canal cuts through a park, which the citizens insisted should not be despoiled of its beauty. The Genesee is subject to severe floods and the people did not want this condition aggravated. The city on the one hand was striving to secure all it desired by way of improved conditions; the State on the other hand was endeavoring to keep down canal costs. It is not difficult therefore to see why discussions were protracted and agreements not easily reached.

As finally worked out the plans provided for dikes along the river banks adjacent to the park, drains to care for seepage which might filter through the dikes, foot and highway bridges of artistic design to span the canal in the park and the passing of a creek underneath the canal. In the river there was to be a movable dam, in part of the bridge type and in part of the submersible sector type, and the river channel was to be bordered with walls high enough to prevent or at least lessen the possibility of damages by flood, the additional cost of constructing these walls to be assumed by the city. A canal terminal near the dam, long stretches of relocated tracks and the construction of a new railroad station were also included in the plans.

In his report for 1916 State Engineer Williams said that the subject of warehouses and machinery for the various terminals had been receiving considerable attention. Each terminal had been studied individually and its particular needs considered. He was proceeding with the idea in mind that rather simple freight-handling equipments should be provided at first and the volume and the nature of shipments should be allowed to determine the need of more elaborate machinery. Two new terminal contracts had been let for New York city, one for Pier 6, East river, and one for Greenpoint.

Also in this report Mr. Williams deprecated the policy which had dictated the hasty appropriation of valuable water-front property in New York city without any preliminary negotiations to establish a price and before plans and estimates had been prepared and contracts let which would require the possession of such lands. The opposite of this method had been the almost invariable rule on canal and terminal improvement elsewhere in the state, even in dealing with much less valuable property. The unnecessary interest charges thus created in New York city would probably run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Up to the close of 1916 it had not been possible to effect settlements or have the courts pass upon the values of these lands and until this could be done and it was known how much money would be available for construction, contract plans could not well be made and no action could be taken toward locating terminals in other sections of the city.

With the opening of navigation in 1917 the portion of the new Erie canal from Jacksonburg to Three River Point was put in service. This was the goal which the builders had set for themselves during the preceding year. Together with the completed Oswego canal this gave passage now for boats of Barge canal dimensions from the ocean to Lake Ontario, the most easterly of the chain of Great Lakes.

The contracts let in 1917 were largely those incidental to finishing the channel in order that it might all be opened the following spring. There were two important pieces of work -- the movable dam in the Genesee at the foot of Rochester harbor and the most westerly section of the canal, that at the Niagara river entrance. Nine bridges were on the list. These were at Scotia (the raising of an existing bridge), at Little Falls, near Sylvan Beach, at Phoenix and Lyons, two in Genesee Valley park at Rochester, at Tonawanda (an important bascule structure), and one at Clyde, which was more than a simple bridge, being called a viaduct. Two contracts furnished lights, buoys and posts for navigation aids. Three provided for finishing uncompleted work -- the channel between Lyons and Newark, the prism at railroad crossings near Pittsford and the approach to a bridge in Schuylerville. The remaining contracts provided hoists for bulkhead gates at Vischer Ferry dam, a dam in the old canal at Rome, the removal of the Montezuma aqueduct, and additional Taintor gate at the dam at Lyons, lengthening spillway and raising banks near Palmyra, rebuilding the power-house at Palmyra, machinery for the guard-locks at the Genesee river, a junction lock at South Greece, a drain at Brockport, cribs below locks Nos. 3 and 6, Champlain canal, and a cut-off wall at the Seneca Falls locks.

Among the terminal contracts of 1917 we find for the first time those for warehouses and machinery. The new terminals included Mott Haven and West 53d street in New York city, Cohoes, Albion and Middleport. The warehouses awarded were to be built at Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Fonda, Fort Plain, Little Falls, Ilion, Frankfort, Utica, Rome, Newark, Spencerport, Holley, Albion, Medina, Lockport, both lower and upper terminals, Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Mechanicville, Fort Edward, Port Henry and Whitehall. In machinery contracts there were stiff-leg derricks for Albany, Little Falls, Rome, Lockport, Tonawanda and Whitehall, also two portable conveyors, one for Schenectady and one for Pier 6, New York city. In addition there was a contract for a 1,200-foot pier at Gowanus bay, New York city, one for paving at Rome and another for drains at Utica. The warehouses built at most of the places named in this list were known as temporary structures -- not that they were not well built, but they were of frame construction rather than more permanent materials. The buildings at Albany, Whitehall, Fort Plain and Little Falls were called permanent warehouses, but the terminal fund was not sufficient to permit like substantial construction at many localities.

The year 1917 was one of the most intense activity in canal construction. It has been seen that at the close of 1915 State Engineer Williams had predicted that the spring of 1918 would see the whole new waterway open to navigation and also that at the close of another year he had said that there was still hope of attaining this end, although difficulties and delays had multiplied. Early in 1917 there came a new incentive. The United States entered the World war and the already congested traffic routes became hopelessly overwhelmed. It was vividly apparent that there was much need of such relief as could be given by a completed modern waterway along the route of greatest freight movement from the interior to the coast, and State officials and contractors alike were fired with a determination to supply that need as quickly as possible. But we shall not say more now of these activities, which began in the early part of 1917 and ended with the opening of navigation on May 15, 1918. The story forms so interesting an account and a subject which is complete in itself that it is being reserved for a separate chapter.

Briefly we may review a few statements in the State Engineer's account of the year's work as told in his annual report. On the Champlain canal only two contracts remained uncompleted, the work still to be done being a small amount of excavating south of Fort Edward and in the vicinity of Schuylerville. The Erie canal was virtually completed from the Hudson river to the Cayuga and Seneca junction at Montezuma. West of that point the unfinished portions were near Clyde and Lyons, in the vicinity of Rochester and at Tonawanda. Whether the canal could be opened throughout its entire length was to be determined by the completion of the work in the vicinity of Rochester. This work consisted principally in the construction of a dam across the Genesee river, heavy excavation through and east of Genesee Valley park, the building of a guard-lock, the completion of the concrete trough across the Irondequoit valley and some excavation between that point and Fairport.

The canal route through Tonawanda had presented many interesting but most complex problems. Here the interests of the State, the municipalities and the railroads seemed to be in conflict. The objects to be attained were these: Tonawanda creek must be deepened and connection made with the Niagara river; the dam in this creek had to be removed; two railroad lines crossing the canal were to be consolidated into one line and carried over the canal on a movable bridge; a movable highway bridge must be constructed; minor alterations were to be made at another highway bridge and also another railroad bridge and eventually these two structures must be changed so as to give unlimited headroom over the canal. The special chapter on the work of this year tells how this work, in spite of its intricacy, was carried to successful completion.

In 1917 an interesting canal celebration, unlike any other demonstration connected with Barge canal construction, was held in the city of Rome. It commemorated not a new but an old event, not the completion of some portion of the new waterway but the beginning of the original State canal. Before the days of internal improvements Rome had been the important inland center of trade and travel in the state, since here radiated the routes along the interior watercourses. It was quite in keeping with this preëminence therefore that the enterprising citizens should have seized their opportunity of having the first work on so tremendous an undertaking as a canal across the length of the state performed in the vicinity of their village. Their zeal must have been extraordinary. The first contract was dated June 27, but on July 4, 1817, combining the canal and Independence Day celebrations, the first sod was turned, accompanied by appropriate ceremonies and in the presence of State officials and other distinguished persons. The celebration in Rome on July 4, 1917, was the centenary of this event. By the united efforts of city officials and officers of the State Waterways Association it was made a memorable occasion. While it commemorated a century-old occurrence, the pervading spirit was of the present, not of the past -- the ever-living spirit of improvement, the spirit which in its day attempts great achievements in order that the progress of the future may be the swifter and the surer. State Engineer Williams, one of the speakers at the centennial exercises, caught and voiced this characteristic of the celebration. "As we all know," said he, "our gathering today is in commemoration of a ceremony which took place near here one hundred years ago. But our meeting would be of little significance were it not a fact that the enterprise which that ceremony ushered in became a predominating agency in shaping the destinies of the State and the nation. And if we did not feel that the spirit of waterway improvement, born on that day, still lives and exerts a mighty influence in the affairs of our commonwealth, as evidenced in the unparalleled accomplishment of the past decade, doubtless none of us would have any desire to be here today, nor have any thought of perpetuating the memory of that event a century ago."

The chief event of the celebration was a public meeting at the Family Theater. The exercises were opened by Samuel H. Beach, chairman of the local committee, who introduced as presiding officer Henry W. Hill, president of the State Waterways Association. Mr. Hill presented the following speakers; George Clinton of Buffalo, Governor Charles S. Whitman, State Engineer Frank M. Williams, Thaddeus C. Sweet, Speaker of the Assembly, Judge Oswald P. Backus of Rome, Edward R. Carhart of New York, former president of the New York Produce Exchange, and Wm. Pierrepont White of Utica. Of these Mr. Clinton was a grandson of DeWitt Clinton and Mr. White a grandson of Canvass White, one of the prominent engineers of the original canal.

At this meeting there were shown some interesting relics. On the stage of the theater were placed oil portraits of DeWitt Clinton, Chief Engineer Benjamin Wright, Engineers John B. Jervis, Canvass White and Nathan S. Roberts, and Judge Joshua Hathaway, president of the village of Rome in 1817, who presided at the ceremonies of beginning the original canal. There were exhibited also a model of a canal boat, brought from England by Canvass White, and two surveying instruments, also brought from England, used by Benjamin Wright in making the original surveys for the early canal.

An interesting side-light of this celebration was the locating of the point where was performed the ceremony of breaking ground for the original canal. Soon after the completion of this canal accurate surveys, to show property lines, were made by Holmes Hutchinson, one of the early engineers and later chief engineer. On the maps of this survey, preserved in the State Comptroller's office, the location of this point of first work is distinctly marked, accompanied by an explanatory note. The day before the centennial celebration the State Engineer sent one of his assistants to locate and mark this point. It is situated a little to the west of the remains of Fort Bull, an important military post during the French and Indian war of 1756. Since the outlines of the original canal are well-defined in this locality the restoration of this point was not difficult. It happened to lie at a place where the original and the enlarged Erie canals intersected. The point was marked by planting an American flag and on the morning of July 4 a company of out-of-town guests and a few of Rome's citizens went to the spot and were photographed, grouped around the flag and standing in the bed of the canal which had recently been superseded by the Barge canal.

In his report of 1916 the State Engineer had warned the Legislature that the Cayuga and Seneca canal might overrun its appropriation. At that time it had appeared that construction work might be completed within the original funds and that the additional money would be needed simply for damage claims, but during 1917 judgments had been handed down by the courts and settlements made which exceeded the anticipated amount, and as a result funds were not available for doing the few things left undone. To insure the entire completion of the canal the State Engineer called upon the Legislature, then in session, that of 1918, to appropriate a sum of $350,000. The Legislature complied and voted the amount desired (chapter 28). The work remaining to be done consisted in completing certain cut-off walls at the Seneca Falls locks and finishing prism excavation to full dimensions at some of the railroad crossings.

In making his appeal at this time for Federal coöperation at the canal termini the State Engineer said that although the central Government felt obliged to confine its expenditures to war necessities, it would seem, in view of the millions spent by New York in building a canal which would assist materially in relieving freight congestion, that the United States should furnish the small amount of money involved at make the necessary connections between canal and Federal waters.

On May 15, 1918, the new canal was opened to navigation throughout its entire length. The interesting scenes preceding this event need not be given here since they are described, as we have said, in a chapter devoted especially to the subject. But the fact that the whole canal was in use does not mean that the new waterway was entirely completed and that nothing whatever remained to be done. It is true that the parts still to be finished did not prevent through navigation, but they were essential nevertheless to the completeness and efficiency of the canal. After opening the canal to navigation the largest piece of construction work remaining to be done was that in the Rochester harbor. By means of the expedient of a temporary dam across the Genesee the canal could cross the river and traffic could go on without interruption and at the same time the river was left free for building the spur to Rochester and completing the harbor and the rather complex adjacent construction. Another work to be done was the widening of the channel at the places where partial widths had been made to suffice for the initial opening. There were many other small pieces of work which were of such a character that they could be done without interfering with navigation. These consisted in completing the removal of the Montezuma aqueduct, building a few bridges and power-plants, removing washed-in material, laying wash wall, cutting off projecting points and other miscellaneous work. In terminal construction also there remained much to be done.

One small feature of this first year of navigation on the whole new system is worth noticing. The Superintendent of Public Works reported that more than fifteen hundred lighted aids to navigation of various types were maintained during the year.

During 1918 the few remaining railroad crossings were so nearly completed that very little remained thereafter to be done. There were eleven of these crossings on which work was in progress during the year. One was at Schenectady, one at Brewerton, one at Lyons, two near Rochester, two at Tonawanda, one at Cayuga, one near Seneca Falls and two near Geneva.

Terminal work progressed steadily during the year. Most of the terminals had been equipped with dockwalls and areas prior to the opening of navigation in the spring and at several localities there were temporary devices, so that the terminals were ready for whatever traffic might be offered. During the year these facilities were somewhat added to and enlarged; also some new warehouses were constructed, a few rail connections were made and some freight-handling apparatus was installed.

The canal contracts let during 1918 were for small pieces of work here and there, either in completing some unfinished portion or in making an improvement which actual use of the canal had dictated. By way of completing the channel the contracts provided for removing the aqueduct at Rexford, excavating at the Brewerton railroad bridge, completing the excavation in the Federal waters at Oswego, repairing a sewer at Seneca Falls and completing several unfinished places in the Cayuga and Seneca branch. The list of improvements included channel excavation below the dams at Scotia and Rotterdam, waterproofing the concrete prism lining at Little Falls, a movable dam at Mohawk village, bank protection between the two locks near New London, improving the spillways at the two locks near Rochester, realigning the bridge on the west road between Henrietta and Rochester and building concrete guide-piers below the locks at Mechanicville and Fort Miller. There were also contracts for furnishing lanterns, buoys and lamp posts for the channel in the Seneca, Clyde and Genesee rivers and Tonawanda creek and for a bascule bridge over the upper lock at Fulton.

The list of new terminal contracts in 1918 is large. The names of two new terminals appear, Pier 5 and Long Island City, both in greater New York, and at the latter place a contract for a warehouse also was let. Several other new warehouses, or freight-sheds, were provided for, these being located at Pier 6 at New York, where contracts for plumbing, heating and wiring were added, and at Amsterdam (a second house), Canajoharie, Little Falls (an extension), Herkimer, Utica (an extension) and Syracuse, and on each of piers Nos. 1 and 2 at Erie basin, Buffalo. Paving was contracted for at Long Island City, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Fonda, Frankfort, Utica, Oswego (lake terminal), and Erie basin, Buffalo. Railroad or crane tracks were to be added at Schenectady, Utica, Oswego (lake terminal), and Erie basin, Buffalo, both piers Nos. 1 and 2. There were also contracts for capstan and trolley hoist machinery at Pier 6, derricks at Syracuse, and fourteen two-ton tractor cranes, which were delivered at Pier 6 (two cranes), Long Island City, Troy, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Utica, Oswego (lake terminal), Syracuse, Lyons, Lockport (lower terminal), Tonawanda and Erie basin, Buffalo (two cranes). In addition there were contracts for razing buildings at the site of the upper Troy terminal, for a fence at Amsterdam and for shore protection at Erie basin, Buffalo.

At the close of the year State Engineer Williams called the attention of the Legislature to the fact that it must squarely face the situation that canal terminal construction could not be carried on to satisfactory results, nor even as originally contemplated, unless further appropriations were made. The authorizing law had specified rather explicitly what was to be done at each locality, but because of increased costs and other adverse conditions these directions could not be followed to the full without exceeding the funds then available. At several places, Troy and Rochester being conspicuous examples, the original appropriation was entirely inadequate to provide for anything like a satisfactory development. Moreover some localities on the canal, which had not been named or provided for by the terminal law, were asking for canal terminal facilities. Mr. Williams recommended therefore that additional appropriations be made.

During 1919 the little work that was done on canal construction consisted in additional bridges to span the channel, further protection to banks and channel, widening the approach in the Rochester harbor and other miscellaneous work. In terminal construction there was considerable activity, the larger part of it being in New York city, although more or less was done at other localities. The installation of freight-handling machinery and electrical equipment held a prominent place in the attention of the canal builders.

On the afternoon of October 14, 1919, the canal terminal at Pier 6, East river, New York city, was formally turned over to the Superintendent of Public Works by the State Engineer. Appropriated exercises had been arranged to mark in a fitting manner this the occasion of placing at the disposal of commerce the first well-equipped warehouse of modern type to be owned and operated by the State. There was present in the new terminal shed a large assemblage. Prominent among those gathered were Governor Smith, the members of the Canal Board and other State officers, Dock Commissioner Murray Hulbert and other officials of New York city and also officials of other municipalities of the state, former State officers, who had had to do with the inception of canal and terminal projects, representatives of commercial organizations of the state and a large number of prominent citizens.

The ceremonies were opened by State Engineer Williams, who formally notified Superintendent Walsh of the completion of all construction work on the terminal and duly transferred the structures to him for maintenance and operation. In a brief speech Mr. Walsh accepted the responsibility and then turned the rest of the ceremonies over to Lewis Nixon of New York city, who, it will be remembered, had been prominent in early canal and terminal agitation and who had been Superintendent of Public Works for a short time. After making an address Mr. Nixon called upon Governor Smith, also some of the members of the Canal Board and others.

At the shore end of the freight-shed at Pier 6 there had been erected a building in which were located not only the offices connected with the terminal itself but also suitable quarters for the New York city offices of the departments of the State Engineer and the Superintendent of Public Works. On the day following the ceremony of opening the terminal the Canal Board held a meeting in one of these rooms. This was the first time that the Board had ever held a meeting in New York city in a building owned by the State itself.

Terminal at Piers 5 and 6, East river, New York city

Terminal at Piers 5 and 6, East river, New York city, the equal or superior of any pier in New York harbor in equipment for handling freight. Some of the mechanical devices are seen in the view -- two 1 1/2-ton straight-line cranes on the farther side of the shed roof, two 3-ton semiportal revolving cranes on the nearer side, and a portable revolving crane on the pier beside the shed. Pier 5, shown in small part at the right, has not been equipped with a shed.

In 1919 a hundred lights were added to the fifteen hundred already in use as navigation aids. The State was trying to encourage the boatmen to run at night and the attempt was gradually meeting with some success. The importance to both shipper and carrier of operating the whole twenty-four hours of the day was apparent. It was during this year that a fleet of the old type of canal boats made a new record for passage from seaboard to Lake Erie -- four and two-thirds days. The equipment of lights, buoys and other markers was now fairly adequate. The weakest part of the whole lighting system -- the corps of light-tenders -- was about to be reorganized.

Of the canal contracts let in 1919 five were for completing work in the vicinity of Rochester. These included channel excavation in both the Genesee river spur and the main line near the river; also two bridges in Genesee Valley park. In addition there were contracts for prism excavation near Fairport, for completing concrete lining at Cartersville, repairs to the lock and dam at Rotterdam, sheet-piling and concrete lining at points along the Rochester-Lockport level, rebuilding the upper end of the Lockport flight of locks, a bridge at Lyons, extending core-wall at the Seneca Falls dam, and navigation aids in Cayuga and Seneca lakes.

Among the terminal contracts awarded in 1919 were two new names -- Hallets Cove and Flushing -- both in Greater New York. The remaining contracts included warehouses or freight-sheds at Greenpoint, Gowanus bay, West 53d street and Flushing, all in Greater New York, and at Cohoes, Rochester and the river terminal at Oswego; also plumbing, water or heating systems in the houses at Long Island City, Troy and Erie basin, Buffalo, and electrical installations at the latter place, at Long Island City, West 53d street and various other terminals in New York city and elsewhere. There were contracts also for dredging at three of the New York terminals, for paving at four of them, for freight-handling cranes at Pier 6, West 53d street and Greenpoint, for minor machinery at several other New York city terminals, for clearing lands and erecting structures at Rochester and for shore protection at Erie basin, Buffalo.

In his annual report for 1919 Mr. Williams again called attention to the need of additional funds to make the terminals as complete and as efficient as the canal demanded. Since the Barge canal was called upon to compete with the railroads and also the Canadian canals and since it had to overcome such obstacles as ignorance, indifference, prejudice, open opposition, sharp competition and the inertia of established commerce, it needed every help to enable it to reduce shipping costs to a minimum and no field was so fertile for reducing these costs as that of terminal expenses. Mr. Williams recommended therefore that money be appropriated for full terminal equipment. He recommended also action to induce the Federal government to coöperate at the canal termini.

The Legislature to which this appeal was made for additional terminal moneys responded by appropriating $750,000 for New York city terminals, $600,000 for Buffalo and $500,000 for Rochester. It was to this Legislature, that of 1920, that the strong pleas for grain elevators were made by Governor Smith, State Engineer Williams and Superintendent of Public Works Walsh. This want was also supplied in part. Elevators were authorized at Gowanus bay, New York city, and at Oswego, the former with a prospective appropriation of $2,500,000 and the latter with one of $1,000,000, but only $550,000 and $250,000, respectively, were set aside at that time.

In 1920 another hundred channel lights were added to the navigation aids, bringing the total to about 1,700. The buoy system, in the opinion of Superintendent Walsh, was now the most nearly perfect of its kind in the United States. Moreover at the beginning of the season a reorganized light-patrolling scheme was instituted. Instead of the former haphazard selection of men from among those living in the vicinity of the buoys to be tended, the positions were placed in the competitive civil service class and appointments were made from eligible lists established by open examinations. Formerly also it had been required that these men furnish their own craft, but now a motor boat was provided for each man, to be used solely in the performance of his duties. In addition the patrolling sections were shortened to an average length of ten miles and the lights in each section were placed under the charge of a single employee. It was his duty to visit each light under his care every day and keep it in perfect condition. During the season the new plan showed excellent results. The type of young men attracted to this service promised for the State a conscientious attention to the work and the most serious problem connected with the important branch of canal administration seemed to have been solved.

A small amount of construction work was done on the canal in 1920, but all of it was what may be termed incidental work. It consisted in building bridges, providing additional protection for banks and structures and some miscellaneous work of a character to improve the conditions of navigation. The bridges, nine in number, were located at Tonawanda, Phoenix and Schenectady, and near Rochester and Lyons. The last of the railroad bridges, the structures which had given so much trouble all through canal construction, was among the number and this last one was nearly completed. Bank protection was needed near Rochester, Macedon and Cartersville. In addition there were a widening of the channel near Crocker's Reef, repairs to the Lockport locks and the Seneca Falls dam, the substitution of a new type of dam for one less satisfactory at Mohawk and the completion of work connected with canal construction in Genesee Valley park, near Rochester.

The spur to Rochester, about three miles long and lying in the Genesee river, was opened to navigation in 1920. The channel in the river had a width of at least one hundred feet, which would accommodate traffic till it could be widened to two hundred feet.

Considerable progress was made in terminal construction during 1920 -- in extending what had not already been completed. Since the terminal project was so nearly finished at this time it seems fitting just now to review briefly what had been done at all of the terminals. To do this it is necessary simply to quote certain reports of the year. Both the State Engineer and the Superintendent of Public Works gave a summary of terminal construction in their annual reports and in addition Mr. Williams read a paper on "The Development of Barge Canal Terminals" before the State Waterways Association at its annual convention on November 11, in which he described what had been done, especially in New York city, and included in his description many details of freight-handling devices. The first quotation comes from this paper. Following it there appears an excerpt from Superintendent Walsh's report. This latter gives in tabular form the status of all terminals in the state except those situated in New York city.

"The most important terminal equipment," said Mr. Williams, "is the freight or transit shed for cargo held on the wharf in transit between barge and shore. The function of the shed is to protect freight from the elements and to prevent theft of merchandise. The general features of construction are not essentially different from those of similar structures not located on the water-front. The sheds should be sufficiently large in area to hold the freight in transit, space should be provided so that the cargoes may be spread out to allow sorting according to consignments and, as a rule, it is wise to construct sheds without posts supporting the roof so as to have a clear, unbroken floor space to facilitate the handling of goods.

"We have built or are constructing several types of sheds. For example at Pier 6, and at Gowanus bay, we are using steel framework with corrugated metal siding in order to obtain lightness of construction. At Albany and Whitehall, where the buildings are on solid fill, we have erected a steel framework with reinforced concrete siding. At some of the outlying terminals we have put up temporary wooden sheds.

"Vessels in New York Harbor usually carry their own loading facilities, but barges plying the canals of the state cannot carry high masted derricks for the reason that the headroom under the bridges spanning the canal is limited. Hence for this reason unloading machinery must be installed on the wharves. There are, however, additional reasons. The primary object of installing freight handling machinery on wharves is to reduce the cost of transportation by saving in the cost of labor, by increasing the speed of loading and unloading vessels. Increasing the speed of unloading hastens the turn-around of the barge and hence increases the tonnage a give boat can carry in a given time.

"We are installing for these purposes as fast as the freight sheds are completed and funds are available, traveling cranes, derricks, portable conveyors, and are supplementing these with other means of moving freight along the wharf. These consist of hand and electric trucks, tractors and trailers, railroad connections and other devices.

"There are several kinds of wharf cranes, but the most common is the revolving type. This consists of a derrick with a boom or jib which may be raised or lowered by a motor mounted on a turn-table. This may be the low locomotive or auto type or may be the portal or gantry type in the form of a movable bridge spanning a roadway on the side of the wharf or pier. When one of the rails for such type of machine is placed on the side or top of the shed, the machine is called a 'semi-portal' crane.

"We have in use three different types of traveling crane; another type will be ready for use next spring and we have plans out for some special heavy duty bridge cranes.

"The first type is a so-called straight line crane of 1 1/2 tons capacity which travels on a runway supported on the roof of the freight shed and which delivers freight inside the shed. This crane has a boom hinged to a frame so that in its normal working position the inner end of the boom projects about ten feet inside the shed doorway, the outer end reaching to a point about 25 feet from the face of the dock. The machine is electrically operated and may be moved from door to door.

"The second type of crane in use is a semi-portal revolving jib crane of three-ton capacity. It is made up of a substructure shaped like an inverted 'L' called a semi-portal or half gantry. The vertical portion is supported on trucks which travel on a rail attached to the transit shed. The boom of this machine rotates and has an effective reach of 28 feet beyond the face of the wharf. This machine is also electrically operated.

"The third type is a steam driven auto-crane, supported on four large traction wheels, carrying a vertical frame with operating machinery and steam boilers. The boom is about 30 feet long and swings through an angle of 90 degrees.

"The fourth type is known as a burtoning crane. It travels on a runway located on the roof of the warehouse in a similar manner to the conveyor crane. It has a one-ton capacity and is operated by electricity.

"Derricks of various types and designs are used at the terminals. Some are operated by electric power, others by hand. The largest derricks are of lattice steel construction and consist of masts held by two stiff legs. The booms range from 44 to 74 feet in length. These derricks have a capacity of about 12 tons. For loads of two tons and under wooden stiff leg derricks are installed.

"The conveying and tiering machine consists of a framework on wheels supporting one or more endless belts. It is especially adapted for handling freight in uniform packages and is simply a moving gang plank. This machine eliminates passing packages from hand to hand, the stevedores working at each end of the moving platform. The conveyors are capable of handling packages at the rate of a ton a minute and can transport packages as fast as they can be fed.

"The movements back of the water line and in the transit shed consist of sorting, delivery to trucks, drays, cars and lighters and tiering. The principal equipment for this purpose is the hand truck supplemented by electric truck and tractors. The electric tractors are about 3 feet wide and 7 feet long and travel on four rubber-tiered roller bearing wheels. They are in effect small, electrical locomotives and in operation each handles a train of trailers behind it. The electric truck carries a larger load, moves faster and requires less labor than the hand truck, and is more economical from many viewpoints.

"The location of the transit shed in relation to other carriers is of great importance. The object is to eliminate the use of the dray for every movement to and from the warehouse except that of local delivery. Hence, we are providing rail connections to assist in the receiving and delivery of freight at every important terminal where it is possible to obtain rail service, the function of the rail service being to connect the wharf with local railroad siding and to connect the railroad system with the waterway.

"The most highly developed terminal so far completed and thrown open to traffic is that at Pier 6, East River, New York City. This structure embodies the latest ideas on the design and equipment of a freight-handling pier available for canal traffic. In its mechanical handling equipment, particularly, it is considered in advance of any of the piers in New York harbor.

"In making studies of the development of the site at Piers 5 and 6, it was planned to work along lines that would secure the most efficient operating conditions and the most intensive use of the structure at hand. It was decided to use types of construction having a fairly long life rather than to erect structures of a cheaper type that could be quickly erected but which would have to be scrapped at a later date or require large annual maintenance charges.

"The terminal is located on property acquired by the state from the City of New York for $191,000. Piers 5 and 6 had been set aside for canal barges since the early days of the Erie Canal, but before the present improvement a single modern barge of 1,000-ton cargo could not be handled without costly delay and confusion. In the older part of New York all piers were originally laid out in the days of sailing vessels when the turn-around of the vessel was not given the importance that it is today. The piers were then used more as runways for moving cargo than for transit storage, and with the increase in the size and cost of vessels it has been found that the older piers and slips are wholly inadequate to handle modern cargoes. The same condition applies to canal traffic on the enlarged waterway.

"Pier 6, as acquired, was only 50 feet wide and could not be widened, on account of the width of the adjacent slips, to more than 85 feet. With the width of the pier determined by compromising cargo requirements with physical conditions, the problem was to get the best layout possible under the circumstances. The freight-handling equipment had to be considered in connection with the size of pier available. This led to the selection of jib cranes for transferring freight. These were preferred because of speed and because of special adaptability for unloading barges operating on the state canals.

"In adopting jib cranes, it was decided to use the semi-portal type and provide an uncovered roadway on the outside of the freight house in order to keep trucking in general outside of the freight house proper and to provide areas of deposit for miscellaneous cargo as deposited by cranes on the pier deck from the hold of the barge.

"In spite of the preference for the above type of crane, it was evident that with a pier of 85 feet width, it would not be possible to use cranes of that type on both sides of the pier and still have a freight house of any considerable capacity. A decision was reached to use the jib crane and roadway on the west side of the pier and to build a freight house 50 feet wide, bringing the east side of the building fairly close to the east side of the pier. In conjunction with a well known firm manufacturing special freight-handling machinery, a type of crane was designed to meet the conditions on the east side of the pier. This special crane consists of a boom projecting over the barge and through the doors into the freight house a short distance.

"The pier shed is of steel columns and roof trusses are spaced 20 feet center to center and the clearance within the shed is 18 feet 6 inches. The length of the new pier is 563 feet and the length of the shed is 490 feet.

"In rebuilding Pier 6, the old structure was cut down to the water line and capped and replaced with vertical posts. Pile bents were extended 11 feet on the east and 24 feet on the west side giving a total width of 85 feet.

"Two semi-portal cranes have been installed. These have 6,000 pounds capacity, a hoisting speed of 120 feet per minute and a slewing speed of one and a half revolutions per minute and a traveling speed of 150 feet per minute. The outboard reach is 28 feet. The special conveyor cranes on the opposite side of the shed have a 3,000-pound capacity, and have an outboard reach of 23 feet. One tiering machine and one portable package conveyor have been installed for moving freight back of the wharf. Office space is provided in what is known as the headhouse. The operating force uses the first floor of the headhouse and the administrative offices for New York City are on the second floor. The terminal has been equipped with heating, plumbing, lighting and battery charging equipment and is up-to-date in every respect. The cost of the freight house and equipment and reconstructed pier was $380,000. The total cost to the State for the entire terminal at Pier 6, including acquisition of site and dredging, was $625,000.

"It is our plan eventually to shed and equip Pier 5, but for the present we have simply repaired the pier and installed two steam cranes.

"I shall not have time to describe the development of terminals at all of the other places in New York, but at Gowanus Bay, which is the terminal designed for the accommodation of ocean-going vessels, we have built a marginal wharf 700 feet long, dredged the harbor to 35 feet, graded 30 acres back of the bulkhead, constructed a pier 1,200 feet long and 150 feet wide, erected a temporary wooden freight shed, and awarded a contract for the building of a steel freight shed. A grain elevator, of which I shall speak later, will also be constructed at Gowanus Bay.

"Other terminals in New York City, nearing completion or well under way are located at West 53rd Street, Greenpoint, Mott Haven, Long Island City, Hallets Cove and Flushing. There have been completed in New York City and vicinity nearly two miles of docking space and about five acres of freight sheds and accommodations.

"Along the line of the canal generally, we have constructed terminals of the marginal wharf type. The waterway being comparatively narrow, conditions have not lent themselves, as a rule, to the building of the projecting or pier type of wharf.

"At Rochester, a marginal wharf 2,000 feet long has been constructed, a temporary freight shed erected, and the terminal equipped with one steam crane, and several small derricks. The situation at Rochester is very complicated in that the Lehigh Valley Railroad occupied part of the site, and because it was necessary to maintain navigation in the old canal up to the beginning of the present year and also because of the elevation of the top of the wharf in comparison with the elevation of the adjacent streets of the city.

"It was necessary to relocate the Lehigh Valley Railroad yards, and to build a long reinforced concrete approach to the terminal. Costs had so greatly increased since the funds were originally appropriated in 1911, that we were unable to complete the development of this terminal. The last Legislature, however, provided additional funds and we are now going ahead with the uncompleted portion and expect to award a contract to begin work on a permanent freight shed within a month or two.

"At Syracuse, the terminal is located at the head of Onondaga Lake on the old salt marshes. A channel has been dredged to connect with the Barge Canal and a temporary freight shed erected. We have had considerable difficulty in getting railroad track connections installed, but within the last month an agreement was made by which a siding has been placed along the terminal shed by the D., L. & W. Railroad.

"At Utica, the line of the Barge Canal is some distance from the site selected for the terminal and it was necessary in this case to build a lock of standard canal dimensions and excavate a channel and harbor in order to locate the terminal so that it would be within easy reach of shippers.

"At Buffalo, we are developing two state-owned terminals, one at Erie Basin and the other at Ohio Basin. Up to the close of last season we had constructed two piers at Erie Basin, paved part of the site, built a temporary wooden freight shed 200 feet long and connected it with the New York Central Railroad for industrial purposes. Since then we have finished the construction of a permanent steel freight shed on Pier No. 1, 500 feet long by 80 feet in width. The warehouse will be equipped with heating, plumbing and lighting systems, and we have recently awarded a contract for two electric semi-portal revolving jib cranes of a 3-ton capacity. The cranes have an effective reach of 28 feet beyond the face of the dockwall. There are also in use on the terminal two steam cranes, of the Byers type. The booms are 30 feet long and the machines have a capacity of two tons. The area surrounding the piers has been dredged to 20 feet, which makes it possible for lakers to dock and load or unload cargo at the terminal.

"At Ohio Basin, we have dredged the harbor to a depth of 20 feet and this will eventually be surrounded with a concrete dockwall and paved wharf. The Old Banner Milling property is so situated that it can be converted into a terminal freight shed. There was recently advertised a contract for continuing the wall around Ohio Basin but the bids received were so high that the contract could not be awarded. At the last meeting of the Canal Board I presented revised plans for this work and the contract will be re-advertised shortly. Our funds are limited and it will only be on the basis of increased appropriations that we will be able to continue the work of developing the Buffalo Terminals.

"At Oswego there are two terminals, one known as the river terminal, and the other as the lake terminal. The lake terminal, as its name implies, is designed to accommodate lake vessels as well as barges and in this respect is similar to the terminals at Erie Basin, Buffalo, and at Gowanus Bay, Brooklyn.

"Wharves have been constructed at about forty other municipalities along the line of the canal and the equipment of these with freight houses, cranes, etc., is being furnished as needed.

"In addition to a lack of funds to carry out the development scheme for some of the present terminals, there are three respects in which the terminal program is not complete:

"First: No provision was made in the original act for terminals at cities along the Hudson River below Albany and outside of New York City.

"Second: No provision was made for coal handling equipment to be located on Seneca and Cayuga Lakes for the handling of coal from the nearby mines in Pennsylvania.

"Third: No provision was made for grain elevators.

"I have repeatedly urged the adoption of measures looking toward the fulfillment of all these items, but that of the grain elevators is the only one of the remaining items which has as yet received favorable consideration at the hands of the Legislature, although it is my belief that affirmative action will sooner or later be given to the others."

Superintendent Walsh said, "At practically all points along the line of the improved canal where indications existed as to the development of traffic in sufficient amount, terminal docks have been provided.

"Below will be found a complete list of these localities with the equipment which may be found available at each. Where the name of the locality alone appears, a dock wall only has been provided.


        Type and size of warehouse

        Freight handling machinery

Albany Concrete and steel, 33 x 120 15-ton hand steel derrick, 2-ton portable steam crane.
Amsterdam Timber (2), 32 x 100 1-ton derrick, electric.
Brewerton ....................


Buffalo Timber, 32 x 200; concrete and Steel, 80 x 500 Two 2-ton portable steam cranes.
Canajoharie Timber, 32 x 50 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Cleveland ....................


Cohoes ....................


Crescent ....................


Fonda Timber, 16 x 100 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Fort Edward Timber, 16 x 30 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Fort Plain Timber, 32 x 100 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Frankfort Timber, 16 x 60 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Fulton Timber, 20 x 50 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Herkimer Timber (2), 16 x 100 and 20 x 33 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Holley Timber, 16 x 30 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Ilion Timber, 16 x 60 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Little Falls Timber, 32 x 150 15-ton electric steel derrick, 2-ton portable steam crane, 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Lockport (upper) Timber, 32 x 100 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Lockport (lower) Timber, 32 x 100 1/2-ton hand derrick, 15-ton hand derrick, 2-ton portable steam crane.
Lyons Timber, 32 x 50 ....................

Mechanicville Timber, 16 x 30 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Medina Timber, 24 x 70 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Oswego (lake) ....................

1/2-ton portable steam crane.
Oswego (river) Timber, 32 x 50 ....................

Plattsburg ....................


Port Henry Timber, 16 x 30 ....................

Rochester Timber, 32 x 200 2-ton portable steam crane, 8-ton fixed steam derrick.
Rome Timber, 32 x 200 15-ton electric steel derrick, 1/2-ton hand derrick, 1/2-ton conveyor.
Rouses Point ....................


Schenectady Timber, 32 x 200 1/2-ton hand derrick, 1/2-ton portable electric conveyor, 2 2-ton portable steam cranes.
Schuylerville 2 .................... ....................
Spencerport Timber, 16 x 30 1/2-ton hand derrick.
St. Johnsville ....................


Syracuse Timber, 32 x 200 Four 1-ton electric derricks, 2 2-ton portable steam cranes.
Thomson ....................

One 1/2-ton electric package freight conveyor.
N. Tonawanda Timber, 24 x 100 15-ton hand steel derrick.
Tonawanda Timber, 32 x 80 2-ton portable steam crane.
Troy (lower) Timber (2), 16 x 50 and 32 x 100 Two 1/2-ton hand derricks, 2 2-ton portable steam cranes.
Utica Timber, 32 x 200 Two 1/2-ton hand derricks.
Waterford ....................

One 1/2-ton hand derrick.
Watkins ....................


Weedsport Timber, 16 x 30 ....................

Whitehall Concrete and steel, 33 x 114 15-ton hand steel derrick, 2-ton portable steam crane.

"Railroad connections will be found at the following terminals:

"At Erie Basin, Buffalo with the New York Central Railroad Company;

"At Rochester, with the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company;

"At Syracuse, with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R.R. Co.;

"At Schenectady, with the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company;

"At Troy, with the New York Central R.R. Co., and Boston & Maine R.R. Co.;

"At Albany, with the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company; and

"At Oswego, with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company."

Only two Barge canal contracts were awarded during 1920. One was for a dam across the old canal at Rochester and the other was for widening the channel between Crocker's Reef and Fort Edward. But several pieces of terminal work were put under contract. Among them were freight-houses at Gowanus bay and Mott Haven, both in New York, and at Rochester; also plumbing and a water-supply system and certain electrical work at Greenpoint, and paving and a heating system at West 53d street, both in New York city. Besides these there were contracts for storage yards and for freight-handling machinery at Erie basin, Buffalo, for a dockwall at Ohio basin, Buffalo, for completing certain Rochester terminal work, for protecting breakwaters at the Cleveland terminal, for completing the Rouses Point terminal and for foundations for the grain elevators at Gowanus bay and Oswego.

In 1921 a small amount of canal work was in progress. At Tonawanda the bridge carrying the main street over the canal was completed and thrown open to traffic. At Rochester the work in Genesee Valley park was finished and the deep cut to the east was protected with heavy wash wall. A bridge across the short level in this vicinity was raised to overcome a difficulty caused by surges due to lockages on so short a level. A concrete spillway was built in the Oswego river below Fulton to take the place of a dike washed away during a flood because the river channel had been to narrowly constricted by a privately-owned raceway. Efforts were continued in trying to stop a leak around the end of the Seneca Falls dam. This leak had been very troublesome during most of the time since the dam was completed. Early in 1921 the water was drawn and the bank was examined for a considerable distance. It appeared that there were a number of seams in the rock where water entered. The whole bank was blanketed with material obtained near by. The leak diminished but was not entirely stopped.

In terminal construction there was considerable activity during 1921. One additional appropriation was made by the Legislature -- a fund of $490,000 for continuing work at Rochester. The list of places where work was in progress includes Erie and Ohio basins at Buffalo, Rochester, Cleveland, Cohoes, Troy, Rouses Point and the following terminals in New York city: West 53d street, Mott Haven, Flushing, Hallets Cove, Greenpoint and Gowanus bay.

Plans had been nearly perfected during 1920 for grain elevators at Gowanus bay and Oswego. The Legislature of 1921 appropriated $1,950,000 for the Gowanus bay structure, this being the remainder of the sum set as the cost by the authorizing law, but for the Oswego elevator there was no money forthcoming. As Oswego therefore nothing beyond building the foundations could be done, but at Gowanus bay the house and bins were begun after the foundations were finished and were so nearly completed by the end of the year that State Engineer Williams could report to the Legislature that, barring unforeseen hindrances, the elevator would be ready for use early in the following summer.

In his annual report for 1921 the State Engineer again asked for Federal coöperation at the canal termini, but by this time the appeal had changed its form somewhat. At Tonawanda large boats found it difficult to pass from the Niagara river into the canal and it was desired that the Government should deepen and straighten the channel. At Oswego the State had excavated a twelve-foot channel from the end of the canal to deep water in the lake, but a channel deep enough to allow lake vessels to reach the terminal constructed by the State on the lake shore was needed and it was considered that the Government should excavate this channel. At Whitehall the Federal authorities had done some work in deepening and straightening the channel at the upper end of Lake Champlain, but not enough had yet been done. At Waterford an outlet of Barge canal size had been provided, but a channel of sufficient size was desirable to permit large vessels to reach Troy or Albany for the transfer of canal and ocean cargoes, and this work came under United States jurisdiction.

During 1921 night travel on the canal increased in large measure. Four hundred lights were added to the navigation aids. In the earlier years it had not been deemed necessary to light more than the river channels, but now the land lines also were supplied with markers, in order to remove all hindrances to navigation by night. The good effect of this policy was apparent. The year showed a marked improvement in the running time of navigators. Greater familiarity with the canal as well as better facilities helped toward this result, but a general increase in speed was noticeable. Fleets were making the trip from Buffalo to Troy in less than five days and the round trip from Lake Erie to New York and return in fourteen days.

The interest which Governor Miller showed in canal affairs was unusual for a chief executive of the State. During the summer of 1921 he took a trip over the canals and spent sufficient time in doing this to become familiar with all the essential details. In the party were the Governor, members of the Board of Estimate and Control, State Engineer Williams, Superintendent of Public Works Cadle and other State officials. The inspection began with the terminals at New York city and extended to Buffalo. The speeches which Governor Miller made on canal matters, especially in opposition to the St. Lawrence ship canal project, show that he has a clear and broad understanding of the whole situation, doubtless gleaned in part through his personal inspection of the canal system. These utterances have been a valuable asset both for gaining friends and users for the canal and for defeating the rival project. Also the publicity given to the Governor's trip had a salutary effect on the people of the communities visited -- in bringing the importance of the waterway pointedly to their attention.

The Barge canal contracts let in 1921 included one for doing some excavating and filling at Seneca Falls, one for a concrete spillway below the lower lock at Fulton, one for raising a bridge near Rochester and one for removing material from the canal prism near Holley. The terminal contracts awarded during the year covered work chiefly at New York city and Rochester. At Rochester there was provision for a permanent freight-house, with contract for heating and plumbing, and also for a frame structure, designated a temporary freight-house, and a contract for an approach to the terminal. At New York there were contracts for heating, plumbing, water-supply, certain electrical equipment and two 3-ton jib cranes at Gowanus bay and one 3-ton burtoning crane at Mott Haven. The largest terminal contract of the year was for the grain elevator at Gowanus. Aside from New York and Rochester the only new contract was for a house and gravel surfacing at the terminal at Brockport.

In this account of canal and terminal construction the record has been carried beyond the time of virtual completion of the canal project. Terminals of course are adjuncts which may be annexed to a waterway singly or at any time without greatly affecting the canal at large, and since the terminals for the Barge canal were begun much later than the channel and moreover certain terminal features have been added but recently, their construction is being protracted beyond the canal construction period. The whole length of the canal was open for traffic on May 15, 1918. Not every last thing, however, relating to even the channel itself was completed at that time, but there was nothing which would prevent full and free navigation. For a year or so afterward the uncompleted work was being finished and since then a few improvements and certain incidental work have been in progress, their purpose being to furnish that which experience has dictated as adding to navigation facilities.


    1   For the total cost of construction work and the statement concerning the reason for a further increase, see the chapter containing tables of contracts.
    2   The terminal at Schuylerville is located on a branch of the unimproved Champlain canal and is available only for the use of craft of the ordinary canal boat type.

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