Collecting our data.
The last column, it will be observed, is only a comparison of the artificial works, and does not consider the river navigation. It remains to make comparison of the cost of navigation, including river and canal. In the comparisons that have been instituted to show the relative cost between canal and river or lake transportation, one mile of the former has been considered equal to near three miles of the latter, but that included tolls. If tolls be left off it will be something less than two of river to one of canal; assuming for this comparison the ratio of two to one, the cost of navigation would be shown by including river, canal and locks, (exclusive of tolls,) and will be as follows
If tolls be added on the portion of canal on each route at 5 mills, or half a cent., per ton per mile, it may be represented by adding to the last column in Table 4, 5. of the actual length of canal, which is the proportion of the cost of canal transportation allowed for toll ; the comparison by miles of canal will be as follows:
It appears from Table No. 4 that the cost of transportation, without regard to tolls, will be the cheapest on the Beauharnois Route by nearly one-fifth. And from No. 5, including tolls, it will be near four per cent. cheaper than the most favourable of the other routes, or than the Caughnawaga direct route for the Western trade.
It will have been perceived that the above includes a portion of the canals on the St. Lawrence, that are now in operation, and can form no part in comparisons for cost of construction. I now proceed to state of estimated cost of construction for the projected St. Lawrence and Champlain Canal on the several routes.
For details of the preceding estimates, I beg leave to refer to the accompanying report of E. H. Tracy, Esquire, who has conducted the surveys. The estimates have been made under my advice, and with much more care than usual in such examinations. They show larger cost of work than has heretofore been estimated. It is known that hasty preliminary estimates for such works are usually insufficient to meet the cost of construction, and as this examination has been more full, ascertaining more completely the items of cost and the value of work to be done, it should be expected to be more accurate, and consequently more reliable. The aggregates have appeared to me large, but after review it has not appeared proper to reduce them. The canal is larger, and it is designed to be well executed, with side walls the whole length, and in every respect suitable for the best accommodation of the navigation. The canal, you will see, is larger and the locks longer than provided for in former estimates. The plan of construction has aimed at stability and permanence, and furnish a work that will require comparatively small annual repairs. I feel confident they will be found a good approximation to the actual cost of constructing the work.
I feel great pleasure in saying that Mr. Tracy has conducted the surveys with energy and skill, which is neither more nor less than I expected; and that the assistants placed under his charge by your Honorable Board have cordially co-operated, discharging their respective duties with a highly commendable assiduity and intelligence.
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