The undersigned have the honor to report that, in accordance with the instructions contained in the agreement of October 18, 1853, between them and the Honorable Commissioners of Public Works, they have examined and partly surveyed the River St. Lawrence, from Prescott to the head of the Lachine Canal, with a view of ascertaining,--" 1st, the character and extent of the obstructions which would have to be removed in order to procure a navigable channel throughout the whole of the Rapids of the St. Lawrence, from Prescott to the head of Lachine Canal, such channel not to be less than two hundred feet in width, to have at no place, at low summer water, a less clear depth than twelve feet, and in the Rapids, subject to much swell, not less than thirteen feet;" " 2nd, the cost at which such improvement could be carried out."
That they have fired fifty sub-marine charges of one hundred and twenty-five pounds of powder each, as an experiment, in different parts of the Rapids, for the purpose of ascertaining whether Mr. Maillefert's new method of blasting rocks under water without drilling could advantageously be made use of for the contemplated improvement.
They are happy to say that both the surveying and the blasting operations have been entirety successful; that it is practicable to open a channel of sufficient width and depth for vessels drawing ten feet, by means of removing the obstructions; and finally, that this great improvement can be carried out for an outlay of not exceeding one hundred and eighty thousand pounds (£180,000.)
The obstructions which it will be necessary to remove are, in the Galoppe Rapids, the North Channel of the Long Sault, and the Rapids between Lakes St. Louis and St. Francis, of which the latter are the most extensive.
Before proceeding to describe these obstructions, and to estimate the cost of their removal, the undersigned beg leave to submit some general remarks relative to, 1st, their surveying operations ; 2nd, the maps which accompany this Report; 3rd, the required width and depth of channel; 4th, the low summer water; 5th, the experimental blasting operations; and 6th, the estimates of cost.
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