Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/594

This page needs to be proofread.


544

CANALS

AND

INLAND

NAVIGATION

[eueope

houses have been built for the accommodation of the work- This work, which was delayed through financial considerations and the traffic on the canal, was not completed till people required to meet the enlarged trade of the city. The Gloucester and Berkeley Canal.—The first Act auth- December 1898. The dredging on the canal is being orizing the construction of this canal was passed in the continued, and it is expected that a depth of 31 feet will be year 1793 ; five subsequent Acts for making alterations in obtained by 1902. The ultimate width (at a depth of 26 its route and raising funds were obtained, but the works feet 3 inches) is intended to be 213 feet in straight reaches, were not completed until 1827. Mr Robert Mylne was and 246 to 260 feet on curves, between Port Said and the the first engineer employed, but afterwards Mr Telford Bitter Lakes; thence to Suez 246 feet, increasing to 262 was called in to revise the plans, and they were carried feet on curves. The limit of draught of vessels has been inout under his direction. It was originally proposed to creased from 24 feet 6 inches to 25 feet 7 inches, nine admake the entrance at Berkeley Pill, but it was afterwards ditional sidings or passing-places have been provided, and constructed at a more sheltered position at Sharpness the general use of the electric light has enabled steamers Point. The water supply is derived from the river Frome, to continue their voyage day and night, thus considerably which in its course to the Severn crosses the canal at a shortening the time occupied in passing through the canal. Corinth Canal.—This ship canal crosses the Isthmus point where it is joined by the Stroudwater Navigation; of Corinth, the land along its route being low at each end, this connects it with the Thames and Severn Canal and the inland navigations. The navigation of the Severn from but high in the central portion. It is the revival of a Sharpness to Gloucester is circuitous and dangerous, and scheme dating back so far as 600 B.C., when Periander while the distance is 28 miles, the length of the canal employed Egyptian engineers to survey the isthmus; in between the same points is 161 miles. It is on one level a.d. 66 Nero commenced the works along the' site of the throughout, having basins at both ends for shipping, and present canal, but at his death they were abandoned. locks to the Severn. The depth is 18 feet, and vessels After the failure to construct the canal, a slipway was which draw more water lighten their cargoes at Sharpness. made, over which small vessels were transferred on wooden Sailing ships were formerly towed up the canal by horses, rollers. The works of the canal were commenced in 1882, but since 1869 steam tugs have been used. The cargoes but were not completed until 1893 through lack of funds. It is nearly 4 miles long, and it shortens the sea route are generally timber or grain. Exeter Canal.—This canal is an interesting work, being from the Gulf of Patras to the Gulf of Athens by 180 miles. It passes through the isthmus in a straight line, the first canal carried out in the United Kingdom for the with the advantage of not crossing any river; only one purpose of enabling seagoing vessels to pass to an inland bridge, serving both for railway and road traffic, was report. The river Exe was very early utilized by small quired over the canal to join the island cut off from the craft trading to Exeter, Parliament having granted powers mainland. The bottom width of the canal is 72 feet, the for the improvement of the navigation by the construction depth of water 26 feet. The work was commenced by of a canal 3 miles long from Exeter to the river; at a dredging entrance canals at each end and constructing later date this canal was extended lower down to the tidal breakwaters. Trial shafts were sunk along the line of the estuary of the Exe. Previous to the year 1820 it was to determine the nature of the strata through which only available for vessels of a draft not exceeding 9 feet, canal the cutting to be made, but as has often been the case but by deepening it, raising the banks, and constiucting with other had works a similar character, the material new locks, vessels drawing 14 feet of water were enabled proved to be of a of more difficult nature than had been to pass up to a basin and wharves at Exeter. These works anticipated, and the numerous faults and irregularities in were carried out by Mr James Green under the advice, of the strata largely increased the cost beyond the estimate. Mr Telford. The canal is still useful for the coasting At one point the cutting is 287 feet deep, and for a length trade in coal and timber, but the great increase in the size of 2 miles it averages 200 feet. The total amount of of steamers and sailing vessels has diminished its import excavation was nearly 15,000,000 cubic yards. Much of ance, more particularly as it. does not terminate in a this was rock, but as it was too soft to resist erosion by manufacturing or mineral district. . wash of steamers, long lengths of the canal had to be Neivry Canal.—This, the only ship canal in li eland, the protected by masonry or rubble stone, 436,000 cubic yards was constructed between the years 1/.61 and 1/69. being quarried for this purpose. Notwithstanding these the Gloucester and some other canals, it was made to avoid costly precautions, the sides of the canal have given much the upper and shallow part of a river navigation, the rivei trouble since its opening, and slips have occurred causing Newry being only navigable to that town on high tides blocks to traffic. Owing to deficient width and strong for small vessels. At first the canal was only 2 miles currents, the traffic is principally confined to small vessels lon^, from Fathom to Newry, but in 1829 it passed from the^hands of the Irish Board of Navigation to a private and passenger steamers. The total cost amounted to £3,000,000. company, who obtained powers to lengthen it 1^ miles nearly Cronstadt Canal.—This canal was made with the object seawards to deeper water, and also to improve the navigabringing St Petersburg into direct connexion with the tion of the river thence to Carlingford Lough, according of Baltic for large vessels; these had previously been preto plans prepared by Sir John Rennie. The river was vented from reaching that city by the bar of the Neva, improved by blasting and dredging, and the old canal the transhipment of their cargoes into barges at enlarged to the same width and depth as the new portion, and Cronstadt caused considerable expense and delay. Peter enabling vessels of 131 feet draught to pass from the sea the Great originally designed and began the canal, but to Newry the works were not proceeded with after his death. In Suez Canal (see Ency. Brit. vol. iv. pp. 789-792, and vol. 1877 operations were again commenced, and they were xxii pp 620-621).—The rapid increase of traffic and the completed in 1885. Starting from the Neva at St Petersgreater size of the vessels using the canal caused so much burg, the canal diverges from the estuary channel and delay in the passage, that a consultative commission was proceeds in a south-westerly direction for about 2 miles; formed in 1884 to consider the question of either enlarging then curving round towards the north-west, it runs in a the existing canal or constructing another one alongside it. straight line to Cronstadt, the total distance being 1 h After full investigation they unanimously decided m favour miles. For the first 7| miles it is protected by embankof increasing the depth of the canal from 26 feet to -A feet ments formed with part of the excavated material, and it 10 inches, and the width from 72 feet to 121 feet 4 inches.