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Europe]

CANALS

AND

INLAND

has a bottom width of 207 feet; for the remaining 10 miles it has a bottom width of 275 feet, and is merely a dredged channel through the gulf, without embankments. The depth is 22 feet deep throughout. Three basins, formed by widening out the canal near St Petersburg, give an area of 230 acres for the accommodation of shipping. The total cost of the work, about £1,300,000, was paid by the State, and there are no tolls. Baltic and Black Sea Canal.—A canal has been projected from the Baltic to the Black Sea utilizing the rivers en route. It is proposed to have a bottom width of 115 feet, and a depth throughout of 28 feet, but its great length, nearly 1000 miles, brings up the estimated cost to £100,000,000. The advantage of a deep canal between the Baltic and the Black Sea, entirely through Russian territory, which would enable men-of-war and other steamers to pass inland, is obvious; but it is probable that it would be closed by ice in the winter season, and its heavy cost also makes it very doubtful whether the Russian Government will ever undertake the work. The North Sea and Baltic Canal.—This canal (officially called the Kaiser-Wilhelm Canal) was constructed by the German Government between the years 1887 and 1895, at a cost of about £8,000,000 (of which £2,550,000 was paid by Russia, and the rest by the Imperial Exchequer). It affords a better and shorter route than the sea passage; but it was mainly designed for strategic reasons, its width and depth allowing large ironclads to pass through the German territory of Holstein from the Baltic to the North Sea, without the dangers and delay of the long voyage round Jutland. The average time for passing through the canal is eight to ten hours. It begins in the river Elbe, near Brunsbiittel, and thence traversing the Kuden Lake, passes south of Rendsburg and the Lower Eider to Holtenau, in the harbour of Kiel Bay. It is 61i miles long, with a depth of 291 feet, and a surface breadth of 219 feet, but as its bottom width is only 7 2 feet, large vessels can only pass each other at six places, about 2^ miles apart, where it is specially widened out for the purpose. Locks (492 feet long between the gates, 82 feet

SKETCH MAP OP THE NORTH SEA AND BALTIC CANAL. broad, and 32 feet deep) have been constructed at each end to regulate the height of the water, which is level throughout the whole length. The canal is crossed by two fixed bridges 138 feet above water-level, one at Griinthal, with a span of 513 feet, carrying the Neumiinster-Heide Railway line. I he other at Lewensau, near Kiel, 535 feet in span carrying the Kiel-Flensburg Railway line. There are also three double swing bridges, worked by hydraulic power, at brunsbuttel, Rendsburg, and between Rendsburg and viel. liie total amount of excavation was 106,000,000 cubic yards The work was very difficult through’ the ow lands of the Kuden Lake, where wide sand dams nad to be formed on each side of the canal on soft pea y soil; after the dams had sunk through the peat the canal was dredged between them, the banks being now formed by the sand dams. The advantage to . ermany of a secure inland waterway for the navy is important, but the use by the mercantile marine is only slowly developing, in consequence of the saving in time

NAVIGATION

545 being to some extent neutralized by the tolls charged on the canal. The extent to which the canal has been used, together with par-

table-—°f Year. 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900

reVenue and

expenditure, is shown in the subjoined

Number of Vessels passing- through. Tonnage. 20,068 21,904 25,224 26,524 29,571

Receipts. Expenditure. Percentage tonnage, German.

1,751,065 £48,088 £111,300 2,345,849 59,936 103,740 3,009,011 76,780 113,900 3,451,273 89,370 4,282 258 106,658

67-8 69 ;3 65 62-3

Brussels Canal.—Brussels has long been connected with Antwerp and the Scheldt by a canal 174 miles in length with three locks; this begins in a basin at Brussels and terminates opposite Boom, near Willebroeck, in the river Rupel, by which vessels pass to the Scheldt. As the depth of the canal is only 10| feet, its use is confined to vessels not exceeding 400 tons. It is now proposed to increase the depth to 20 feet, and to enlarge the locks in order to allow steamers of 2000 tons to reach Brussels. The necessary funds, estimated at about £1,500,000, are to be provided by the State, the city, and the neighbouring communes. Chent Canal. Like other towns in Belgium and Holland, Ghent at an early date began to develop a waterway to the sea, and a canal was opened in 1561 to a tributary of the Scheldt at Sas-de-Gand. In 1758 the opening of the canal from Ghent to Bruges gave it another but longer route. It was found that the navigation to the Scheldt was silting up, and a canal was made from Sas-deGand to Terneuzen on the Scheldt, which gave a continuous and direct route to the sea, passing partly through Holland and partly through Belgium. By a convention between those countries a considerable enlargement of the canal was carried out, and the work was completed in 1883. The canal is 20 feet deep, with a bottom width of about 56 feet. There are locks at Sas-de-Gand and Terneuzen 295 feet long and 391 feet wide. The docks at Ghent have been enlarged, and the result of improving the canal has been a considerable increase in the traffic and in the trade of Ghent. Bruges Canal. During the Middle Ages Bruges was a port of importance, having communication with the sea by means of a canal to the Zwyn estuary, which, however, ultimately filled up with sand to such an extent as to prevent navigation. A canal was afterwards made to Ostend, but owing to the increasing size of seagoing vessels, a project was sanctioned for a larger and more direct canal to Zeebrugge, on the seacoast. The work was commenced in 1896, and as it is only 6]- miles long, through flat land, it is free frorn the difficulties that other ship canals have met with; it is 261 feet deep, having a bottom width of 72 feet, with flat slopes pitched with stone near the waterlevel. ^ The canal is expected to be completed in 1902; it is being excavated by dredgers which deposit the soil direct on to the adjacent land by means of shoots, thus forming embankments on each side of the canal. As the coast is not favourable for a deep harbour, an embankment, continued by an open jetty and terminating in a solid breakwater nearly 5000 feet long, is being made to protect the entrance to the canal. The embankment extends to low water west of the canal; the open jetty is designed to permit the flow of the tide across the entrance to scour away deposits of sand or silt. The breakwater curves eastwards for the greater part of its length, when it becomes almost parallel with the shore, extending past the canal entrance. As the harbour will be used as a port of call, the breakwater is provided with a quay wall, railway S. II. — 69