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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/464

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Isthmus. Messrs, Vignaud, Barbaud, Blanleuil & Co. have the second division, which includes the Tavernilla, San Pablo, Gorgona, and Matachin sections, and is 17·65 kilometres long. They have built several railways in France, and are experienced in the construction of internal canals. The third falls to the Société de Travaux Publics et Constructions, which has a capital of $600,000, and is known in France and Brazil for successful railway work; it consists of the sections of Obispo and Emperador, and is 9·6 kilometres long. The fourth, or section of Culebra, extends over 3·4 kilometres, and is controlled by the young and energetic firm of Artigue, Sonderegger & Co.; and Messrs. Baratoux, Letellier & Co. have agreed to open the last division to the waters of the Pacific within the next two years. It is 17 kilometres long, and extends from the Culebra to Panama. The company has also established three physical divisions, each with reference to the engineering problems involved. The first is 44 kilometres long, and extends from Colon to the Gamboa hills at Matachin, the difficulty lying in the vicinity of the Chagres. The second lies between Gamboa and the end of the Culebra; it contains the highest summits and the greatest quantity of rock, and it will be the line of deepest cuts. The third extends from the Culebra to the Pacific; here the earth will admit of dredging throughout, but the Rio Grande must be deflected from the line of the canal.

The first division begins at Colon with a terre-plein that was formerly the site of a marsh, containing 230,000 cubic metres of earth, and surrounded by a sea-wall; the terre-plein protects the entrance of the canal from the waves that would enter otherwise from the Bay of Lirnon. It is the site also of the village of Christoval-Colon, where the offices and quarters of the section employés are found.

As the Bay of Limon is exposed to the sea and to the gales of this region, the company is making a new harbor, which is styled the port of Colon. It lies south of the terre-plein, and, when complete, will be formed by Fox River and the expansion of the first 3 kilometres of the canal into a basin. The width of the entrance will be 800 metres; thence to the six-hundredth metre of length, the breadth of the basin will decrease to 500 metres, and will remain uniform as far as the second kilometre, whence it will narrow gradually to the third, where the normal surface width of 40 metres begins. A curved breakwater of 1,500 metres length will prolong the right bank into the bay, and will further protect the port from winds and waves. The new port will afford security to vessels and every facility of wharfage for handling cargo.

The canal is open to water as far as the seventeenth kilometre from Colon, except at the Mindi hills, where a cut of 1,080 metres remains to be completed. Its width for the first 500 yards is 225 metres; throughout the remainder of the basin it varies from 175 to 80 metres, and finally narrows to the normal at the third kilometre. The delay