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equipped with steam-heating coils, was built at the boundary, at Yellowstone, Montana, with a capacity of two cars of oil, and a track of the Oregon Short Line Railway extended to permit unloading of cars direct into the pit. A retort was also built adjacent to the pit, to heat the oil, prior to use, to a higher degree than practicable with steam.
Five miles of road at the west entrance was completed with oilmacadam surfacing during the year, although it is possible that the last three-quarters of a mile will require considerable repair next spring. The rock used on this particular stretch, although crushed from boulders which seemed of good quality, has not turned out as well as desired under rolling and the wear of traffic.
In the oil-macadam work so far done there have been used two different grades of heavy California asphalt oils, and one mile has been treated with Tarvia, experimentally, in lieu of oil. The wear of these adjacent stretches should, by the next season, give a very good comparison of the different materials used, which will be a valuable aid in further surfacing in the park.
Firehole River realignment. This realignment, which will replace most of the road lying between the Madison Junction and the Firehole Cascades, was begun in June and completed for a distance of about 3,500 feet. Surveys have been made beyond this distance. This new location will greatly improve the grades and will open up a very fine stretch of river scenery, replacing with an unusually attractive road one which is quite deficient in such qualities. When this new road is completed and opened up it is believed that the main traffic will shift to it instead of passing over the Mesa Road, which, like the present Firehole River branch of the west approach, is extremely uninteresting and hilly.
The new road is for the most part in very heavy rock work, for which reason an air-compressor drilling plant has been purchased and installed, resulting in very considerable increase in speed and decrease in the cost of the work.
IN THE PARK.
In addition to general spring repairs, such as were made on the belt line, the work of widening and improving
the south approach for combined horse-drawn and automobile traffic, as specially appropriated for by Congress, was continued.
Widening and grading.--About 54 miles of road south of the Thumb has been widened and graded during the year, including a realignment about 3,000 feet long.
Bridges and culverts.—The 4-span log bridge over Lewis River was rebuilt, as were several other small bridges and culverts.
IN THE FOREST RESERVE.
Snake River Bridge.—The allotments for the two fiscal years 1915 and 1916 for the road in the forest reserve south of the park have been lumped for the purpose of building a 100-foot span steel bridge over Snake River. The contract for the steel and erection has been let, and the abutments have been built. The bridge will not be completed until next year.
As on the belt line, general repairs were made to the east approach both in the park and in the forest reserve, to maintain same in condition for traffic; and the work of widening and improving the road, to make same safe for both animal-drawn and motor-propelled vehicles, under the special appropriation for this purpose, was pushed as much as the money available would permit.
IN THE PARK.
Early snows and freezing weather in the fall of 1914, and the extremely wet weather in the spring of 1915, retarded the work and increased the cost considerably on the section of the east road located inside the park.
Widening and grading.—This work has been brought to completion on all except about 5 miles, of which 14 miles (94 to 11 miles from the Lake Junction) has been partially widened. The balance uncompleted consists of the 2 miles between the 11 and 13-mile posts and about 1} miles between the 19 and 21-mile posts, which last-named stretch involves considerable rock work.
The work during the past year included grading down short hills and filling in the intervening low places, besides widening, between the 4 and 64-mile posts; widening and grading from the 6} to the 91mile points, including a 1,000-foot realignment to greatly improve the alignment and grade on the hill eastward from Turbid Lake; partially widening and grading between the 91 and 11-mile posts à 12-mile relocation of the road at the crossing of Cub Creek, about 13} miles from the Lake Junction, where the old road was in a bad location on the creek bank, and subject to serious slides (it was here considered better and more economical to build a new road on nearly level benches farther from the creek than to improve the old road); and widening and grading between the 141 and 18-mile posts (including a 1,000-foot realignment at the highest point on the east road near the 15-mile post from the Lake) and between 203 and 23} miles from the Lake.
Graveling.-The road was graveled over about one-quarter of a mile between the Lake Junction and the Yellowstone River bridge; over the 2 miles between the 3 and 5-mile posts from the Lake Junction, and for 1 mile between the 7 and 8-mile posts from Lake Junction. Both of the first two stretches needed graveling very badly, having during the rains of May and June this year become all but impassable.
Turnout at Lake Junction.-A turnout was built at the Lake Junction, completing a triangle at this point and connecting the east road with the branch of the belt line leading to the north or in the direction of the Canyon. Previously the junction had consisted of a single turnout from the east approach to the south branch of the belt line, making the turn for traffic from the north belt line onto the east road so sharp that freight wagons could not make it, but were compelled to pass to a point beyond where they could turn completely around and then enter the east road from the south.
Bridges and culverts.-A new log bridge of 20-foot span was built at the crossing of the realignment over Cub Creek. The bridge at
the outlet to Turbid Lake, about 64 miles from Lake Junction, was rebuilt, the elevation of the bridge and approaches being made 5 feet higher than originally, thereby eliminating the former sharp descent to the bridge. Minor repairs to other bridges were made where necessary, and a number of galvanized-iron culverts were installed in connection with the other work of improvement. The viaduct or loop bridge on the east slope of Sylvan Pass needs replacing, and the work of so doing has been begun, but will not be completed until next year, work now having been suspended.
IN THE FOREST RESERVE.
Widening, grading, and surfacing:-During the year about 22 miles of the east approach was widened and graded, and surfaced where needed, making a total of 25 miles completed and leaving 2} miles (between the 6 and 8}-mile posts from the park boundary) yet to be improved. A large amount of very heavy rockwork was involved in this section, especially the half farther from the park. The work also included several realignments as follows: One about one-quarter of a mile long, 900 feet of which was along a rock cliff, 2} miles from the park boundary; one 6,000 feet long at Holm Lodge and Libby Flats, between 8 and 10 miles from the boundary; and one about 1 mile long at the location of the new steel bridge over the North Fork of Shoshone River, 21} miles from the park boundary.
Steel bridges.-Contracts were let for the steel and erection of three low curved top chord-steel bridges, 100-foot span each, with riveted joints, located as follows: Two over the North Fork of the Shoshone River, 2 and 214 miles, respectively, from the park boundary, and one over Elk Fork, 23 miles from the boundary. The concrete abutments and floors of these bridges are being built by the Government. At this date the Elk Fork bridge is practically completed except for the floor, and the abutments for the two bridges over the North Fork are about half completed.
Other bridges and culverts.—Minor repairs were made where necessary to other bridges and culverts, and a number of galvanized iron culverts were installed in connection with the other work of improvement.
COOKE CITY ROAD.
General improvement.—The work begun last year of widening and improving the road leading from Tower Falls to the northeast boundary, known as the Cooke City Road, was continued during the summer of 1915. The road was widened for about 4 miles and graveled an aggregate distance of about 2 miles, where most needed; and about 65 log bridges and culverts of various spans were installed. About 7 miles of road, beginning at the northeast boundary, has now been placed in very fair condition.
Work by Robert I. Mc Kay. In addition to the work done at Government expense on the Cooke City Road, there has been some work done by Mr. Robert I. McKay and associates, who have considerable mining interests at Cooke City, Mont., about 4 miles outside the northeast boundary. As Mr. McKay has a permit from the Interior Department to operate motor trucks and trailers through the park from Cooke City to Gardiner, Mont., for the purpose of
8161°—INT 1915—VOL 1
hauling ore, machinery, etc., he and his associates are interested in the upkeep and improvement of the road. The principal work done by these interests to date consists of a realignment, 3,600 feet long, around what is known as the Ash Grade and S Hill, between 8 and 9 miles from the northeast boundary. This realignment slightly shortened the road and eliminated a hill with a 130foot climb, having an average road grade of about 6 per cent and a maximum grade of about 19 per cent. The work included the removal of considerable rock, boulders, gravel, etc., by blasting, the building of some crib retaining wall, and the construction of a 10-foot log bridge and five 3-foot and three 4-foot log culverts. In addition, some work was done not on the realignment mentioned, including the building of two log culverts of about 4-foot span each, and the replacing of a 21-foot span log bridge over Lost Creek, a short distance beyond Tower Falls toward Cooke City. At present work is being done by Mr. McKay and his associates on a realignment around a bad hill west of Pebble Creek, about 11 miles from the northeast boundary, on a realignment between the Soda Butte flat and the Jackson grade, about 14} miles from the boundary; and on graveling considerable portions of the road.
WORK IN GENERAL.
Telephone lines.—The opening of the park to automobiles on August 1 made essential an improved telephone service throughout the park. Sixty-three miles of new single-wire telephone line was built by the Engineer Department, which is being paid for by the Interior Department. There was repaired or rebuilt, in addition, 75 miles of telephone line, also at the expense of the Interior Department, excepting a small portion which was paid for by the Engineer Department.
Checking stations. There were built during the year, for the use of and at the expense of the Interior Department, three automobile checking stations, of log construction, located, respectively, at the west entrance, at the Madison Junction, 13} miles from the west entrance, and at the north junction of the Mount Washburn and Dunraven Pass Roads.
Automobile truck.-In line with the opening of the park to automobiles on August 1, 1915, there was purchased by the Engineer Department a 5-ton automobile truck. This has effected a large saving in the cost of the freight hauled by the truck. With the hoped-for extension next year of this method of transportation there will be effected a very considerable economy in the matter of hauling freight, which has always been a serious item in the costs of work done in the park.
Storehouse at Madison Junction.-A substorehouse for the Engineer Department, 108 feet long by 38 feet wide, of log construction, was built during the summer of 1915 at the junction of the Firehole, Gibbon, and Madison Rivers, about 13 miles from the west boundary, to be used principally for the storage of forage purchased in the fall, when the prices are most reasonable.
Gasoline storage tank.--Owing to the large increase in the amount of gasoline engine-driven plant it became advisable to build a 10,000
gallon capacity steel storage tank at Mammoth Hot Springs, thus enabling gasoline to be purchased by the tank carload, and saving about 35 per cent over the cost of the same when purchased in barrels or drums.
The usual season's work of collecting eggs of the black-spotted trout and distributing them from the subhatchery on Yellowstone Lake to points throughout the United States was continued under the direction of the superintendent of the United States hatchery at Bozeman, Mont., Mr. W. T. Thompson, who also furnished trout for planting in park waters as follows:
May 11, 1915, 15,000 eastern brook trout in Blacktail Deer Creek, and the same number on the same date in Obsidian Creek. The usual plants of the surplus black-spotted trout were also made in park waters adjacent to the lake.
A pamphlet on "The Fishes of the Yellowstone National Park," Bureau of Fisheries, Document 818, printed in 1915, has been furnished for distribution during the past season and has proven a very popular and useful document to those interested in fishing in the park.
Frequent rains throughout the summer, causing constant growth of grass, provided an abundance of pasture for all kinds of herbivorous animals. And on account of the cool weather due to the rains, elk, deer, and antelope remained in lower altitudes than usual, and were consequently often seen by tourists along the regular stage routes.
The woven-wire fence along the north line of the park near the northern entrance kept the antelope from leaving the park by drifting down the Yellowstone River, as they are inclined to do during severe storms if allowed to follow their own instincts. They were fed whenever necessary during the winter from the alfalfa hay raised on the field near the entrance arch, and while the winter was so open and the herd so scattered that an accurate count was not secured they were all in fine condition in the spring, and there is no doubt that there was a normal increase in the herd. Last fall there were 192 tons of alfalfa hay on hand for use during the winter in feeding the antelope, mountain sheep, and deer. As the winter was very mild it was necessary to feed but 80 tons, leaving 112 tons that were carried over to this year. During the summer the 451-acre field has been kept watered and has been cut twice and the hay, amounting to 82 tons, stacked for next winter. A part of the field has grown up enough so that it will be cut again, so there are something over 200 tons of hay in stack for the coming winter. This field was cared for and hay cut and stacked under contract this season at a cost of $5 per ton for the hay in stack. The same work cost $6.09 per ton season of 1914.