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Senator MORGAN. It was a high level, one of the highest proposed by anybody except Bunau-Varilla.
In regard to surveying there and examining this matter under the exploration commission, then, you took, necessarily, the French surveys as the basis of your calculations. You did not have time to make any extended surveys!
General Hains. You say the first surveys. We took all the surveys that the French had made.
Senator MORGAN. I say you took all that they had made.
Senator MORGAN. But you predicated your conclusions very largely and almost entirely upon French surveys, first and last?
General Hains. Yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. Then you added to that some borings at Bohio and some at Gatun?
General HAINS. Yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. But you did not undertake to bore out the axis of the canal across to Panama?
General Hains. No, sir.
Senator MORGAN. That was the situation in which the engineering stood at the time the committee of exploration under Walker examined and made their report to the President.
I merely wanted to bring those facts out, so that we could get the historical connection between the surveys.
Senator DRYDEN. Is that all that you wish to ask, Senator?
Senator DRYDEN. I wanted to ask you a question. Referring back to your testimony of a few moments ago, you stated in effect that while you deemed the items of cost and time which would be involved in the construction of a sea-level canal as of importance, yet they were not controlling in your mind in leading you to the selection of the lock canal. Will you state wbat other reasons there were besides those of length of time and cost which led you to recommend a lock canal ?
General Hains. The engineering difficulties, partly; and the fact that I do not think the sea-level canal recommended by the consulting board is as good a canal as the other one.
Senator DRYDEN. Do you mean by that to state that if the two types of canal cost the same amount of money and would consume the same amount of time in construction you would still prefer the lock canal ?
General Hains. Well, I think I would still prefer the lock canal, even though the cost was about the same.
Senator DRYDEN. What other element or what other features would be involved, in your mind, in favor of the lock canal? General Hains. Weil
, Senator, there are various things, and I think if you will allow me to state them in the sequence in which I have them here perhaps I shall bring them out clearly to you.
Senator DRYDEN. In your own way, certainly.
Senator MORGAN. That question now brings out all the statements that he wishes to make.
The CHAIRMAN. You have a statement prepared, have you, General ? General Hains. No, sir; I have not a statement. I have merely some notes here.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it would be well under the circumstances,
to let the General go ahead with his statement, and when he gets through we can question him.
Senator DRYDEN. Certainly.
General Hains. I have made some notes here of points that I wish to bring to the attention of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Proceed and make your statement as you have it in your mind, and the members of the committee will then ask you a few questions later on.
General Hains. In respect to the time: The part of the work that determines the time needed to construct the Panama Canal is the Culebra cut. This cut has a length of 13 kilometers (equal to about 8 miles), and the amount of material to be excavated from it for the sea-level plan is, according to the estimates based on the plans and sections of the advisory board, about 110,000,000 cubic yards.
Senator Morgan. Let me ask you, right there: Between what points do you locate what you call the Culebra cut?
General Hains. It is near Obispo; just above Obispo. It is along about here [indicating on map), right near Obispo. It is about 8 miles.
Senator MORGAN. To Miraflores?
General Hains. Not as far as Miraflores, but about to Pedro Miguel. There is 8 miles [indicating on map], and it is just about that distance. I could show you better from the profile.
Senator Morgan. I do not care for the exact figures, but speaking generally it is between Obispo and Pedro Miguel ?
General Hains. Yes, sir. Of this amount of 110,000,000 cubic yards, 77,000,000 cubic yards is classed as rock, and of this rock more than 15,000,000 cubic yards is below the level of high tide in the Pacific Ocean. The depth of the cut from the natural surface on the axis of the canal is about 374 feet and the line of intersection of the slope of the cut with the slope of the ground at the highest point is over 600 feet. That would be about in here [indicating on map). The old land came about like that [indicating).
Senator MORGAN. Do you mean as it is now, or as it will be?
General Hains. I mean the depth down to the level of the water would have been 370 feet.
Senator MORGAN. The ocean level?
Senator MORGAN. Then the canal would be 40 feet deeper than that, if it was constructed on the plan?
General Hains. Yes, sir. And the line of intersection of the slope of the cut with the slope of the ground at the highest point is over 600 feet. A cut of this magnitude is without precedent. Nothing like it has ever been done, and that is another reason that led me to favor the lock canal.
Senator MORGAN. Do you mean the slope would be over 600 feet long?
General Hains. Yes, sir.
Senator KITTREDGE. Is that the engineering difficulty that you mentioned?
General Hains. That is one. If the material were equally distributed along the entire length of the cut the task of removing it, within such limits of time and cost as will meet the reasonable expectations of the country, would be formidable.
Senator MORGAN. Right there let me ask you: You measure that slope at 600 feet; do you mean that takes it down to sea level, or below sea level?
General Hains. That takes it down to sea level.
Senator MORGAN. It would be 640 feet, then, to the bottom of the canal, if the canal was 40 feet deep? General Hains. Yes, sir; it is about that. It is not exactly that.
. You can not tell just exactly where that land comes in. It is, you might say, somewhere about 600 feet.
Senator MORGAN, That is an estimate?
Nearly one-third of the entire amount, viz., about 32,000,000 cubic yards, is concentrated within the length of 2 kilometers, about 1} miles. The concentration of so much excavation within this limited space renders it impracticable to attack it simultaneously from many points. As a consequence, the time needed to complete this particu Iar portion determines the time for completing the whole.
It is generally conceded that the surest and best method of excavating the Culebra Cut is by means of steam shovels or excavators, working, whenever practicable, in the dry and loading the spoils into cars, by which it is transported to suitable dumping grounds, but the difficulties of determining the best arrangement of excavators and car tracks for excavating this part of the cut, the uncertainty that any definite plan can be advantageously carried through without change, and the intricate nature of the problem itself, have failed to be convincing when critically studied. These estimates of time have often been little better than the offhand opinions of experts who are familiar with that class of work, but who have not formulated a definite project for its accomplishment. It is an intricate problem at best, not solved by multiplying the capacity of one excavator on similar work by the number of excavators that it may be assumed can be advantageously employed.
The number of steam shovels that can be profitably worked simultaneously on this section is limited, the difficulties of laying tracks so that the excavators may work continuously are great, the necessity of steep grades or long approaches to reach the various elevations complicates the problem of transportation, the material in the higher parts of the cut is such that it can not be excavated in the wet season to advantage, the lack of dumping grounds in the vicinity, and the frequent stoppage of work due to torrential rains all tend to render calculations as to daily or yearly output uncertain. To some extent this is true of a cut of less depth than that necessary for a sea-level canal, but in a far less degree.
The problem of excavating 50,000,000 cubic yards of material, all above water, is far less difficult to solve than is the problem of excavating 110,000,000 cubic yards, much of it below water. Whatever lessens the magnitude of the work reduces to a greater or less extent the uncertainties of its accomplishment within a specified time. All the high-level projects have been designed with a special view to reducing the magnitude of this cut. If it can be lessened 50 per cent, the task is not only rendered less difficult, but the time and uncertainty of its accomplishment are proportionately reduced.
The excavation of the 15,000,000 cubic yards below water will require different treatment from that above that level, but how it can best be done has never been definitely determined.
The chief engineer of the Nouvelle Panama Canal Company formulated a well-defined plan for excavating this cut for a canal 112 feet wide on the bottom and with a summit level of about 97 feet. The amount of material to be removed, however, from the deep part of the cut was only about 13,500,000 cubic yards as compared with 32,000,000 cubic yards in the sea-level project. The estimated time for making it of these reduced dimensions
was No one will question the engineering ability of Mr. Louis Choron, the chief engineer of the Nouvelle Panama Canal Company, who made this estimate of time, nor will any reasonable person question the fact that there were many reasons why the Nouvelle Panama Canal Company should desire to make this estimate as small as possible and none for making it large. Mr. Choron's assumed average output per steam excavator per day of ten hours for each working day of the year was 444 cubic yards-only a few cubic yards less than the average on the Chicago Drainage Canal.
On the Isthmus, the work being done most of the time under Chief Engineer Wallace, with nine modern American steam shovels, the total output for the nine shovels between February 1, 1905, and July 1, 1905, was 386,185 cubic yards. The number of excavator days made during this time was 714, and the daily average yardage was 541 cubic yards.
On the Chicago Drainage Canal, the largest work of its kind ever undertaken in this country, a work which all will admit was done rapidly, economically, and judiciously, located in a favorable climate, with ideal material to be excavated, abundant labor of all kinds available, located at the very threshold of a base of operation, its dumping grounds alongside within a very few feet, so that the problem of transportation was the simplest and every other condition favorable, yet the average output per steam shovel on that work was 575 cubic yards per shovel per day of ten hours. On the Isthmus the conditions are reversed. Under the circumstances is it safe to assume that the output per shovel on the Isthmus can be reckoned at nearly double what was accomplished on the Chicago Drainage Canal ?
I think the time that has been estimated for the excavation of the sea-level canal is very much underestimated.
Senator Morgan. Before you reach another proposition, I want to ask you one question that strikes my mind: I suppose from the map that is spread out before us, the bottom parallelogram there represents the prism of the canal!
General Hains. The blue one is the prism accepted for making the estimate for the sea-level project.
Senator MORGAN. Yes.
General Hains. The red one is the cross-section taken for estimating the lock-canal project.
Senator MORGAN. Yes; the bottom one represents the sea-level and the one above it represents the lock canal?
General Hains. Yes, sir. Senator MORGAN. I notice that there is quite a difference in what I will call the steepness of the cuts between the two.
General Hains. Yes, Senator; I will refer to that matter.
Senator MORGAN. Very good. I will not ask you any question about it, then.
General Hains. The cost of maintaining that canal, it seems to me, can only be properly estimated by considering the interest on the extra amount of money invested in the work; and if this be considered, it is readily seen that the cost of maintenance will be far less for the lock canal than for the sea-level canal. That is another reason why I prefer the lock canal.
There are to-day, according to the report of the majority, 322 ships having a beam of from 65 to 85 feet.
Senator MORGAN. In the world?
General Hains. Yes, sir. There are 183 having a beam of over 70 feet, and there are 82 that have a beam of over 75 feet. There are 82 ships afloat now that have a beam of 75 feet or upward.
Senator DRYDEN. Those are ships throughout the whole world?
Senator TALIAFERRO. Did you get the draft of those ships that you are speaking of at the same time?
General Hains. Not all of them; no, sir. We have got the draft of the largest ships. I can give you the draft of about ten of the largest ships in the world, presently, if you would like to have it.
Senator TALIAFERRO. I suppose that your purpose there in giving the sizes of the beams of those ships that you have just spoken of is to show the difficulty that they would have in passing each other in the narrow channel of the sea-level canal ?
General Hains. What I want to show is that the canal is too narrow; that the sea-level canal as proposed by the majority of the Consulting Board is a canal that is too narrow, and therefore it is not the kind of a canal that they seem to refer to as being what was required by Congress.
Senator SIMMONS. The draft is sufficient, General, and that is the reason you have not taken into calculation the draft of these vessels, is it not?
General HAINS. Well, I have made a little sketch
Senator SIMMONS. I mean the depth of the sea-level canal is sufficient, and therefore you have not taken into this calculation the draft of the ships?
Senator TALIAFERRO. But, Senator, the width of the canal is very different on the top from what it is on the bottom, and it only requires the deepest draft vessels to observe the bottom lines of the canal in navigating the canal. For instance, a vessel drawing 25 feet of water would go very much nearer the shore of the canal than a vessel drawing 30 feet of water. General Hains. Oh, yes.
Senator TALIAFERRO. And it is for that reason that I think the draft should go with the beams of those ships in order to make your illustration perfect.
General Hains. I will come to that presently, in referring to the depth of the canal. The depth of the lock canal is 5 feet greater than that of the sea level.
Senator KITTREDGE. Where?