BARGE CANAL FOR NEW YORK STATE.
GOVERNOR ODELL has recommended that the sum of $26,000,000, more or less, be spent on making a barge canal for 450-ton barges,instead of a 300-ton barge canal as at first contemplated. The bill is now before the legislature, and the sum proposed is more by $6,000,000 than the governor recommended at first, and less by $2,000,000 than the canal men asked. The latter difference arises from the fact that the plan includes the old route from the Hudson to the Mohawk instead of a new river route. The present capacity of the canal is for 250-ton boats, and under the $9,000,000 improvement, the continuation of which was urged by the governor, the gain over the present capacity would be about seventy tons, at a cost of $20,000,000. It was urged that, it there could he gained a carrying capacity of from 140 to 200 tons more by the expenditure of an additional sum of from $6,000,000 to $8,000,000, it would he the height of folly not to accept the opportunity, in view of the gigantic strides and most sweeping changes which have been made in commercial and industrial conditions since the canal, if enlarged by the Seymour plan, was generally regarded as sufficient. The $20,000,000 increases the capacity of the canal only seventy tons, while, by expending about $6,000,000 more, its capacity will be increased at least 140 tons more, or a total Increase of 210 tons, which will reduce the carrying cost to about eight-tenths of a mill per ton for each mile. The governor and the conference thereon decided on $26,000,000 as the amount, the bonds to run for seventeen years, bearing interest at three and one-half per cent. In order to reduce the expense somewhat, the plan of building a new canal from Cohoes to Rexford Flats on the eastern end is abandoned. The proposed canal follows the lines of the old canal, and is to be nine feet deep, and the sharp curves at points in the canal are to he straightened so as so facilitate the use of the longer boats. It will build the largest locks that have been recommended at Lockport in connection with any plan of improvement, lower mitre sills and culverts, so as to get the nine feet of water throughout the entire channel, and generally make all necessary repairs to the present bridges, structures, retaining walls, etc., and give a first-class canal of that capacity. Those who are interested in maintaining the commercial superiority of the State, and especially in hindering the carrying trade from being diverted to Montreal by the St. Lawrence canals system,to the detriment of the port of New York, will hail with joy this project, and tnke it as an earnest of additional canal improvement in the near future. When completed, this work will add further laurels to recent achievements in the way of hydraulic engineering.