THE CROTON DAM AND THE JEROME PARK RESERVOIR.
Elsewhere will be found the report of the Croton aqueduct commissioners on the subject of the changes in the construction of the new Croton dam and the Jerome Park reservoir, which Chief Engineer Hill had pronounced structurally faulty and defective, and, therefore, a source of probable danger and future expense to the city. His view of the ease, it will be remembered, was indorsed bv a commission of expert engineers appointed by the aqueduct commissioners to investigate and report upon the matter, and the recommendations were adopted and are being carried out. The know-italls. however, being perturbed over the matter (because their advice had not been asked) at once set themselves in battle array against the changes, and foremost among them was that aggregation of busybodies composing the Merchants’ association. That organisation, as usual, turned from its legitimate occupation of seeking to improve the trade of New York, and devoted itself to the more congenial task of interfering with, and criticising things of which it knows nothing. One of its favorite pursuits is that of Titus Oates in the days of Charles II., of England, with this difference, that, whereas that meddlesome mischiefmaker smelt Popery in everything the advisers of the Merry Monarch planned or did. the Merchants’ association smells jobbery in every appointment to office as to which it has not been consulted, aud in every proposal to improve the city’s departments and public works which it has not initiated. So far, however, as the charges in the construction of the Croton dam or the Jerome Park reservoir are concerned, they have met their Waterloo, and President Ten Eyck, of the aqueduct board, has been the Wellington on this occasion. A study of the report will show that Chief Engineer Hill, one target against whom the association aims its shafts, was not the initiator of the changes at the dam. but only the official on whose shoulders fell the mantle of his immediate predecessor, who in the beginning had recommended the same changes, in order to secure absolute safety, so far as regarded the Croton dam—only he did not go so far as his successor, indorsed bv an expert commission, said it was necessary to go. The outcome will be a dam improved in every way. with safety secured to the public. In the plans for the construction of the Jerome Park reservoir, also, and some of the work already done, Chief Engineer Hill discovered serious faults, both in design and construction one of which, the existence of a quicksand below the foundation of the embankment, which had to be remedied by the erection of a heavy retaining wall, directly threatened the public safety, while another—namely, the gatehouse, with its complicated arrangement of gates and the overlight pipes to be laid on the floor of the reservoir indirectly menaced the well being of the community. These errors in design and defects in construction the commission of experts, agreeing with Chief Engineer Hill, recommended should be remedied at once, and their recommendations are being carried out in such a way as not only to save the possibility of an enormous outlay in the future in the way of breaks and floods, but also to improve the construction and work already begun, increase the capacity of the reservoir, and save money at the same time. AH this has been achieved at the cost of less than $1,000,000—a mere fleabite, when added to the total expenditure in these two great works, and, the Merchants’ association to the contrary notwithstanding, an outward and visible saving of money to the city.