THE CROTON DAM.
With reference to the recent charges made by the Merchants’ association the Scientific American has this to say:
“It was to be expected that when the present chief engineer of the aqueduct commission proposed to made a radical change in the plans of the partly completed Croton dam, his action would provoke more or less criticism. The vast importance of this great work, the standing and acknowledged professional ability of the former engineer. Mr. Fteiey, who is responsible for the original design of the dam, and the fact that the radical changes proposed would involve the tearing down of a considerable portion of the completed structure, combined to produce a feeling of astonishment that any such fundamental reconstruction should now he proposed. However, after giving careful consideration to the reasons assigned for the proposed changes, and making a personal investigation at the dam. we came to the conclusion that, so far from having needlessly delayed the completion of the Croton dam, Mr. Hill, the chief engineer. has not only added greatly to the stability and appearance of the structure, but has prevented the incorporation of a feature in the design which, in all likelihood, would have brought about the ultimate collapse of the dam. To say the least, it was a delicate task to propose a change which would look like an indirect censure of the plans of a distinguished predecessor; and it was a daring task, when such changes were certain to provoke a storm of angry opposition from the citizens, who had already grown weary of the prolonged delay in the completion of this much needed work. While we question altogether the judgment, we can fully understand that it was the best of motives which prompted the Merchants’ association of New York to criticise both the present chief engineer of the aqueduct commissioners and the commissioners themselves for the delay of the dam. At the same time it is distinctly fortunate that the present mayor of New York was able to take a clear grasp of the situation, and, so far from removing the commissioners, as the Merchants’ association demanded, did not hesitate to indorse their work, especially as concerns the proposed changes.”