Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/58

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52
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

engineers, and materials of almost every kind were rushed to the break from points far and near as fast as it could be taken care of. Piles were driven, a temporary road was constructed across the break, and there was almost a continual dumping of rock, gravel and dirt into the gap. A carload of material was dumped every seven minutes both day and night, and in the short period of thirteen days 100,000 tons were disposed of, bringing the dam up to water level. Much of this material was hauled a distance of 380 miles.

The Clarke Dam was practically completed February 10, 1906, and the river was declared conquered. The dam proper is 1,200 feet in length, of which 700 feet is of rock and 500 feet of gravel and earth. Work, however, did not cease with the completion of the dam, and, since February 10, several miles of earth embankment have been built to insure permanent success. This work will continue until about sixteen miles of levee is built along the west bank of the river, in addition to the two dams with a combined length of 4,200 feet. The river, in the vicinity of the breaks, or dams, and near the international boundary line, for a distance of about seven miles, flows through a throat only 2,160 feet wide, and is considerably higher than the territory lying to the west. The levee follows the river for this distance, and then swings away to the west towards the Black Buttes, leaving the river below this point to follow its own inclinations.

The California Development Company and the Southern Pacific Railroad Company have expended to date upon this work a sum in excess of $3,500,000. This is an enormous sum to dump into a river, it seems, but since the river is captured and all interests immune from further trouble, the two companies feel amply rewarded.

The United States government has inaugurated steps to place Imperial Valley in charge of the Government Reclamation Service, but what the outcome of the move will be is not yet known. In the meantime the California Development Company will conutine to manage the colony, and will install new head-gates for their irrigation ditches and otherwise improve the system. The farmers of the valley feel secure now for the first time in two years, and Imperial Valley promises to become a prospering community.