Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/432

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
passing vessels, and more particularly to vessels of the great size which the Panama Canal is designed to accommodate. The board is of opinion that this consideration should be of determining force in respect to the type of canal to be adopted, and that it should lead to rejection of all proposed plans in which lift-locks, whether few or many, form the principal or dominating features, and consequently to the acceptance of the sea-level plan as the only one giving reasonable assurance of safe and uninterrupted navigation.

The majority then set forth that no canal with locks can fulfil these requirements and that the sea-level canal is the only type of canal that can give reasonable assurance of safe and uninterrupted navigation. They refer to three accidents in the preceding nine years arising from collisions between steamers and lock gates on the "Soo," and to three accidents of a like nature on the Manchester Canal, and to the disastrous results that would have followed such accidents at the locks

PSM V74 D432 Trestle dump outside of the sosa corozal dam.png

Trestle Dump just outside of East Toe of the Sosa-corozal Dam.
Ancon Hill and Ancon Hospital buildings in the background.

of larger dimensions and higher lift on the Panama Canal. They placed the estimated cost of a sea-level canal at less than $250,000,000, and thought that it could be completed in twelve to thirteen years. They strongly condemned any provisional treatment such as the construction of a lock canal.

It is interesting to find among these members Mr. Hunter, the chief engineer of the Manchester Ship Canal (which is a lock canal), who in a convincing statement explains why, although as a member of the Comité Technique, he favored the lock canal as best suited to the conditions under which the New Panama Canal Company was operating, he is now in favor of the sea-level canal.

As an offset to the recommendation of the majority, a minority of five members, Noble, Abbot, Stearns, Ripley and Randolph favored a lock canal for the following reasons: