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GRADE DAMAGES.

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The following amounts, assessed to the streets where the damages occurred, were paid under orders passed by the Board of Aldermen. Arnold street,

$100 00 Church street,

250 00 A street,

662 00 Eutaw street,

100 00 Broadway,

500 00 West Dedham street,

700 00 Marginal street,

600 00 $2,912 00

RECAPITULATION.

City Proper, South Boston, East Boston, Incidentals, Grade Damages,

$87,607 09 27,151 11 36,048 38 38,739 90 2,912 00

$192,458 48

The amount originally appropriated for Paving, &c., for the financial year 1856–57, was $160,000.00, to which was added, in December, by transfer, $10,000.00, to meet the expenditures incurred by the raising of the grade of Fayette Street, and the houses of several of the abutters thereon, as per agreement with them.

The total expenditures of the financial year 1856–57, as above set forth, were, 159,161.50, leaving a balance of the appropriation, Jan. 1st, 1857, of $10,838.50.

The amount of bills for constructing sidewalks, &c., lodged with the City Treasurer, during the year 1856, for collection, was $9,766.82. Of this amount, $9,603.82 was lodged in the month of December. The amount paid into the City Treasury, during the year 1856, for constructing sidewalks, &c., and credited as having been paid in by the Paving Department, was $6,872.71. During the financial year 1856–57, to Jan. 1st, 1857, it was $835.37.

During the year a bridge has been constructed over the track of the Boston and Worcester Railroad, across Albany Street, under the direction and authority of the Committee on Paving, and the supervision of the City Engineer. This structure was built under the authority of an order of the Board of Aldermen, and by a special appropriation.

Orders have been passed by the Board of Aldermen to extend North Charles Street, from that portion in front of the Jail

, nearly to Allen Street, upon a pile structure, as no satisfactory arrangements could be made with the abutters along the line of said street, as laid out, for building a solid street. The amount needed for this work has been authorized to be borrowed, and a contract for building of the pile bridge has been entered into with Edward G. Brown, for the sum of $19,700.00. The work is to be completed June 1st, 1857, and is to be done under the supervision of the City Engineer, and subject to the approval of the Committee on Paving.

The details of the expenditures of the Paving Department, for the municipal year 1856, having been given, I would respectfully ask the consideration of the City Council to the following matters, which have come under my notice:

THE MATERIALS USED FOR PAVING THE STREETS.

The Terry iron blocks, which were laid down in Washington street, between Court and School streets, have not worn so satisfactorily as could have been desired, inasmuch as they do not keep down, and bind with the gravel, and make a solid surface, as those which were laid in Court street. There is more or less vibration, or shaking of the blocks, which is accounted for, I think, by their lightness and shallowness. The Washington street block is much lighter to the square yard than the Court Street block, and was laid down at a cost of $4 per yard cheaper than that of the Court street block. Experience, even only thus far, has conclusively shown that if iron pavement is to be used in our streets, the Court street block is as light an article as should be laid down to make a suitable pavement, and that it will be the cheapest in the end. The iron blocks were laid down in Court street, in July, 1853, and since that time only one of them has become broken, and that not so badly as to be replaced. Of the Washington street blocks, which were laid down in the fall of 1855, several became so badly broken that they had to be replaced. The Court street block measures on the surface 12 inches, is 5 1-2 inches deep, and weighs 36 lbs. The Washington street block measures 14 inches on the surface, is 4 1-2 inches deep, and weighs 31 lbs. The iron blocks on Court Street form a substantial and compact pavement, perfectly easy and secure to travel

The price of the Court street block was $10, and the Washington street block $6, per square yard.

Of the Nicholson wood pavement, but 725 6-9 yards

over.

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have been laid down the past year, and that in Chauncy street, between Bedford and Summer streets, at the urgent request of the abutters thereon, who asked for this kind of pavement, on the ground that they should have as quiet a thoroughfare for travel as could be obtained, on account of Bedford and Chauncy places being opened into a highway, by the sole action of the city government. This pavement in Chauncy street was laid down in a different manner from that on Washington street. The wood used was chesnut, but not of the best quality. Mr. Nicholson is now in favor of using hard wood, instead of soft, as heretofore. He is of the opinion that hard wood, laid with his preparation, will wear as long as round stones. The paving of Chauncy street was not completed last fall, in consequence of the building going on at the corner of Summer and Chauncy Streets. It will be completed the coming spring. The Committee on Paving, of last year, were adverse to the paving of any more streets with wood for the present, and only consented to favor the paving of Chauncy street with that material on account of the peculiar circumstances of the case under which it was opened as a public highway. One great objection to the wooden pavement, on such a street as Washington street, is, that during a rain storm, and after a slight fall of snow, it is very slippery for horses to travel

over.

The round stone paving I believe to be the best, cheapest, and most durable for the streets of the City of Boston. Our streets are so much broken into, for sewer, water and gas purposes, that with no pavement can they be repaired with so much cheapness and

rapidity as with round stone. A much smaller size of round stones is now used than was used several years ago. An order has been passed by the Board of Aldermen authorizing the Superintendent of Streets to pave the south side of State street, from Washington street to Devonshire street, with round flat stones similar to those which now form the pavement on the northerly entrance to State street. The portion of the street in question is now paved with granite blocks, which are very bad for heavily loaded teams to draw over. Nearly enough stones for this object are now on hand, and the order will undoubtedly be executed early the present year.

WATERING STREETS.

In previous reports the watering of the streets with salt water instead of fresh, has been urged; and I am happy to record that during the past summer our streets have been watered with salt instead of fresh water, as for many years previous, much to the advantage of pedestrians and the benefit of paved streets. The watering of the streets with salt water having resulted so beneficially, it will undoubtedly be continued.

STREET RAILROADS.

The past year the Metropolitan Railroad Company have laid down their tracks under the authority granted to them, as follows, viz.: double tracks in Washington street, from the line between Roxbury and Boston, to Dover street; a single track in Washington street, from Dover street to Boylston street; a single track in Boylston street, to Tremont street; a single track in Dover

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