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Pickford Brook to Meriden.
At Meriden a new road has been made by very considerable rock cutting and embanking; the roadway is paved with hard sandstones, and coated with hard Warwickshire pebbles properly broken. From Meriden Hill to Pickford Brook Hill the road has been put into a proper form, and coated with six inches of broken pebbles. A new road has been made down Pickford Brook Hill, with a paved bottoming, coated with broken pebbles. This road from Meriden to Pickford Brook has scarcely needed any repairs during the last six years.—Length, 2 miles 88 yards.
Here a new road has been made across collieries, &c. below the town, in order to avoid a steep hill, and save a considerable distance. The bottom of the roadway is paved and coated. with broken stones.—Length, 1 mile 704 yards.
This new improvement saves passing along a very awkward street, and is only about half the distance; it is constructed in the same manner as the last mentioned.— Length, 1,150 yards.
The Wolverhampton improvement has been carried partly over a level field, and partly through old houses in the town; the roadway bottom is made with large cinders, and coated with Rowley rag and Pouck Hill stone.— Length, 1,199 yards.
The first contract proceeded from the public-house downwards to near Bonigale public-house; it is all cutting and embanking; the bottom of the roadway is paved, and the top covered with broken pebbles.—Length, 858 yards.
The second contract consisted in lowering the hill above the public-house, and embanking the hollow east of the hill; the roadway made as the last.—Length, 1,584 yards.
In this formerly steep and dangerous pass there is very considerable cutting in rock, and embanking; a bridge has been widened and raised; the roadway made as at Summerhouse.—Length, 700 yards.
Town of ShiffnaL
This improvement is partly over fields on the west of the town, and partly through some houses adjoining the market-place, and across a brook, where a new bridge has been built; the bottom of the roadway is paved, the top is of broken pebbles.—Length, 456 yards.
Consists wholly of cutting and embanking, and making the roadway same as last. — Length, 957 yards.
Here a new road, from the last-mentioned improvement, has been made to Prior's Leigh, in the same way as that at ShifFnal. — Length, 1689 yards.
At Prior's Leigh there is much cutting and embanking; the roadway has a paved bottom and a coating of broken whinstone; the whole is fenced by stone walls. — Length, 1724 yards.
At Ketley Iron-works an improvement has been made, consisting of cuttings, and an embankment 23 feet in height, also an arched roadway under it; the roadway has a paved bottom, with a covering of broken stone; the fences are of cinders from the iron-works.—Length, 816 yards.
Gobowen to Chirk Bridge.
From the village of Gobowen to Chirk Bridge there is an entirely new road; the bottom is paved and covered with a coating of broken stone. There is one bridge over the canal. — Length, 2 miles 1452 yards.
It is fit to observe, before I conclude this description of the roads made in England, that the work has been chiefly confined to cutting and lowering hills, and forming long and high embankments, so that the greater part of the expense has been incurred in moving earth.
The money granted for this harbour, since it was put under the Holyhead Road Commissioners in 1823, has been expended in giving additional security to the great pier, the lighthouse, and roadway; in deepening the harbour, and laying down moorings for above fifty sail of vessels: this last work relieves the space allotted to the post-office packets. A large anchor has also been laid down at the north pier head, for their security in stormy weather.
The graving-dock, which was in hand in 1823, has been completed; proper gates have been put up, and also a Boulton and Watt's engine; a carpenter's shop, smithy, and storehouse have been built; also a gatehouse and a boundary wall, enclosing the dockyard. A road has been made from the town of Holyhead, communicating with the dock along the south side of the harbour.
About two thirds of the south protecting pier have been built, and backed with rubble stone.
On the north side of the harbour, at the root of the great pier, a lock-house has been built; also a harbour-master's office, with a turret clock-house and clock, and a customhouse.
Lamp-posts and lamps, posts and chains, have been put up, and good foot-paths have been formed along each side of a new-made road between the landing pier and the principal inn; and a coach-house and workshop, for the use of the mail coaches have been built adjoining the inn.
A considerable quantity of rubbish has been removed from the harbour by the diving bell, and the landing place at the pier has been rendered more commodious.
The money granted for Howth Harbour, since 1823, has been applied as follows: —
In renewing the railroad between the harbour and the quarries at Kilrock, providing a quantity of suitable stones, applying a part of them in strengthening the glacis at the back of the eastern pier and that side of the harbour, and having a quantity in readiness in case of injury from storms.
The roadways upon and adjacent to the piers have been put into a perfect state, and the inner edges of the quays have, in part, been secured by posts and chains.
The entrance to the harbour and the packet births have been deepened by taking up 5963 tons of rock by means of diving bells, and 19,967 tons of sand and mud by dredging machines; thereby affording 11 feet of water at low water of ordinary spring tides, where there was only eight feet before.
Between Howth harbour and Dublin, a distance of eight miles, the road (formerly very imperfect) has been wholly re-made, and rendered in all respects similar to the Holyhead road; it is now in a perfect state, having a proper cross section, and being smooth and substantial. A considerable sea-wall has been built to protect the road. It is now referred to as a model for other roads in the vicinity of Dublin.
In the Menai Strait, immediately to the westward of the site of the new bridge, the navigation was rendered inconvenient by the strong currents acting upon a parcel of rocks known by the name of the Swillys; and it was stated by nautical men, that, unless these were so far removed as to lessen these currents, the difficulties and risk would be increased by the new bridge.
Considerable exertions were therefore made, whereby not only have the several rocks complained of been sufficiently cut away, but a projecting point of land has been taken off; and, upon the whole, it is acknowledged that the navigation generally is much improved, and that no inconvenience is experienced from the erection of the bridge.
The Committee having called for an account of the several contracts which have been entered into by the Commissioners, find that one hundred and fifty-one contracts have been made for carrying into execution the several works already described. They also find that all the works contracted for have been executed for the stipulated sums, except in one instance, wherein an exceeding took place of 761. 15s.