National Geographic : 1901 Jan
30 THE NATIONAL Travelling in Nicaragua. strong and blow almost directly on this part of the canal, the construction of a harbor at this terminus becomes necessary in the early stages of the work as well as for use after the canal is completed. It is proposed to construct, by excava tion, a harbor of sufficient area to accom modate vessels using the canal. The en trance would have a minimum depth of thirty-five feet and a bottom width of five hundred feet, guarded by two jetties springing from the shore line near Har bour Head. These jetties are to be built of loose stone to a height of six feet above mean high tide, the hearting to be com posed of small and the outer portion of large stone, not easily moved by the waves. It is not expected, however, that the construction of the jetties will alone form the entrance. Dredging will also be necessary and its maintenance may re quire an extension of the jetties or dredg ing or both. The western terminus of the canal will be near Brito. Here, as at Greytown, there is no harbor, and an artificial one must be constructed. The same general engineering principles will guide in its construction. The width and depth of the entrance will be the same. The sand movement on the western coast, however, is slight as compared with that in the vicinity of Greytown. The prevailing winds on this side are off-shore, and de structive storms seldom visit this part of the coast. The cost of maintenance of the harbor on the west side will therefore be less than that of the one on the east side at Greytown. For a part of the distance between Greytown and the Florida Lagoon the canal line passes over swampy sections, where the material is too soft to support the embankments necessary to keep out the floods of the San Juan, and to main tain the canal level itself. Protecting em bankments are therefore to be constructed over these sections. These embankments are to be located as far as practicable on the firm land composing the neighboring hills. In places, however, they cross ground which is soft to a considerable depth. Waterways are provided on the embankment lines to dispose of flood water in the protected areas. At two places near the Boca San Carlos dam site heavy cutting is encountered, the maximum depth for short distances being GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZI .