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the worlds greatest aqueduct
alfred douglas flinn
harper's monthly 1909

The Catskill mountain water system being constructed for New York City is one of the most notable engineering enterprises ever undertaken. Ranking with the inter-oceanic canals at Suez and Panama, the Assuan irrigation works in Egypt, and the projects which are converting western America's and wastes into fruitful fields, the Catskill aqueduct, with its tributary reservoirs, probably surpasses any one of them in the variety of problems to be solved. Although undertaken by a municipality, these works in magnitude and cost compare with national enterprises.

Imperial Rome's longest aqueduct was fifty-seven miles in length; the Catskill aqueduct will be ninety-two miles long. Rome, with hordes of laborers from conquered domains, carried its aqueducts at the hydraulic gradient across valleys on imposing masonry arches. Modern explosives and rock-drills enable New York to tunnel in solid rock beneath valleys and rivers, avoiding masonry, which is now expensive, and which is likely to suffer in New York's severer climate.

Do you know that stone building across the river near Breakneck is thought to be a pump station for the aqueduct? However, being built to work on waterflow alone - it actually houses a giant concrete manhole cover.

Just another fun river fact from the craineal archives of LyraVega.

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