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  • peter-macinnis 27 Dec 2010 at 10:14
    There is a common claim that "Circular Quay" was a later corruption of "Semi-circular Quay": if so, the corruption set in very early on.

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3 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections


From Captain Barney, Royal Engineers, on the subject of the projected Quay at the Head of Sydney Cove. Sydney, July 16th, 1836,      

Sir, — I have the honor to return herewith, the Documents which accompanied your letter of the 29th ultimo relative to the proposed Quay at the Head of the Sydney Cove.

In obedience to the order of His Excellency the Governor, I have given the subject attentive consi- deration. I have also examined the Cove and Tank Stream, and submit the following observations :— Admitting the construction of tlio Quay to bo R meanuro of high importance to the prosperity o

Sydney, in every possible point of view, I will pro ceed to consider the plan of the work : — I net) no objection tu this line of Quay proposed by the Committee, but it may provo advisable to taku advantage of natural foundations, which may effect some unimportant alteration. It is, however, unne cessary, to enter further on thk subjebt at present. From the evidence before the Committee, it would seem that the great difficulty to be overcome it the Tank Stream, as tho immediate agent of the deposit at the Head of the Covo. I have directed my attention more immediately to this point, mid am led to consider that undue impor tauco. is attachud to tho, eflect of. the .stream. Thera is, nn doubt, a considerable body of matter occasion iilly brought down and deposited between high and low witer-marlc j indeed,' under existing circum stances, the bed of the. stream is in effect the main sewer of a large portion of the town, and from local position, it becomos the channel of conveyance of hundreds, of tbna of sand, 'annually',' from the wnuei rous and extensive 'streets' inclining towards it, in addition to a contribution of every species of filth, from tho rear of , the premises abutting upon it; but.

in reference to the simple enact ot tlie stream' itself,' as connected with the deposit, in the Cove, I am de cidedly of opinion, thut'it is only a very partial and unimportant assistant. ? The deposit evidently, has arisen* nnd continues to be fed by tho soft material with which the streets are supplied, .the .whole, finding its'wny into the Cove. This, however, wiH'effcct ita own remedy as tho im provement of the town progresses, nnd the sandy beds of the streets substituted ? by a more durable material, with a necessary arrangement ? of drainage and sewers', ' ? In this view I would proposo converting tho bed of the Tank Stream into a permanent common- sewer; djrccting its course immediately to the centre of the projected Quay. ? This sewer, being covered, will greatly rcduco. the quantity of soil conveyed into it ; its present unsightly appearance will bo removed; the unwholesome effluvia now arising will be obviated ; the improvement of the. streets may be carried over it| mill the spring or source of the stream, may still bo preserved for public use; all tending to tho im provement of tho town, and to the increase of the value of property. ? A portion of soil will still bo deposited in the Cove by the. sewer, which will probably require to be lifted onco in four or five years, by means. of a dredging . machine, nt a trifling expense of labom\ ?-' Undcr-any: circumstances, dredging ptiust be resorted to in tho Cove, which, being devoid of current,' must always bo subject to formations ' of more or less, magnitude. I would here observe,' that a much greator; evil than the dcposit%t the head of tho Cove, is to ho found a similar deposit on its western shore, extending from' Mr.. Campbell's Wharf, in front of tho Doek-ynrd, nnd King's Wbnrf ; and which I also, attribute to Uio ample supply of material afforded by tho streets;. There being no current, this matter immediately Bub sides on being forced into the Cove. ??,??? ,. I think this argument fuirly homo out by the ob servation, that the Eastern shore of 'the Cove doe* not exhibit any considerable decreaso of water (cor responding with the Western shore), not possessing the never-failing supply, from the streets. The only remedy for this evil is tiy tlie means beforo stated, viz. the use of proper' material for the streets; and an improved system of drainage. ? ' ' ' ' Under every view of tho Committee, I consider tho simple arrangement herein submitted offers the most favourable result, ' combined with economy of expen diture. I am not prepared with any cstimateof the expense required in the completion of the work; indeed, without the nssistnrice of a diving' bell, it is totally impossible to ascertain the extont of foundation re quired, or the best line of formation of tho Quay. '_, , Under these circumstances, should His Excel lency entertain this or any other proposition for pro ceeding with the work, the nssistanco of two diving bells will bo necessary, which, however, cannot bo obtained In this country. _ A dredging machine is nlso essential to the clearing of the Cove; the most effective, nnd eventually tho least expensive, will boa dredger to be -worked, by stenm, which will not only I10 'applicable to the. Cove, but of the utmost utility in relieving the various river courses of impediments which now operate so un favourably, to their navigation. Both bells .and dredgers must be supplied from England, and should be complete to work at n depth ''of twenty-five feet. Tho framing required for the former, ns wellas the vessel for tho lnttor, may be prepared In the Colony.' In absence of any correct data to work upon in the formation' of n general cstinmte, it may perhaps »eein advisable to appropriate j£J-000 for the Sower and Quay, and i?2000 for the required machinery, should His Excellency deem it expedient to commence tho work without delay. 1 have the honour to be, Sir, ' Your most obedient humble Servant, ' ' ' GEOnGE BARNEY.