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efficiencies of municipally operated utilities as against those privately
operated, from which conclusions are drawn that it is difficult to obtain
in municipally operated plants competent executives. It is generally
not possible to pay salaries adequate to obtain the services of such men,
and the executives are so hampered and tied with the red tape of
municipal and political organizations that effective results are not
generally obtained. Because of unreasonable abuse it is not a suffi-
cient honor to hold a municipal office. Although this may be the gen-
eral rule, yet some notable exceptions have come under the writer's
observation. The Water Department of Los Angeles is most efficiently
organized and operated. Santa Barbara and Long Beach, Cal., both
own and operate their water-works. The management is efficient, and
the earnings of the departments show a substantial profit.

Mr. Jordan's discussion is more fanciful than consistent. The
relative merits of private or municipal ownership of public utilities is
not at issue. The efiort has been made in the paper to apportion the
expense of a publicly owned utility so that each member of the com-
munity will carry his proportion and that private enterprise may not
be discouraged. The segregation of the expenses is largely a matter
of judgment.

Mr. Clark suggests that the consumers should pay through their
rates only for the maintenance and operation of the system and the
interest on the bonds, the depreciation being derived from the general
tax levy. Relative to the redemption of bonds, Mr. Clark also states:

"If the city makes a 7% interest charge, as would be granted to a
privately owned utility, any profit resulting tmder the bond rate of
interest could be laid aside to redeem the bonds. If the bond rate of
interest is 5%, the differential of 2% compounded annually at 4%
will approximately retire the bonds in 30 years."

In the writer's classification of expense accounts, the effort has been
made to create a service rate which would be in harmony with that for
a privately owned utility. Under Mr. Clark's segregation of expenses,
the service rates would be below those which could be profitably charged
by a private corporation. Rates for privately owned utilities are fixed
with a view of yielding the owner a fair profit on his investment. If
this is done with a mmiicipally owned plant the "fair profit" could
be turned over to the general tax fund of the city. If the bond redemp-

448 discussion: municipally owned public utilities

Mr. tion fund is paid from the general tax levy and the profits accruing

ippinco . £j.Qjjj ^Y\e operation of the system are paid into the general treasury

of the city, it appears to the writer that the same end is achieved

whether the bond redemption fund is carried by the utility department

itself or by the city at large.

There is a surprising tendency constantly to put more burden on
the property owner and less on the thriftless individual, whether that
ownership be of realty or of a utility. The result tends to discourage
investment in enterprise and to encourage indolence. Mr. Irving and
Mr. Clark both consider that the owner of vacant property should be
exempt from any special tax due to the utility other than that imposed
on the city at large. It is the writer's contention that the benefits
derived by the owner of vacant lots, because of the fact that the
service of the utility is immediately available, is out of proportion to
the charges on the property through taxes, and that, in addition to
these charges, the owner should pay a special tax, probably on a front-
foot basis. These fees should be considered as an addition to surplus,
and could be turned into the general fund of the city. They have no
counterpart in a privately owned utility, and would operate to the
benefit of the community at large. Mr. Clark states: "It should not
be the aim of a city to make its water consumers pay more than the
cost of the service." It appears to the writer that a municipally owned
utility should be viewed as a community investment and should be
operated at a profit in the same way as a corporation is operated for
the profit of its stockholders. The property owners are in effect stock-
holders in the municipal plant. Mr. Clark's contention concerning the
depreciation of pipe lines in front of vacant property is true. Eate
regulating bodies in California have adopted a practice of reducing
the capital and depreciation accounts of private utilities where they
appear to be overbuilt. Some such system might be adopted here to
relieve the consumers from the depreciation charges for mains paral-
leling vacant property, and these charges might be made up from the
proposed special tax on vacant lots.

Mr. Whitney's segregation of expenses is extremely interesting, and
appears to the writer to be entirely logical. However, in the case of
the competing private enterprise, it is -doubtful if municipal legislative
authorities would consent, possibly for political reasons, to the inclusion
in the annual tax budget of an assessment to cover interest on the
value of a privately owned plant.

Although it is not proposed to review the procedure of rate reg-
ulating commissions for private utilities, the writer might add, to what
Mr. Hazen has said, that these commissions would increase their eco-
nomic value to the community if they evolved a plan under which a
premium was placed on efficient management of the utilities coming
under their jurisdiction.


In closing the writer wishes to express his appreciation of the dis- Mr.
cussion called out by the paper. He feels that the public welfare would ^'pp'°°°**-
be better served if policies were adopted by those in authority in legis-
lative positions which would encourage and foster the further invest-
ment of private capital, particularly in those States which are in a
formative or developing process. It should be kept well in mind that
legislation or Court decree cannot compel the independent investor
who is seeking new enterprises to enter fields where others already
operating on such lines are losing money due to unfair competition.




This Society is not responsible for any statement made or opinion expressed
in its publications.

Paper No. 1390


By a. C. Dennis, M. Am. Soc. C. E.

With Discussion by Messrs. E. Lauchli, Egbert A. Shailer, K. H.
Keays, F. Lavis, James F. Sanborn, Lazarus White, T. Kennard
Thomson, Francis Lee Stuart, J. V. Davies, S. A. Knowles, E. E.
Dougherty, C. E. Hulsart, J. G. Sullivan, and A. C. Dennis.


This paper describes the construction of the Eogers Pass Tunnel,
on the Canadian Pacific Eailway, through the Selkirk Eange, in
British Columbia.

The principal feature of the paper is the description of the pioneer,
or auxiliary heading, method of construction, by which: adequate
ventilation of the headings vras secured; the removal of the muck
was facilitated; the water, air, and ventilation pipes were not subject
to disturbance; it was possible to expedite the work of enlargement
of the main heading; a route for men, tools, and materials was pro-
vided; and the ventilation pipes were carried around the drilling,
blasting, and mucking operations in the main tunnel, thus preventing
delays due to gas and smoke. The "pioneer heading" appears to have
justified its use for this tunnel.

The Eogers Pass Tunnel is a double-track tunnel, slightly more
than 5 miles long, being part of a local improvement, about 10 miles
long, of the Canadian Pacific Eailway Company's main line through
the Selkirk Eange, in British Columbia. The map and profile are
shown on Fig. 1.

* Presented at the meeting of February 7th, 1917.



9 000


Fig. 1.


The writer visited the site of this tunnel in the fall of 1912, at
the request of the vice-president of the Canadian Pacific Eailway,
reported favorably on the economics of the proposed improvement, and
suggested to the chief engineer that a line be tried locating the east
portal in Bear Creek Valley, instead of Beaver Creek Valley, as then
proposed. This line was located and adopted between the time of
asking for bids and of letting the contract.

The late V. G. Bogue, M. Am. Soc. C. E., reported favorably on
this tunnel improvement in connection with a very able and thorough
report to the Canadian Pacific Railway on improvements to its lines
from Calgary to Vancouver, surveys and studies for which were then
being made by Mr. F. F. Busteed.

The writer, knowing that the time of construction of this tunnel
would weigh heavily with the Eailway Company in considering bids,
gave considerable thought to devising some quick method of con-
struction. The usual American method of driving a top heading
and taking out the bench with a power shovel was obviously too slow,
and the ventilation would be too difficult, for a tunnel of this length.
The European method, of a bottom heading and stoping out the rest
of the section, would be too expensive, under existing labor costs.
Shafts or adits were impracticable. It was finally concluded that a
working tunnel or "Pioneer Heading" entirely outside of the regular
tunnel section would be economically justified, under the existing
conditions, for the following reasons :

1. — The pioneer heading would serve as an intake for forced
circulation of fresh air through the cross-cuts and out of
the main tiinnel, enabling the work to be resumed immediately
after blasting the main tunnel enlargement.

2. — It would serve to take muck from the headings around the
drillers, blasters, and from shovel operations in the enlarge-
ment of the main tunnel.

3. — It would serve to conduct water, air, and ventilation pipe lines
to the headings, so as to be undisturbed by the enlargement

4.' — It would make it possible to drill the main heading for
enlargement far ahead of, and without interference from or
with, the main tunnel blasting or mucking for enlargement.


5. — It would supply a route for men, tools, and materials to pass
to and from the headings and enlargement drilling at all

6. — It would carry the ventilation pipe around the main tuimel
enlargement drilling, blasting, and mucking operations, so
that the gas and smoke from the heading operations would
not foul the enlargement operations.

It was thus possible to keep the heading progress, enlargement
drilling, enlargement blasting, and mucking going continuously, with-
out any interference with one another whatever. Fig. 2 shows the
relative location of these different operations.

Bids were asked for this tunnel work early in 1913, and the con-
tract was let to Foley Brothers, Welch and Stewart, Railway Con-
tractors, in June, 1913. This firm was not the lowest bidder, but
undertook to do the work more quickly than other firms, its estimate
being based on the proposed pioneer method, Mr. Stewart, of the con-
tracting firm, and John G. Sullivan, M. Am. Soc. C. E., Chief Engineer
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, being willing to take the risk of
this untried method. The first study contemplated a top heading, but,
at Mr. Sullivan's suggestion, this was changed to a location midway
in the full section, so that the heading could be made smaller and
still permit holes to be drilled far enough to break to the full section;
otherwise, the work has been done as planned by the writer, and under
his superintendence.

General Conditions. — The Selkirk Mountains in the vicinity of
Rogers Pass are very rough, and are heavily timbered, except where
the numerous snowslides occur. The rainfall is very heavy, and the
snowfall is from 30 to 50 ft. The minimum temperature since work
started has been — 32° Fahr., at an elevation of 3 800 ft.

The approximate contact between the Ross and Sir Donald Series,
as named by the Dominion Geological Survey, is sho-u7i in Fig. 1.
The axis of this syncline is west of the West Portal, and the tunnel
is through the eastern limb. The tunnel, except for 1 200 ft. of the
east end and 400 ft. of the west end, is all in solid rock, classified
as quartzite in the geological reports, but consisting largely of schists.
The rocks contain no fossils, and cannot be assigned definitely to any


Running Track >

^ Loading Track
I '~ Heading Sliujk

Loading Track

Shovel Track ^




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Online LibraryAmerican Society of Civil EngineersTransactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers (Volume 81) → online text (page 37 of 167)