Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 25 > Page 44 - Harry MacKenzie: Building the Causeway

Page 44 - Harry MacKenzie: Building the Causeway

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/6/1 (426 reads)

I went up there the latter part of October, '51, and we finished the Causeway on De? cember the 10th, '54, and the lock in '55- '56--in there. My job was to see that the proper stuff was put in. It wasn't such a whale of an engineering job. We kept a - record. It was figured in tons. Everything that went out there went out over those scales. There were 10,092,069 tons of rock put in that Causeway. (Did it have to be special rock?) Oh no. You took the run of the mine, whatever we got there. That was beautiful stuff for that purpose. It wasn't good for anything else. You know, you couldn't quarry it to make it for tombstones or building rock--too many seams in it--but it was ideal for the Causeway. We were interested in putting that Cause? way in the right place and keeping it lev? el, and then the lock for navigation, that's where most of the instrpment work was. Of course, they had to keep building it up with crushed rock. Because that Causeway was settling all the time those big trucks were going over it. But I don't think the Canso Causeway has settled a bit, since I went back there for years after? wards, every year, and took levels across there to see what settlement there was. It never settled, I don't think, an inch, starting at a point about 700 feet from the Cape Breton side, right across. When they were dumping that rock, if you were standing, say, 150 or 200 feet from the end--you'd stand there and you wouldn't feel a murmur when those big trucks came by with their load. But you go out another 50 or 60 feet, out near the end--then you felt it. It had that traffic going over it all the time. Hundreds of those trucks every day with those big loads in them. And you could feel the vibration when you'd stand there. The last 700 feet, it has settled some. I took elevations along the lighting standards with the level for several years afterward • and you could find it was down a half inch. So, I just figured that that continual vibration of those big trucks, they were shaking that stuff down so that there was very little settlement left. Just the last 700 feet. There were several different sites sug? gested, but this one was finally decided on (from Cape Porcupine to Balache Point on the Cape Breton side). And the building material was right there on our doorstep. The only thing about it, when the Northern Construction Company did the job, when they were partly across with the Causeway, they almost changed their idea and went up back of the hill. You wouldn't see that big scar there that you see now on the face of Porcupine, They were going to go up in back and make a longer quarry and a Cape Breton Bed and Breakfast Watch for BED AND BREAKFAST sign or contact Cape Breton Tourist Assn. for a list. K Cape Breton's BED AND BREAKFAST program offers a unique and inter? esting experience in overnight ac? commodations. Every season those in the program, displaying the sign at left, open their doors to greet visitors with courtesy and warmth. RAJ'S GIFT SHOP and Canteen facing ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL MUSEUM, BADDECK, N'. S. A unique selection of Gifts and Handcrafts Souvenirs of Baddeck ''rf'' , Nova Scotia Cape Breton ''HRHk 'ocal and Scottish Tartan and Chinaware Town Dairy "The Biggest Little Store in Town!" Groceries Confectionaries Ice Ice Cream Soft Drinks Magazines Camping Supplies Souvenirs 1290 Main Street in the heart of Louisbourg Isle Royale Beverages Limited Your aulhorized COCA-COLA boMler 564-8130 $62-4439 24S Waitoii St. Sydney. N. S.. ( (44)
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