Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 25 > Page 46 - Harry MacKenzie: Building the Causeway

Page 46 - Harry MacKenzie: Building the Causeway

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/6/1 (371 reads)

'm- November 29, 1954, I was there one night, got word that a ship was aground. It was Sunday evening, And I went up. Captain was out on the fill, on the Causeway. There was a shelf that he'd run up on. He didn't damage his ship--he was going slow. He was going north, up towards Prince Edward Island--he came up through the Strait. The Causeway wasn't on his ch??rts at all, but he was dead on the old course. He turned to me and he said, "If I could have gone a little faster, I could have jumped over it." And the next day when he backed her off at high water • very little damage--but he wouldn't go through. We were still 800 or 900 feet from the Cape Breton side. But he decided to go right around the island. and they took it away. That was their the? ory , an5rway, So anyway, after the ice went out in the spring, my gang would go out; we'd take soundings, see what the slope was. We did that every 50 feet, And in the spring of '54 the boys went out, and.we were about 700 feet from the Cape Breton side, in the deepest water--where the 187 feet was. And the instrument men came in and said, "Do you know we've got 218 feet out there?" I said, "You're crazy," So I went out. We had a 200-foot sounding lead. And I dropped the sounding lead over where he showed me. And I had to put the tape onto it, and he had 218 feet at low water. And we went back and looked at the plans • there were borings taken before the job started • and that's exactly where the rock surface was--218 feet. So when that open? ing became restricted between the Balache Point and the end of the Causeway--when it was cut down to 700 feet--well, the rush of water through there cleaned the whole bottom off right down to the rock, dug the Strait deeper. That last part of the Cause? way is sitting on solid rock, maybe a thou? sand feet is right down on the rock, 31 feet of overburden swept away. From 187 to 218 feet. And that was hardpan and boul? ders , cleaned that whole thing out, Ima? gine , You know, at the last, when we were dumping there, when the tide was going south we'd dump on the north side, north we'd dump it on the south side--so the tide would throw it more to the centre. It was taking big rocks out of there like nothing. (Swept away?) Well, I'd imagine the Causeway is pretty wide there on the Cape Breton side. The curve on the Cape Breton side before you go to the bridge-- that's the deepest place right there. It must be 900 feet wide there. That last g0i'. k 118Jr The CeD In Cape Breton NATIONAUyFe3IONALLYPROVII?;iALLYLOCAU.Y CBIT TELEVISION Channels 2,5'73,10,12, and 13 IT Mrs TO ZEI CBI RADIO 1140 on your Dial INFORMATION ENTEFrrAINMENTENLIGHTENMENT (46)
Cape Breton's Magazine
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