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extensions of the Commissioners, on the one side, and on the other the estimated cost of completing the valid contracts of the board of public works as they stood on June 20, 1874, adding the additional work necessary to complete the improvement in accordance with the plans of the board of public works upon the streets and within the limits covered by these contracts. The table shows a difference in favor of the work of improvement under the Commissioners of $415,705.80.

As to the general character, necessity, relative importance, and cost of the work done under these contracts and their extensions, I refer you to my last annual report contained in the Report of Commissioners of the District of Columbia on pages 232 to 248, inclusive, and to table of board rates, Appendix No. 10 of this report.


Work completed and audited by board of audit.

Work completed not

Done under the Comunissioners.


Under extensions of the
Commissioners involv.
ing new work.

Done under the board of public works.

Under contracts and extensions of the board of public works,

including oral contracts and repairs under ninth section of

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Under contracts and extensions of the board of public works,

including oral contracts and repairs under ninth section of contracts.

| Number of table.



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1 $3,624, 000 32 $2, 560, 853 10 $280, 660 11 $1, 515, 663 19 $4, 357, 176 40 37, 981, 176 72 - $11,000 36 $7, 901 29 74, 941 98.316, 124 21 18, 670 84219, 339 90 554, 134 981629, 076 96

5, 131 02 3 1. 430 923 74..

.. 1, 430, 923 74... 4 2,548, 291 90 809, 244 23 .....

......... 809, 244 23 3, 357, 536 13 ...

231 3, 357, 536 13 ............ 6520 35 7,678, 157 94 3, 686, 221 57 299, 330 95 1, 735, 003 09 5, 720, 555 61 13, 398, 713 55 – 11,000 36 13, 552 66


* The algebraic sum of all increments over last measurements is here given, some of these increments being negative. From a comparison of the last reports of the board of audit with the accounts of this office, it appears that the whole amount to be provided for settling up the incomplete accounts of that board, and including these increments of measurements, is about 8286,574.83 in the equivalent of 3.65 bonds.

Miscellaneous work. Cash cost, with 20 per cent, profit, expressed in 3.65 bonds at 70 cents, as per terms of contract for these items. Table No. 1. Contracts and extensions of board of public works recognized as being existing legal obli.

gations on June 20, 1874, and extensions of the same by the Commissioners where the original contracts are those which have appeared in the printed reports of the board of

public works. Table No. 2. Contracts and extensions of board of public works recognized as being existing legal obli.

gations on June 20, 1874, and extensions of the same by the Commissioners where the original contracts are those which have not appeared in the printed reports of the board

of public works. Table No. 3. Contracts and extensions of board of pnblic works, on which measurements have been

made under the direction of the engineer of the District of Columbia, at the request of

the board of audit, the work having been completed under the board of public works. Table No. 4. Expenditures for repairs of contract work under section 9 of the original contracts where

the cost is to be collected by suit from the contractor or his sureties. Engineer's measurements upon contracts herein considered as per daily report, being as

respects the work done by the board of public works, the increment over the last and all previons measurements of that board..........

... $6,361, 945 99 Add allowances of the board of audit in excess of these measurements..

204, 586 47 Add work done and measured under board of public works, as audited by board of audit. 6, 919, 518 86 As per footing of column "Grand aggregate"..

13, 486, 051 32 REMARKS. The comparison which is made between the footings of the last two columns of this "Summary will be better understood with the following explanation: In the work done by the Commissioners up to this date, the original plans of the board of public works have, in some instances, been modified so as to substitute a better class of work, thereby increasing the cost; as in the case of the sea-walls of the James Creek Canal, the pavement of the carriage.way of Maryland avenue, southwest, and the foot-walks of the same avenue, northeast, while the parking has been generally dispensed with, and the grading materially reduced. No account is taken of the incidental saving to public and private property in the future improvement of intersecting and adjacent streets in consequence of the reduced amount of grading, although this is considerable. On the other hand, in the computation of the esti

TABLES 1, 2, 3, AND 4.

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mates for the perfection of the board work (column next to the last) the general plans of the board of pablic works have in some cases been taken as a guide where the contract seemed inconsistent with them; as in the case of Maryland avenue, northeast, where gravel footwalks were provided because the board of public works were unable to purchase bricks for their paper; and upon the same avenue, south west, where a blue-rock pavement was provided, although this class of pavement had been condemned and replaced by other pavements upon less important streets, and that of Belgian blocks for the avenue was in harmony with the general plan of improvement. In such cases, of which there are very few, the increased expenditure under the Commissioners is offset in the column of estimates, being included in it. But where the modification was not in accordance with the plans of the board of pablie works, as in the case of the change in the character of the sea-walls of the James Creek Canal, the increased cost is not included in that estimate. To these estimates, as made at board rates for each Class of work, according to its measurement, is added, here, the usual percentage for engineering work of this description.

Work remaining incomplete under contracts canceled in pursuance of the joint resolution of Congress, approved Mareb 14. 1876. and the circular-letters of the Commissioners of September 30, 1875, and Feb. fuary 5, 1876, was as follows: Ist. Work under contracts not otherwise forfeitable than in pursuance of Jolut resolution of Congress, approved March 14, 1876, and the previous letters of the Commissioners of September 30. 1875, and February 5, 1876, (with 10 per cent. for contingencies,) =$242,949.29. 2d. Work nder contracts of doubtful obligation in other respects, the Commissioners having terminated the work under the terms of the contracts, under the advice of counsel, (with 10 per cent. for contingencies)

210,244.52. In the completion, under recent cash contracts, of such of this work as was considered of most importance, the original contractor has been preferred, and any possible claim of his growing out

the cancellation of his former contract has been extinguished by the tern

The degree of accuracy of the tables of which the foregoing is a recapitulation is such as could be attained by the constant labor of a portion of my office force in their preparation and revision during the past ten months. The degree of reliance to be placed in the measurements of this office will appear from the following explanation of the method of making them and the difficulties encountered.

Measurements upon contract-work are classified, for the purpose of facilitating assessments, into surface-work, sewers, and special bills for extra-work not included in contracts, but belonging to the contingencies of the contract-work. Upon each street, avenue, or alley, these measurements are made up separately. Each partial measurement, made as the work progressed, is total up to date, including each its predecessor, and the final measurement upon the contract consists of a set of final measurements made up separately upon each street and in separate bills for the three classes of work.

Under the late board of public works, measurements were sometimes made upon incomplete work and marked “ final to date," necessitating another final measurement upon the same street in case the work was resumed. Measurements were completed and settlements made in the auditor's office, and it was customary in the case of partial measurements to reserve a certain percentage, in final measurements to pay in full except certain reservation upon particular kinds of work.

I have considered it my duty to re-examine all measurements of the board of public works upon contracts incomplete and on which a balance was still due the contractor, whenever, the work being resumed under me or brought up in any way for consideration, I had any reason whatever to question the accuracy of these measurements.

Unless such reason has appeared, or it has seemed to me that the terms of the contract required something further, I have confined my measure. ments to the streets upon which final measurement had not yet been given, or upon which a measurement marked " final to date” was in reality but a partial measurement. In these cases iny measurement, being total to date, includes and embraces all previous partial measurements, whether marked “ partial ” or “ final to date," upon each street considered.

The method adopted by me for making these measurements, both of old work of the board of public works and of that done under the Commissioners, insures a series of checks upon their accuracy, and has been adhered to. The blank forms have been modified from time to time as experience suggested their improvement.

Application for measurement is first made by the contractor in writing. In the case of old work this was in the shape of a claim filed with the board of audit, referred to the “Commissioners of the District of Columbia, with the request that the proper examination and measurements may be made and reported, to enable the board of audit to ascertain what amount, if any, is due the claimant under this contract," and by the Commissioners referred to me. In the case of work done under the Commissioners, the application is required to be made upon the following blank form:


Notice. No authority for work of any kind will be recognized, except the written order of the chief engineer.

All bills must state the exact locality, character, and extent of the work, or materials claimed, and must be properly itemized.

Bills for work done or materials furnished up to this time and in this locality will not be accepted if presented after tbis date.

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- -- , 187 . I berewith apply for a – - measurement of work done by me under contract

— , between – The itemized bills herewith inclosed exhibit all work done, with materials furnished, wbich do not appear on the surface, such as house-connections, lumber used for foundations and shoring, resetting of curb, repaving, &c.; also all the extra work done by me up to this time in this locality, or in connection with the work done under this contract, together with my authority therefor.

I have no further claim upon the District of Columbia for work done or materials furnished in this locality.

Contractor. This application is then referred to an overseer, with instructions to report upon it in writing when he shall find that the specifications of the contract have been complied with and the work is ready for measurement. When returned with this report, which includes the verification of bills for extra work and information necessary to assist in the measurement, the application is referred to the chief of the draughtsmen's room for the preparation, from the general map, of the field-maps showing the locality and limits of the work.

All papers are then referred to a leveler for measurement of the work by himself and field-party of two assistants. After measurement, all work is platted upon the field-maps, and cross-sections entered in the cross-section books. The limits of the field-map check the horizontal dimensions of the measurement, and the graphic representation of the cross-sections eliminates any probable error in the field-potes.

The computation of quantities is then made by this field-party and the papers banded over to a clerk who prepares a voucher in accord. ance with the measurement, carrying out the cost at contract rates, The papers are then given to the second assistant engineer for examination, and the following certificate which appears upon the face of the roucher, viz: I hereby certify that I have carefully examined the field-notes and report of

-, leveler, who measured and inspected this work, and find the quantities correct. The work is reported to be —

, , 187 .

Assistant Engineer. All material issued since last measurement is then entered upon the face of the voucher by the superintendent of property, who certifies to the correctness of the charge. The papers then go to the first assistant engineer for further examination and the following certificate, viz:

I have carefully examined the account, and find the prices according to contract and the computations correct. The amount due the contractor is to be ascertained by dedacting from the above cost of the work the total advances unsettled, and also for — , not previously charged, the sum of — , , 187.

Assistant Engineer. After this the account is laid upon my table for final examination and approval, having passed through the hands of ten individuals, each having a specific duty in connection with it, and acting as a check upon the others.

It was then sent to the board of audit with a letter of transmittal, and by tbis board compared with the contract to which it related.

In addition to measurements, I bave been called upon by the board of audit for reports from such of my subordinates as were formerly in the employ of the board of public works, upou claims presented to the board of audit against the board of public works. The reports in such cases have been made as requested, and transmitted with such expression of my own opinion as seemed to be requiel.

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