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Document 66, p 6

136 (6)
Bridge; And that according to the usual practice (and which occurred to
this Deponent’s Inspection as aforesaid) they had dug so deep into the upper
Crust of Gravel forming the Bed of the River, in order to establish their
Foundation on Piles; the Piles had then in reality no other Bearing
than in a Stratum of Quicksand of a Depth unfathomable; and
consequently, the Piers being undefended, if the Action of the Current
Water in passing through the Bridge was sufficient to remove the
natural Bed of Gravel from the Side of any one of the Piers; and
proceed to undermine the Base thereof, the Arches of which this
Bridge consisted were of so large a Span, of so little Elevation and
in consequence so flat, and in other respects were so constructed that
the whole of the Bridge would give way in consquence of the Destruction
of a single Pier; it hereby appeared that the whole Structure might
be totally demolished in so short a Space of time as has been seen.
This Opinion was further confirmed by this Circumstances that the
Timber Platform of the Base of one of the principal Piers was so
pressed down on one Side, that the other being lifted obliquely upward,
appeared at this time, and for some Years, after above the Surface of
the Water in the ordinary State of the River. From these Facts, and
Reasonings thereupon, this Deponent was led to the Opinion that had
either the Artificers of Sir Walter Blackett, or Mr Wooler contented
themselves to have founded their Structures upon the Surface of the
Stratum of Gravel, which as this Deponent was informed, was inter-
mixed with large Stones, and together formed the Natural Bed of
6 the

Note: Mr Smeaton's Replies to Interrogatories p 6

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Transcribed by CTW and RMS