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Document 66, p 8

138 (8)
Weight of a Bridge, designed with proper Care and Caution to the
Situation, yet he judged it quite unadvisable to break the upper
Surface by piling, or otherwise. He thereupon reported verbally to
Mr Donkin, that he found the Foundation sufficient to risque his
Credit as an Artist; and was accordingly desired by Mr Donkin to
proceed to an Estimate.
On maturely considering the whole of what was now before this
Deponent, it appeared very plain to him, that there was not the
least likelyhood of building a secure Bridge upon Piles in the usual
Way in Gravel Soils, on Account of the apprehended Softness of Matter
below; which Mr Pickernell having examined in several other places
in, and near the River in this Neighbourhood, reported to be pretty
much the same; Vizt Hard Gravel above, and Quicksand, or Matter
but little compacted, below. As therefore the Upper Crust of
appeared to this Deponent
Gravel here was very sufficient to bear the Weight of a Bridge, pro-
vided we kept it unbroke, and uninjured by piling; Our Process
would naturally be to lay the Bases of the Piers upon Platforms upon
the natural Bed of the River unbroke and defend those Bases from
being undermined by Means, the Efficacy of which this Deponent had
experienced in the most trying and alarming Cases that had occurred to
him in the Course of more than 20 Years; that he had then been in an
extensive practice of Waterworks; and which he this Deponent
had never known to fail; And that was, to defend such regular Works of
Art, as of themselves were undefensible from the Repeated Shocks of
Currents, Tydes, and Seas, by throwing in at random and depositing
rough Stones from the Quarry, so as to form a sloping Bank against
the Bases of such regular Works. Upon this Principle

Note: Mr Smeaton's Replies to Interrogatories p 8

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Transcribed by CTW and RMS