DISCUSSION. THE RIVER ORWELL AND THE PORT OF IPSWICH. (INCLUDES PLATE)
Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers
Mr. PETER BRUFF, having resided at Ipswich for many years, and having been in the habit of passing along the river, had observed the proceedings of the Dock Commissioners with satisfaction, and he considered that, upon the whole, the works had been successfnlly carried out. During the last twenty-five years, the port had assumed a totally different character. The improvements were still progressing, and would have advanced, he believed, to a much greater extent, but for the unfortunate
... m that existed between the Commissioners and the Railway Company, which bad seriously crippled the resources of the local authorities. He had read the Reports of the eminent Engineers referred to, with some attention, and he confessed he should have preferred to have seen the more extended plans of Mr. Chapman carried out, rather than the restricted operations of the Dock Commissioners, which seemed, however, to have been mainly adopted from financial considerations. There were one, or two features of interest connected with this suhject. The straight cut marked C (Plate l), in the upper part of the estuary, was connected with a crooked channel to the westward, which formed part of the old tideway course. I t was a singular fact, that although the straight cut had been made about fifty years, the circuitous channel was still open, and up to within a short period it was a good, if not the best, navigable course. H e had heard seafaring men complain of the straight cut, as an undesirable alteration for the port. H e believed the principal objection was, that to the eastward it hugged the high land, which rose abruptly from the river, and was thickly wooded, so that when vessels got into that part of the channel, they were baffled in their sailing course. Following the estuary downward to the point marked B, where there was another circuitous part of the old channel which continued open, it would be observed, that there was a straight cut unit,ing two considerable bends, which had been carried out under the direction of the Author of the Paper. This circuitous channel to the westward of the straight cut, had the deepest water ; it was so, at all events, until a very recent period ; and steam b0at.s at low-w-ater spring-tides invariably took that course. The Author had correctly stated, that the sea carried very little deposit into this estuary ; the sand held in suspension by the flood tide, appeared to be deposited before entering the channel. H e thought Mr. Chapman was wrong in the opinion, that those mud banks, or flats, would gradually silt up ; for he did not believe? that they had risen within the memory of man. They were not ordinary mud banks, but fixed alluvial flats covered with marine vegetation, and they tended materially, he considered, to keep open the channel to the depth which it maintained. The descent, of the tide, at about one-third of the ebb, was very strong, Downloaded by  on [17/09/16].