“Municipal reform must originate with the people, but such movements are generally delayed until forced upon them by excesses and abuses; and whether caused by carelessness, incompetency, or graft, the result to the tax-payer is the same.
“Every civic administration can have just as good government as a majority of its citizens make an honest and effective effort to have, and this can be accomplished only by each citizen taking an active interest in seeing that none but good and competent men are elected to office.”

Vast Task of Raising the City’s Grade

Aside from their civic significance, the new public works in progress in Galveston are interesting as engineering problems. The city contracted with Goebhardt & Bates to raise the grade of two and one-half square miles an average height of about seven feet. In some places the fill is nearly twenty feet. Mr. Goebhardt is a celebrated German engineer, and his partner, Lindon W. Bates, is one of the foremost Americans in his profession. They had to go to Holland for the means of doing the gigantic task entrusted to them. First of all, they built dredges, after models used in Holland, the country of canals; then, having made an opening with old-fashioned methods, as shown in one of our illustrations, they cut a canal inside the sea wall, more than one and one-half miles long, averaging two hundred feet wide and twenty feet deep. The dredges go out into the bay, drop huge suction-pipes deep into the sandy bottom, and pumpup sand until their capacity is reached. They then steam into the canal and unload by pumping the sand through pipes into the sections to be filled. The sand is carried in a solution of water; the percentage of sand in the solution forced through the pipes sometimes, though rarely, runs as high as one half.


Before Filling



After Filling


The area to be raised was divided into eight sections. Six months’ notice is given to property-holders in the section next to be filled, and when time comes to begin work on that section it is set off from adjoining property by dikes, to prevent the flooding of property outside the district, and pumping is begun. During the six months allowed for making ready, the householders elevate their residences to the new grade, sidewalks are set up on stilts, and when the day comes the sand is poured in by the four big dredges.

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