WORK UNDER THE ICE
CONQUER THE ELEMENTS
PLAN OF CLEVELAND CONTRACTOR TO WORK ALL WINTER
Cleveland, November 6. - Contractor Donnelly is about to conquer the elements and work under water to build piers and breakwaters to the lake. He is about to start a test at Fairport, where he has a contract, and if this succeeds, the scheme will be generally adopted. The result will be that a major portion of pier and harbor work will be done in winter instead of summer, as heretofore. Conditions leading up to this decision of J. B. Donnelly, at the head of the Donnelly Contracting Co., of Buffalo to make this change of methods are interesting. The lake has been very rough this summer and the divers have been prevented from working by the waves and currents. The result is that they have hardly worked more than half of the time.
Mr. Donnelly says that the water under the ice is always calm, and if the divers could work there they would be entirely free from annoyance.
To some it has seemed that this scheme is impracticable, since the water would be too cold; but science comes to their relief and shows that the water is never colder than 32 degrees.
The contractors will provide for the comfort of the men in the divers' suits by warming the air that is sent down to them through the compressor. They will therefore be as warm under the water during the severest weather in the winter as they usually are during the summer. The only danger will be when they want to come out on the pier or breakwater. Sudden changes of temperature will be provided against, however, by building houses on the dock, into which the men will ascend.
The stroke is a bold one and, it is said, may possibly fail because of the uncertainty as to currents under the ice. If it proves that there are strong currents or any other such disturbances under the surface of the water when the ice is thick, the plan will of course fail, but if not it will be used at other places.