4 thoughts on “Balch Gulch Trunk Sewer, 1922

  1. that’s a weird picture – only the guy in the middle looks like he’s, you know…… digging. i also don’t see much in the way of material removed and put to the sides. what else could they be doing?

  2. Some mildly interesting trivia: the work shown in the photo must have been some kind of finishing or maintenance work related to the Balch Creek trunk sewer project, if the date of 28 Feb 1922 is correct. According to local press records, the J.F. Shea company (which in this period seemed to win every contract for Portland sewer work with the lowest bid) finished the Balch trunk sewer in September 1921 at a cost of “$189,274.40.” In early 1922 Shea rounded up his equipment from the Balch project to start work on the Foster Road trunk sewer.

  3. They are clearing the stream bed of debris, restoring the waterway to a free flowing condition, after the removal of a coffer dam. The dam was a stream diversion making the the construction of the sewer possible.
    When they start on the Foster Road project this diversion process will be repeated on the several tributary’s of the Johnson Creek basin.
    Why don’t they just use a machine. The machine has done the heavy lifting, these fellows are hand finishing the job. The smaller backhoes we see today have yet to be invented and wages (1922) haven’t yet risen to levels that would compel such invention.

  4. Trunk sewer and coffer dam? That’s some very interesting vocabulary. Is there such a thing as a satchel canal? Looking up the etymology of these terms now. 🙂

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