San Antonio's River Walk, a catalyst for abundant commercial and tourism enterprise, is generally regarded by cities and urban planners throughout the world as a prototype for the development of urban riverfront sites. The River Walk's success, however, would not have been possible without a series of flood-control and architecture projects completed in the first half of the 20th century that relied heavily on civil-engineering expertise.
Morris Canal was built to transport coal from the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania to industrial markets in Newark and New York. The total length of the canal was 106 miles. The canal climbed an astonishing 914 feet from Newark Bay to the summit at Lake Hopatcong, and then dropped 760 feet to the Delaware River at Phillipsburg. This gave the canal an average vertical slope of 18 feet per mile, steep compared to the contemporary Erie Canal's relatively gentle slope of one foot per mile.
It took 22 years to complete the 35-mile waterway, as funding problems caused the work to shut down from 1777 to 1785.
The notion of creating a canal that crossed Scotland was conceived in the 17th century during the reign of Charles II, but would not be realized for nearly 100 years. The Forth and Clyde Canal, known as The Great Canal in its early years, was the first major transportation project in Scotland and the world's first man-made, sea-to-sea ship canal.
Between 1825 and 1847 the State of Ohio constructed 1,000 miles of canals and feeder canals, 33,000 acres of reservoir surface area, 29 dams across streams, 294 lift locks, 44 aqueducts and many smaller structures at a cost of about 16 million dollars. The network of navigable canals provided a system of economical transportation where none had previously existed; the young state, with its isolated frontier lifestyle, was transformed almost overnight into a thriving segment of the nation's economy.
Chartered in 1825, the Louisville and Portland Canal Company was authorized to construct a canal around the rapids called the "Falls of the Ohio." Construction started on March 1, 1826. The canal and first generation of locks were completed in 1830. As originally constructed, the canal was 1.9 miles long, 64 feet wide, and terminated at its lower end with a three-flight lock system with a total lift of 26 feet. Each lock chamber was 198 feet long between miter posts, with available length for vessels of 183 feet, width of 52 feet, and a lift at low stages of 8.5 feet.
The Delaware Aqueduct provided an important transportation link between the Pennsylvania's coalmines and New York's booming industrial marketplace. It is the earliest surviving work of John A. Roebling, who designed the Brooklyn Bridge 30 years later. The cable anchorage system first used on this project was also used on the Brooklyn Bridge. The aqueduct is patterned after Roebling's design of the Pennsylvania Canal over the Allegheny River, and is the oldest metal strand cable suspension bridge still standing in the U.S.
This is one of the earliest uses of engineered water supply and irrigation systems in the United States. The first of eight original acequias was under construction in 1718 and two are still in operation. The remains of one are visible on the grounds of the Alamo. The Acequias of San Antonio are among the earliest engineered water supply and irrigation systems recorded in the United States. The Acequias served an integral role in the growth and stability of the San Antonio community for nearly 200 years.