Our illustration annexed represents a railway bridge which crosses the Seine, below Paris, at the Point du Jour, on the Chemin de Per du Ceinture. The bridge, which is rather a remarkable structure, is built in two stories, the lower one consisting of five elliptical, and the upper one of thirty semicircular arches. The span of the lower arches is, in each instance, 99 2 feet; and that of each of the upper arches 15'5 feet. The intermediate piers of the lower arches are each 155 feet thick in the direction of the length of the bridge, and those of the upper series ot arches measure at the springing of the latter 3'36 feet in the same direction. The upper arches carry the Chemin de Fer du Ceinture, the roadway being 29'5 feet wide, the width of the lower being 1B1'7 feet, thus affording ample room on each side of the upper viaduct for a carriage and foot-way, the carriage roads being each24'6 feet wide. The materials used in the erection of the bridge are cut stone and rubble, the parapets and balustrades being of Jura marble. In the large spans the stones are set in cement. The river bed beneath is of clay, chalk being reached under the left abutment, at a depth of about 26 feet, while on the sides of piers and right abutment, sand was met with. In making foundations for the piers, large bottomless wooden caissons were sunk nearly to the chalk, and were then partially filled in with beton, on which the masonry was built by the aid of coffer dams. The ends of the centers of the large arches were supported by dried sand contained in suitable boxes, and they were struck by allowing the sand to escape; the centers were only lowered about one fifth of an inch at one time. The lower story was entirely completed before the upper one was commenced. The bridge was erected about four years and a half since, at a cost of $650,000, from the designs of M. Bassompiere, engineer to the Chemin de Fer du Ceinture. Co-operation in Italy. A Naples correspondent of the London Times says : " One of the most striking features in modern constitutional Italy, is the disposition to form associations. This, of course, is one of the natural results of political liberty, but in the last week or so, we have had a development of it on the co-operative principle, which has probably received an impulse from what is going on in England. A co-operative bank of credit has been formed for the working classes in Naples. One half of its shares have already been taken. The remaining shares are offered to the working classes, and as soon as two fifths are taken the bank will commence its operations. What these are is explained as follows: Limited loans on word of honor, prudently restricted to seventy-five lire ; discounting work ; discounting bills ; receipt of savings, even so low as ten centesimi; deposits in running accounts ; advances on public property. Many even of the half who have already taken shares, it is said, are working' men, not heads of establishments ; and, as this is the first instance of the application of the co operative principle to credit in Southern Italy among the working classes, the experiment is regarded with much interest. " A bank of the same kind exists in Padua, and has met with considerable success, having with a capital of 30,000 lire conducted affairs in the first year to the amount of 300,-000 lire ; but without meaning to tlrrow cold water on any effort in a right direction, still it remains to be seen whether the social atmosphere of Southern Italy is as favorable to the growth of such institutions as that of Northern Italy. At all events, the working classes are daily becoming a more important element here ; partly, no doubt, from the increased demand for labor, which has been created by private and public enterprise, and as much from the instruction they have received during the ..ast nine years. " The labor market, I may add, is not sufficiently supplied in this country, and the rate of wages has risen within a few years, in some trades, one half higher than it was before-Another and a novel instance of the application of the cooperative principle, is announced a having been made, not by workmen, but by masters—that is, by the architects of Caserta, with whom those of the neighboring town of Madda- loni have united themselves. Under the title of the ' Association of Architects of the city of Caserta,' they undertake, in their common interest, any commission connected with their profession, and to resolve ail questions of art in the meetings of the society. While, therefore, not paying more than would be demanded by a single engineer, it is pointed out as one of the great advantages offered by the association that any pergon entering on a building or engineering enterprise would here have the benefit of the united study, intelligence, and. activity of many. I do not say a word as to the merits or prospects of success of thes associations, but report them merely as an indication o* that awakening of the public Italian mind which in many directions and forms is so evident.”
This article was originally published with the title "Railway Bridge across the Seine"