Fri, Oct. 18

Verde Heritage -- 1919: United Verde Extension Tunnel Finished.

Josephine Tunnel is 12,000 feet long and connects the lower levels of the U.V.X. mine with the portal west of Clarkdale.

"How the workmen broke through the last barrier between the portal and the mine and completed the new 12,000 foot haulage tunnel for the United Verde Extension, was described by D. J. O'Rourke, who , with J. D. Campbell, a member of the firm, was in Prescott yesterday. The actual break through occurred last Thursday."

"The United Verde Extension tunnel is one of the big economical improvements put in at Jerome during the past few months. It was planned and contracted for by J. S. Douglas, just before he went to France in connection with Red Cross work."

"The original contract required the completion of the tunnel in October, 1918, but many unforeseen difficulties hampered and delayed the work. However, despite such difficulties as heavy flows of water, soft and running ground etc., consistent progress was made, so that the breaking through was delayed but five months. When it is considered that the flow of water at the portal at the onset reached 2,000 gallons per minute and the pumping plant at the Texas shaft was constantly added to, until a final capacity of more than 500 gallons a minute was pumped from that point, the progress was very satisfactory. Very little water was encountered in the mine end, but other conditions made progress at this point a slow and laborious proposition."

"The work was done from three points. The mine end started with J. E. O'Rourke as superintendent in charge. He resigned in August, 1918, to accept a position on the Hete'a Hechy water tunnel in San Francisco and his place was taken by Frank Wilson. Frank Denny was in charge of the portal end until September, 1918, when he left to go in the field for a Pittsburg coal company. His place was taken by Ed. O'Hagan, who remained until the tunnel was holed through to the Texas shaft."

"The Texas shaft was started with Wm. Connery in charge as superintendent. He finished the job, firing the last shot that broke through the barrier to the mine. While the water situation in the shaft was very discouraging at times, it had no terrors for Connery, who has had years of exciting experience along these lines in constructing the water tunnels and crib shafts under Lake Michigan, from which the city of Chicago secures its water supply."

"The job of driving the tunnel was done under the supervision of D. J. O'Rourke, vice-president and general manager of the firm, all the members of which are at present in the city" of Prescott.

"The completion of the Verde Ex. tunnel will not be a signal for the contractors to move. It is understood that some other big jobs not over half a hundred miles from Prescott, are in prospect. J. R. Potter, the president of the company is expects to go east on an important job, and on his return, will spend some time in this part of the country with a view of securing some new work. Railroad work and heavy concrete construction such as bridges and dams, will be looked into."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; April 2, 1919; page 6.)

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