On Saturday last, in company with, and at the invitation of Col. James A. Gibson, we passed over the Allegheny City and Perrysville Plank Road, for the first time, and were very much pleased with the admirable manner in which it has been constructed. The Road is 8 miles in length; begins at the head of Federal street, in Allegheny city; runs due North, and ends a short distance beyond the village of Perrysville. It is laid with a single track, which, we think, was wise on the part of the Company; as all experience in the management of Plank Roads thus far, goes to show that a double track is not very profitable stock.
The Perrysville Road was completed on the 1st of June last, and the total cost of its construction amounted to about $30,000. Since then it has been doing a large and steadily increasing business, and its earnings for some time past have been at the rate of $6,000 per annum, or about twenty per cent on the cost of construction. This, certainly, is a bright picture for the stockholders to contemplate. The road will pay dividends of at least 15 per cent., after re [words missing] of the earnings to create a sinking fund to keep the road in good repair, and relay the track, when it becomes necessary to do so.
The maximum grade of the road is 3 degrees, which is certainly not heavy, when the uneven surface of the country on the North side of the river is taken into consideration. The greatest difficulty encountered on the road was at Girty's Run; but by good engineering, this has been overcome. The track, which is 8 feet in width, has been laid on the best plan which experience could suggest, and we think the work is highly creditable to all the parties concerned. The plank are mostly hemlock. The road has been well drained, and is therefore perfectly dry. The culverts and bridges are constructed of stone, and are very substantial.
It is proper to add that another company is now engaged in constructing a Plank Road from Perrysville to Zelienople, in Butler county, a distance of 18 miles. Nine miles of this road are now under contract, and it is thought the whole work will be completed in the course of the next summer. In addition to this, other roads are in contemplation in that direction, which will drain the travel, not only of Butler and Mercer counties, but also Crawford, Erie and Lawrence, in this State, and most of the Western Reserve, in Ohio. This travel must necessarily come to our city over the Allegheny and Perrysville Plank Road, which will make it undoubtedly one of the most profitable roads in the Union.
The following are the present officers of the Allegheny and Perrysville Plank Road, all of whom are active, thorough-going business men:
President—S. S. Shields.
Directors—James McAlear, George Ledlie, Robt. Hilands, Washington McClintock and John Brown.