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CONGRESS

WINYAH BAY, S. C.

LETTER

FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR, ,

TRANSMITTING,

WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORT ON PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF WINYAH BAY, S. C., WITH A VIEW TO SECURING A CHANNEL OF INCREASED DEPTH AND ADEQUATE WIDTH FROM A POINT ON THE SAMPIT RIVER 1 MILE ABOVE THE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF GEORGETOWN TO THE ENTRANCE OF WINYAH BAY.

OCTOBER 10, 1919.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and

ordered to be printed.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, October 8, 1919.. The SPEAKER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, of 6th instant, together with report of Maj. G. A. Youngberg, Corps of Engineers, dated May 10, 1917, on a preliminary examination of Winyah Bay, S. C., authorized by the river and harbor act approved July 27, 1916. Very respectfully,

NEWTON D. BAKER,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, October 6, 1919.
From: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
To: The Secretary of War.
Subject: Preliminary examination of Winyah Bay, S. C.

1. There is submitted herewith, for transmission to Congress, report dated May 10, 1917, by Maj. G. A. Youngberg, Corps of Engineers, on preliminary examination authorized by the river and

harbor act approved July 27, 1916, of Winyah Bay, Ş. C., “ with a view to securing a channel of increased depth and adequate width from a point on the Sampit River 1 mile above the limits of the city of Georgetown to the entrance of Winyah Bay.”

2. Winyah Bay is on the coast of South Carolina, 50 miles northeast of Charleston. It receives the waters of the Waccamaw, Great Peedee, and Sampit Rivers. At its head and on the left bank of the Sampit River lies the city of Georgetown. The existing project for improvement of this locality provides for a channel 400 feet wide and 18 feet deep at mean low water from the entrance of Winyah Bay, following the western shore as far as may be necessary to a point on the Sampit River 1 mile above the limit of the city of Georgetown, to be secured and maintained by dredging and the construction of two jetties, a training wall, and an earthern, dike. The project has been completed with the exception of the construction of the proposed training wall at the head of the channel through the bay. To June 30, 1918, expenditures on the existing project amounted to $700,819.33, of which $209,607.60 was for maintenance, and the expenditures on all projects for this locality amounted to $3,213,727.58. The improvement now apparently desired is an increase of depth to not less than 21 feet at mean low water. The commerce of the locality has averaged about 238.000 tons annually during recent years, consisting principally of lumber and its products. There has been no increase of traffic as a result of the facilities provided by the United States, and the conditions are not favorable for any important increase in the near future. The desired increase of depth would be expensive to secure and maintain, and the district engineer believes that the Federal Government would not be justified in adopting at this time any new project with a view to securing a channel of increased depth and width. The division engineer concurs in this opinion.

3. This report has been referred, as required by law, to the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and attention is invited to its report herewith, dated June 10, 1919, concurring in the unfavorable views of the district and division engineers.

4. After due consideration of the above-mentioned reports, I concur in the views of the district engineer, the division engineer, and the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and therefore report that the further improvement of Winyah Bay, S. C., with a view to securing a channel of increased depth and adequate width from a point on the Sampit River 1 mile above the limits of the city of Georgetown to the entrance of Winyah Bay, is not deemed advisable at the present time.

W. M. BLACK,

Major General.

REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS.

(Eighth indorsement.]
BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,

June 10, 1919. To the CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY.

1. The following is in review of the District Engineer's report authorized by the river and harbor act approved July 27, 1916, on

preliminary examination of Winyah Bay, S. C., with a view to securing a channel of increased depth and adequate width from a point on the Sampit River 1 miie above the limits of the city of Georgetown to the entrance of Winyah Bay.

2. Winyah Bay is on the coast of South Carolina 90 miles southwest of the entrance to Cape Fear River, N. C., and 50 miles northeast of Charleston Harbor, S. C. The bay is a tidal estuary about 16 miles in length. Its principal tributaries are the Waccamaw, Great Pee Dee, and Sampit Rivers, which empty into the head of the bay at Georgetown.

3. The existing project adopted by the river and harbor act approved June 25, 1910, includes certain features of earlier projects and · provides for a channel 400 feet wide and 18 feet deep at mean low water from a point on Sampit River 1 mile above the limits of the city of Georgetown to the entrance of Winyah Bay, to be secured and maintained by dredging and by the construction of a training wall, converging jetties, and an earthen dike, at an estimated cost of $650,000. No estimate for maintenance was submitted. Except for the training wall the project has been practically completed, and maintenance work has been done from time to time. The mean range of tide at Georgetown is 3.3 feet, and at the entrance 31 feet. To June 30, 1918, there had been expended under this project $491,211.73 for new work and $209,607.60 for maintenance, a total of $700,819.33, and on all projects $3,213,727.58.

4. Lumber and timber products are the principal articles exported, and dry goods, grain, hardware, sugar, and other miscellaneous merchandise constitute the principal commodities brought in. The total commerce during the six years preceding 1917 averaged about 238,000 tons annually, valued at $4,900,000. These figures show no increase in commerce in the past 15 years, although navigation facilities have been materially improved, and the district engineer states that the prospects are not favorable for an increase in the near future.

5. The improvement apparently desired is an increase in the project depth to not less than 21 feet at mean low water. Such an improvement would involve large original cost and a material increase in expenditures for maintenance. The district engineer is of opinion, concurred in by the division engineer, that no additional improvement is justified at the present time.

6. Interested parties were informed of the unfavorable report of the district engineer and given an opportunity of submitting statements and arguments to the board. This led to a request for a hearing, which was given on July 31, 1917, and attended by Hon. J. W. Ragsdale, Member of Congress, and a delegation from the locality. Request was made that the report be reconsidered by the district engineer as parties in interest desired to present additional data bearing upon the merits of the case. As explained by the district engineer in his supplemental report of May 24, 1919, efforts have been made to secure the additional data referred to but without success. The only fact developed by the delay is that the commerce has greatly decreased.

7. Experience has shown that with the improvements made in this bay, the natural depth of channel, with moderate expenditure for maintenance, is about 15 feet, and that when greater depths are given there is a tendency to shoal. Under the existing project of 18 feet the annual maintenance charge is about $40,000, and it is reasonably certain that this sum would be greatly exceeded if additional depth were given. The better facilities provided by the existing project have not been followed by a corresponding increase in commerce. On the contrary, the tendency is in the other direction. Expenditures already made, together with those required for maintenance, are believed to be all that present and immediately prospective traffic warrant, and therefore the board concurs in the opinion of the district and division engineers that it is not advisable at this time for the United States to undertake any additional improvement of Winyah Bay, S. C.

* Record of hearing not printed.

8. In compliance with law the board reports that there are no questions of terminal facilities, water power, or other related subjects which could be coordinated with the suggested improvement in such manner as to render the work advisable in the interests of commerce and navigation. For the board:

PETER C. Hains,
Major General, United States Army, Retired,

Senior Member of the Board.

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF WINYAH BAY, S.: O.

War DEPARTMENT,
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,

Charleston, S. C., May 10, 1917.
From: The District Engineer Officer
To. The

Chief of Engineers, United States Army (through the Division Engineer). Subject: Preliminary examination of Winyah Bay, S. C.

1. Authority.-In compliance with letter from the office of Chief of Engineers, dated August 4, 1916, I submit report of a preliminary examination of Winyah Bay, S. C., made in accordance with an item of the river and harbor act approved July 27, 1916, as follows:

The Secretary of War is hereby authorized and directed to cause preliminary examinations and surveys to be made at the following-named localities, and a sufficient sum to pay the cost thereof may be allotted from the amount provided in this section :

Winyah Bay, S. O., with a view to securing a channel of increased depth and adequate width from 9. point on the Sampit River one mile above the limits of the city of Georgetown to the entrance of Winyah Bay.

2. Locality.-Winyah Bay lies on the coast of South Carolina, 90 miles southwest of the entrance to Cape Fear River, N. C., and 50 miles northeast of Charleston Harbor, S. C. At its head and on the left bank of the Sampit River, lies the city of Georgetown.

3. Maps.—Maps of this locality have been published as follows:

(a) C. & G. S. Chart No. 428—" Winyah Bay, S. C.," showing channels and shore topography in detall.

(6) C. & G. S. Chart No. 153—" North Island to Isle of Palms,” showing general vicinity and inland waterways.

(c) Post Route Map of South Carolina,” showing railways and connections, rivers and postal routes.

4. General description.-Winyah Bay is an irregular crescentshaped tidal estuary some 16 miles in length, measured from the bar to the mouth of the Sampit River. At the gorge or entrance between North and South Islands it is about three-fourths of a mile wide, and then broadens out into an expanse known as Mud Bay, 4} miles in width, very shallow, and broken up by low marsh islands. In its upper part the bay is 14 miles in width. The navigation channel follows the western and southern shore.

The bay at its head receives the waters of the Waccamaw, Great Peedee, and Sampit River systems. The Great Peedee is a continuation of the Yadkin River, which rises in the mountains in the extreme northwestern part of North Carolina, and is joined at various points in its course by the Lumber, Little Peedee, Lynches, Black, and other rivers. By means of the Estherville-Minim Creek Canal, Winyah Bay is connected commercially with the Congaree-WatereeSantee system of rivers, and also with the inland waterways down the coast to Charleston. It is calculated that this bay is the outlet for waterways having an aggregate navigable length of 802 miles for steam and power boats of various capacities, and for pole-boat or flat-boat navigation such as obtained in earlier days the aggregate length is 1,023 miles.

5. Previous reports.—Previous reports on Winyah Bay and Georgetown Harbor have been made and published as follows:

(a) The river and harbor acts of July 4, 1836, and August 30, 1852, carried appropriations of $1,000 and $3,000, respectively, for surveys of the bar and harbor of Georgetown. The reports of these surveys are not available at this time.

(6) In compliance with an item in the river and harbor act of June 14, 1880, a survey was made of Georgetown Harbor, the report of which was printed on pages 1036–1038 of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1881. The district engineer officer recommended improvement by dredging a channel 12 feet deep and 200 feet wide across the bar at the mouth of the Sampit River in Winyah Bay at an estimated cost of about $14,000.

(c) A partial survey of the bar at the mouth of Winyah Bay was made in 1881. The report was published as Senate Executive Document No. 46, Forty-seventh Congress, first session, and was reprinted on pages 1122–1127 (with map) of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1882. The report was favorable to improvement by means of jetties at an estimated cost of $1,500,000, but recommended that more detailed surveys be made prior to beginning of construction work.

(d) A preliminary examination and survey of the entrance to Winyah Bay was made in 1884. The report was published as House Executive Document No. 258, Forty-eighth Congress, second session, and reprinted on pages 1154–1170 (with map and diagram) of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1885. This report contains considerable data as to currents, with an analysis of the effects to be expected under certain hypotheses, and sug

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