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CONGRESS

Sessions

HILLSBORO RIVER, FLA.

LETTER

FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR,

TRANSMITTING,

WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORT ON

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF HILLSBORO RIVER, FLA., FROM MICHIGAN AVENUE TO LAFAYETTE STREET BRIDGE, TAMPA.

OCTOBER 3, 1919.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and

ordered to be printed, with illustration.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, October 2, 1919. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, a letter from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, of yesterday's date, together with report of Col. Glen E. Edgerton, Engineers, dated May 13, 1919, with map, on

a preliminary examination of Hillsboro River. Fla., from Michigan Avenue to Lafayette Street Bridge, Tampa, authorized by the river and harbor act approved August 8, 1917. Very respectfully,

BENEDICT CROWELL, Acting Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, October 1, 1919.
From: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
To: The Secretary of War.
Subject: Preliminary examination of Hillsboro River, Fla.

1. There is submitted herewith, for transmission to Congress, report dated May 13, 1919, with map, by Col. Glen E. Edgerton, Engineers, on preliminary examination of Hillsboro River, Fla., from Michigan Avenue to Lafayette Street Bridge, Tampa, authorized by the river and harbor act approved August 8, 1917.

2. Hillsboro River empties into Hillsboro Bay at Tampa, Fla. It is navigable from its mouth to the Tampa Electric Co.'s dam, a distance of 10 miles. The existing project provides for securing and maintaining a channel 200 feet wide and 12 feet deep at mean low water, from a point 100 feet south of Lafayette Street Bridge to the turning basin at the mouth of the river, by dredging. The distance from Lafayette Street Bridge to Michigan Avenue is about 1.2 miles. The business on this reach is confined to the section between Lafayette Street Bridge and Garcia Avenue Bridge, where there is now a channel 7 feet deep and 50 to 100 feet wide. The mean range of tide is 2.2 feet. The improvement apparently desired is a channel of similar dimensions to those of the existing project, in extension of the present dredged channel. The commerce reported amounts to 54,700 tons, valued at $713,500, consisting principally of sand and shell and cedar logs. The district engineer states that the improvement of Tampa Harbor is being carried on with the object of ultimately securing a depth of 27 feet, and one of the conditions under which this work is being prosecuted is that rail facilities shall be provided by the city for that portion of the channel under improvement known as Ybor Estuary. This estuary now has a depth of 24 feet with unoccupied areas along its banks, and the district engineer does not consider it advisable for the Government to improve the Hillsboro River to any greater extent than is now authorized until greater advantage has been taken of the channels already constructed. The division engineer is of the opinion that the advisability of the improvement is dependent upon its cost, and he recommends a survey and estimate for a channel 12 feet deep and 200 feet wide, from the Lafayette Street Bridge to the bend of the river opposite the Tampa Waterworks Co.'s pumping station, a distance of about 6,000 feet.

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 24, 1919, concurring in the views of the district engineer.

4. After due consideration of the above-mentioned reports, I concur in the views of the district engineer and the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and therefore report that the improvement by the United States of Hillsboro River, Fla., from Michigan Avenue to Lafayette Street Bridge, Tampa, is not deemed advisable at the present time.

W. M. BLACK,

Major General.

I:EPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS.

[Third indorsement.)
THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,

June 24, 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 of August 8, 1917, on preliminary examination of Hillsboro River, Fla., from Michigan Avenue to Lafayette Street Bridge, Tampa.

2. Hillsboro River rises at the town of Crystal Springs, flows in a general southwesterly direction for 50 miles and empties into Hillsboro Bay at Tampa, Fla. It is navigable from its mouth to the Tampa Electric Co.'s dam, a distance of 10 miles. The existing project provides for a channel 200 feet wide and 12 feet deep at mean low water, from the turning basin at the mouth to a point 100 feet south of the Lafayette Street Bridge, a distance of about one-half mile. The project was completed in 1915.

3. The section of river under consideration is about 2 miles in length and has a channel through it varying in width from 50 to 150 feet, the controlling depth being about 7 feet. The mean tidal range is about 2.2 feet. The commerce reported for this section amounts to 54,700 tons, consisting principally of sand and shell and cedar logs. The business is all confined to the section between Lafayette Street Bridge and Garcia Avenue Bridge, there being no development above the latter. To secure a depth of 12 feet in the reach under consideration would require dredging for a distance of about 10,350 feet, a part of the material to be excavated being rock. The district engineer refers to the extensive improvement of Tampa Harbor and channels already accomplished and the enlarged project now under way, and expresses the opinion that it is not advisable for the Government to improve Hillsboro River to a greater extent than now authorized until more use has been made of the channels already constructed. For reasons given, the division engineer recommends a survey and estimate, believing that the advisability of the improvement is dependent upon the cost.

4. Interested parties were notified of the tenor of the district engineer's report and invited to submit statements and arguments to the board, but no communications on the subject have been received.

5. There has been expended on the deep-water channels leading to Tampa and into Ybor Estuary over $3,300,000, resulting in facilities not yet fully used. Much of the area adjacent to these improvements and suitable for industrial development is still unoccupied. Owing to the underlying rock in Hillsboro River, the cost of improvement would be comparatively high and the area available for commercial and industrial development is limited. It is believed that a knowledge of these conditions largely governed in deciding upon the improvement of Ybor Estuary, which is generally free from these objections. The present facilities on the lower Hillsboro permit the use of light draft vessels and a business of considerable importance. The additional improvement desired would be of benefit to some of the local industries, but it seems doubtful if any material increase in commerce would result. The board concurs with the district engineer in the opinion that until the facilities offered by the Tampa channels have been more extensively used, it is not advisable for the United States to undertake additional improvements in the Hillsboro River.

6. 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. Hans,
Major General, United States Army, retired,

Senior Member of the Board.

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF HILLSBORO RIVER, FLA.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,

Jacksonville, Fla., May 13, 1919.
From: The District Engineer.
To: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.

(Through the Division Engineer.) Subject: Preliminary examination of Hillsboro River, Fla.

1. In compliance with instructions in letter of September 1, 1917, report is submitted of a preliminary examination of Hillsboro River, Fla., authorized by the item of the river and harbor act, approved August 8, 1917, reading 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,

*

Hillsboro River, Fla., from Michigan Avenue to Lafayette Street Bridge, Tampa.

2. The Hillsboro River is situated on the west coast of Florida, and empties into Hillsboro Bay at Tampa, Fla. The river rises at the town of Crystal Springs at a distance of 51 miles from Tampa and flows in a southerly and westerly direction to Hillsboro Bay. From Crystal Springs to Branchton Bridge, a point 39 miles from Tampa, the river is narrow and crooked and the depth varies from 2 to 10 feet. Depths of 4 to 6 feet are available the greater part of the distance, but there are several rapids that are barely passable for flat-bottom skiffs, and the river is obstructed by fallen trees and logs. For a distance of about 3 miles below Branchton Bridge the river flows through a cypress swamp and is divided into numerous small channels. From this point to the Tampa Electric Co.'s dam, 10 miles from Tampa, the river is crooked and obstructed by hyacinth jams and shoals. The channel depths vary from 1 foot to 10 feet, with stretches in the river providing 5 to 8 feet. The river varies in width in this section from 60 to 125 feet. From the Tampa Electric Co.'s dam to Nebraska Avenue, Tampa, the river is navigable and affords a channel 3 to 12 feet deep, and to Michigan Avenue, a channel 11 to 21 feet deep, except three small shoals, and is reasonably straight, varying in width from 60 to 400 feet. From Michigan Avenue to Lafayette Street Bridge the channel varies in width from 100 to 150 feet, and the average depth is 8 feet, with controlling depth of 7 feet. From Lafayette Street Bridge to the turning basin in Hillsboro Bay, at the mouth of the river, there is a channel 12 feet deep and 200 feet wide, this part of the river having been improved by the United States.

3. The following table gives reference to previous preliminary reports submitted on the improvement of the Hillsboro River:

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4. In the portion of the Hillsboro River, extending from the mouth to within 100 feet of the Lafayette Street Bridge, a distance of about one-half a mile, a channel has been dug by the United States, which affords a 12-foot depth and a width of 200 feet. From Lafayette Street Bridge to Michigan Avenue, a distance of about 2 miles--the section of the river that is particularly described for this preliminary examination—the channel varies in width from 50 to 150 feet and the controlling depth is about 7 feet. The average range of tide in the river is about 2.2 feet, but a fluctuation of 4 to 6 feet is not an unusual occurrence during stormy weather.

This section of the river is crossed by the following bridges:

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5. The field examination for this report was made by Mr. 0. N. Bie, assistant engineer, Tampa, Fla., and he states that the interested parties desire an extension of the 12-foot channel to Michigan Avenue, a distance of about 2 miles.

6. The portion of the river under consideration is used by oil-tank steamers, schooners, sand and shell barges, and various craft which proceed to and from the marine railway located in this section of the river. The bridges regulate to some extent the size of the vessels that use this portion of the river. I am informed that the Lafayette Street Bridge was opened in one year about 1,563 times and that the Atlantic Coast Line Railway Bridge, which has a smaller clearance than the Lafayette Street Bridge, was opened about 2,640 times during the same period.

7. The following information regarding commerce on the river is taken from the report of Assistant Engineer 0. N. Bie:

The amount and value of freight on the river above Lafayette Street in the past 12 months were:

Tons.

Value, Sand and shell.

28, 000 $33, 000 Cedar logs---

18,000 170,000 Pine logs.

1,000 7,500 Lumber

200 3. 000 Gasoline, kerosene, and lubricating oils...

7, 500 500,000

Estimated total.-

54, 700

713, 500

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