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Because of similar increase in commerce, Army engineers recently submitted report recommending enlargement of canal to depth of 12 feet and bottom width 150 feet, from New Orleans, La., to Mobile, Ala., distance of 166 miles.
Total distance of proposed 12-foot canal from Mexican border to Apalachee Bay, Fla., 1,074 miles. Of this total mileage, 733 miles (Corpus Christi to New Orleans, and New Orleans to Mobile), already recommended in engineering reports for enlargement, as provided in H. R. 6999.
Extension from Corpus Christi to Rio Grande Valley, 120 miles, on basis of 9-foot depth and 100-foot bottom width, has been recommended by Army engineers and authorization contained in pending general rivers and harbors bill.
Only sections of proposed 12-foot canal from Mexican border to Apalachee Bay, not included in previous engineers' recommendation for 12-foot depth, are (1) from Corpus Christi to Rio Grande Valley, 120 miles, and (2) Mobile to Apalachee Bay, distance 221 miles, or 341 miles of the total distance of 1,074 miles from the Mexican border to Apalachee Bay.
Commerce on Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.-Commerce on entire waterway has reached enormous proportions. Recommendations made by Army engineers for enlargement to 12-foot depth from Corpus Christi to Mobile were based upon remarkable increase in tonnage during past few years. Commerce in 1940 was 50 percent greater than in 1939 and for calendar year 1941 showed increase of 50 percent over previous year. Total commerce doubled in 2-year period. During calendar year 1941 tonnage handled by Intracoastal Waterway from Mississippi River east to Apalachee Bay, 4,204,000 tons. Tonnage Mississippi River to Sabine River on Texas line, 1941, 13,806,225 tons. From Sabine River to Brazos River in Texas, 1941, 11,522,538 tons. (Canal from Brazos River to Corpus Christi, distance approximately 120 miles, was not open to commerce until April this year.) Total commerce for entire Gulf Intracoastal Waterway for calendar year 1941, 29,532,793 tons.
Tonnage consisted of wide range of commodities with oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products, sulfur, salt, and similar essential war materials constituting major portion.
Extension from Corpus Christi to Rio Grande Valley.-The lower valley of the Rio Grande is one of the most important producing areas in the United States. The ports at Brownsville and Port Isabel are gateways for large tonnage from Mexico. Testimony presented to Rivers and Harbors Committee by port directors of ports of Brownsville and Port Isabel, appearing on pages 128 to 154, inclusive, of the hearings before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House, gives accurate information with respect to this. Reference is made, particularly to data appearing in statement on pages 136, 137, and 138. Completion of canal to Rio Grande Valley will provide facilities for movement of large quantities of war materials from Mexico.
The oil and gasoline shortage.- Normal consumption of petroleum and its products in Atlantic seaboard territory (now rationed), 1,600,000 barrels per day. Minimum need, 1,400,000 barrels. Prior to war and discontinuance of tanker service, 1,400,000 barrels moved from Texas to Atlantic seaboard by tank ship. Present movement (statement Maj. J. R. Parten, Director of Transportation in the Office of Petroleum Coordinator, p. 217 of the House hearings) for week ending May 9, as follows:
Barrels per day By tank car
650, 000 By pipe line
125, 000 By inland barge-
839, 000 Proposed 24-inch pipe line from Texas to Salem, Ill., is estimated to carry 300,000 barrels daily. With this added facility, a total of approximately 1,200,000 barrels, theoretically, will be delivered to rationed territory: theoretically, because Salem, Ill., is several hundred miles west of territory where shortage exists.
There is now a completed and usable 12-foot inland waterway from Jacksonville, Fla., to Trenton, N. J., a distance of 1,046 miles. If there was now a 12-foot inland waterway from the Mexican border to the west coast of Florida (as provided in H. R. 6999), and a 12-foot barge canal across Florida, with sufficient towboats and barges, all of the petroleum needs of the Atlantic coast could be supplied.
Pending construction of the barge canal across Florida, pipe lines (as provided in H. R. 6999 and which, according to expert testimony, can be constructed in not to exceed 120 days) will be capable of supplying a large portion of the deficiency which will still exist after the 24-inch pipe line from Texas to Salem, Ill., is constructed. There are available in Texas much unused pipe lines, 8 to 10 inches in diameter. An 8-inch line can handle 35,000 barrels per day, a 10-inch line, 60,000 barrels per day.
Pending completion of the barge canal across Florida, these pipe lines can be serviced by barges operating on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at terminals at or near St. Joe, Fla., and barges operating in the Atlantic Intracoastal Canal from Jacksonville, Fla. With three pipe lines (8- or 10-inch) not less than 150,000 barrels a day can be supplied. Wooden barges which can be quickly constructed in practically unlimited quantities, are entirely satisfactory for the movement of all petroleum products with the exception of gasoline. To the extent that pipe lines across Florida can handle crude and fuel oil, tank cars will be released to handle larger quantities of gasoline.
The total capacity of oil refineries along the Atlantic coast is approximately 714,000 barrels per day. Crude oil must be supplied if these refineries are to continue to operate.
Conclusion.-H. R. 6999 is not a full or complete answer to the oil and fuel shortage along the Atlantic coast. It will, however, make a definite and distinct contribution toward the solution of the problem, and, when the barge canal across Florida is completed, means for through and cheap transportation will be provided for many other essential and vital raw materials produced in great abundance along the Gulf coast..
The commerce now being handled on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (as shown above), which is rapidly increasing day by day, requires the immediate enlargement of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The project (described in H. R. 6999), in its entirety is recommended by Maj. Gen. Eugene Reybold, Chief of Engineers (this in conformity with the customary procedure), in his statement appearing on page 16 of the House hearings. After reviewing the project in all of its details, General Reybold says:
"It is my opinion that such improvements (all features of the project) should be authorized by Congress now and that construction should be initiated at the earliest date on which work can be commenced without interfering with construction directly connected with the war effort."
Washington, June 15, 1942.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR JUDGE MANSFIELD: Reference is made to your letter of June 11, 1942, stating that H. R. 6999 will be taken up in the House for consideration on June 17 and that in connection therewith information is desired pertaining to certain engineering features and costs of a barge canal across northern Florida and as to its effect on the fresh water supply of that State. You also request a statement' as to whether the proposed intracoastal waterway channel connecting such a barge canal with the existing eastern terminus of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway might be eliminated.
The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, in connection with its studies of a waterway across northern Florida, fiunds that the most feasible method of providing for the accommodation of barge traffic between the Atlantic and Gulf coasts would be by means of a lock canal. Such a canal with depth of 12 feet and width of 150 feet along route 13-B, which follows the St. Johns River to Palatka, thence the valley of the Oklawaha River, across the divide, and the valley of the Withlacoochee River to the Gulf, is estimated to cost $14,000,000.
A lock canal for barge traffic following route 13-B would in no way affect the ground water supply in the area. By providing three locks on the east slope and two on the west slope with total lifts of 55 feet, the water surface of the summit pool could be maintained between elevations 42 and 55 which is the range through which the water table in the adjacent area has fluctuated in the past. A barge canal of such design with necessary lockage water supplied from the combined
natural discharge of the Oklawaha River and Silver Springs Run would result in no damage to lands as the ground-water conditions along the route of the waterway would be unchanged.
With reference to the use by intracoastal waterway traffic of the open Gulf between the eastern terminus of the present intracoastal waterway in the vicinity of Apalachee Bay and the Gulf terminus of the above-mentioned barge canal, it may be stated that coastwise traffic now follows this route and that while some danger is connected therewith, I am informed that there is very little time lost in navigating this portion of the Gulf. Accordingly, it would be possible to eliminate that section of the intracoastal waterway from the improvements proposed in H. R. 6999 and still move very large quantities of commerce by barge from terminals along the Gulf coast to the eastern seaboard with the completion of the other improvements proposed in the bill.
Since time has not permitted me to ascertain whether the information presented in this letter is in accord with the program of the President, such information should be considered as factual and involving no commitment as to that program. Very truly yours,
Chief of Engineers. Senator PEPPER. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Peterson of Florida would like to put a short statement into the record. If that is permitted, it will save some time.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
STATEMENT OF HON. J. HARDIN PETERSON, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE FIRST DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Representative PETERSON. I would like to urge that the improvement authorized in House Document 371, Seventy-sixth Congress, for the improvement of the Intracoastal Waterway from the Anclote to the Withlacoochee River be included. This provides for a depth of 9 feet with a bottom width of 100 feet, and has been approved by the Chief of Engineers and is included in the present pending rivers and harbors bill. It is Report No. 1431. This would be a continuation from the present projected canal, authorized in the Mansfield bill, from the Anclote River to the Caloosahatchee, and from the Anclote to the Withlacoochee, is only a distance of 45 miles, and there is no continuation of Inter Bay, but the Engineers point out in their report:
But as depths in the Gulf increase very gradually and dissipate waves far off shore, it is practical for small boats and barges to navigate in the open Gulf except in stormy weather.
I would like to especially call the attention of the committee to the present existing waterway from Punta Masa to Stuart, with a project depth of 6 feet but an actual depth of 7 feet. The Chief of Engineers in a strong report, House Document 696, Third session, Seventysixth Congress, has recommended the deepening of this to 8 feet. In the conclusion of his report, he states:
The existing waterway serves a substantial commerce and is capable of carrying a much greater volume of traffic in vessels of limited draft. It will not accommodate the large barges and the larger recreational craft which must now pass through the open waters of the Straits of Florida in passing between the inland waterway along the Atlantic coast and the sheltered bays and lagoons along the Gulf coast. The modern locks now provided for the cross-State connection have adequate dimensions and there is adequate depth over a large part of the route. Deepening of present restrictive reaches can be accomplished at relatively little additional cost and economy will result if there is authorization for obtaining the greater depth incident to work under the present lesser project.
This will only cost $208,000, with an annual maintenance of $1,500. Recently oil has been towed through there by barges, and it is shown that it is practical to use it. A considerable volume of traffic has been using it.
In the report dated April 10, 1940, the Chief of Engineers said [reading]:
The enlarged channel would form a connecting link for the Atlantic and Gulf sections of the Intracoastal Waterway and provide a means for transit of tugs, barges, and yachts of moderate size. Benefits from recreational activities and from the transportation of petroleum products, fertilizer, machinery, building materials, grains, and general merchandise to the area are evaluated at $176,000 and annual charges for the improvement are estimated at $20,620. In view of the comparatively large prospective benefits he recommends that the project be undertaken, subject to certain conditions of local cooperation.
This is also included in the pending rivers and harbors bill in the House, but this bill has been tied up for some time. The building of this is especially important because of the fact that it is useful not only for the hauling of petroleum products but also for small naval and Coast Guard craft, of which there is an increasing number.
On page 57, Report 1431, Seventy-seventh Congress, first session, the House report states also [reading]:
The Navy Department states that this project is of considerable interest to national defense for the reason that it would permit the use of this waterway by naval small patrol craft.
In view of the urgency of the situation, I respectfully urge the deepening of this waterway, which has run the regular gantlet, has been approved by the engineers, recommended to Congress, and has only a small expenditure of $208,000 required, and is being used and can be used immediately to a much better advantage if deepened.
Senator MAYBANK. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask permission on behalf of Congressman Rivers to have Lieutenant Smith, of the Army engineers, testify.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not like long statements which nobody reads, and long examinations that fill up the record. Let us see if we cannot make the matter brief and to the point.
Senator PEPPER. A gentleman from the office of the Chief of Engineers has just made inquiry, which he hoped I would transmit to the chairman, as to the time that the Chief of Engineers' presence might be required.
The CHAIRMAN. If we can get through with these witnesses today, we will hear the Chief of Engineers and the Petroleum Coordinator tomorrow.
Senator LEE. The time limitation would not preclude the members of the committee from examining a witness after his time had expired, I hope?
The CHAIRMAN. If a witness takes out time to answer questions, that will not be counted in his time. I take it that the proper way to proceed would be to let the witness make his statement and then ask him questions. If you ask him questions in the course of his statement, you disrupt his argument, and then there is no way to determine how long it will be.
There seems to be no objection to a 20-minute limitation.
Colonel Miller, we will hear you first, unless some member of the committee wishes to make a statement. Does any member of the committee have a statement to make ? (No response.)
STATEMENT OF ROY MILLER, ACTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE
INTRACOASTAL CANAL ASSOCIATION OF LOUISIANA AND TEXAS; ALSO THE PORT OF CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is Roy Miller. I appear in my capacity as active vice president of the Intracoastal Canal Association of Louisiana and Texas, and I also represent the port of Corpus Christi, Tex.
I think at the outset it might be of value to the committee to briefly analyze the various items in the bill. The first one is the high level lock barge canal across Florida, the estimated cost of which is $44,000,000.
Second, the proposed enlargement of the existing Gulf-Intracoastal Waterway from Apalachee Bay, Fla., to Corpus Christi, Tex., to a depth of 12 feet and a bottom width of 125 feet, from its present dimensions of a 9-foot depth and a 100-foot bottom width; also the extension of the waterway from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande Valley, a distance of approximately 120 miles, the estimated cost of all of which is $26,000,000.
The pipe line or pipe lines from Port St. Joe, Fla., to the vicinity of Jacksonville, is estimated to cost $10,000,000.
The House amendment authorizes a pipe line from Yazoo, Miss., to Charleston, S. C., and Savannah, Ga., estimated to cost $13,000,000, making a total authorization, covered by the bill, of $93,000,000.
I have here a brief statement, Mr. Chairman, which I shall not take the trouble to read, in the interest of saving time, but which I should like to place in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that in addition to the statement that you made before the House committee, or is it a reiteration?
Mr. MILLER. It has some new matter in it, Mr. Chairman, that I think will be of interest. It contains some quotations from official documents which are not contained in my statement before the House committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
(The statement referred to and submitted by the witness is here printed in full as follows:)
My name is Roy Miller. I appear here in my capacity as active vice president of the Intracoastal Canal Association of Louisiana and Texas, a voluntary organization consisting of individuals, business firms, and industries in the territory traversed by the waterway as completed and projected from the Mississippi River to the Rio Grande. I also appear as the legislative representative of the city and port of Corpus Christi, Tex.
The enlargement of the Intracoastal Waterway of Louisiana and Texas is a vital and important part of the project proposed in H. R. 6999. The Intracoastal Waterway of Louisiana and Texas, on the basis of its present dimensions of a 9-foot depth and a 100-foot bottom width, was authorized in the River and Harbor Acts of March 3, 1925, and January 21, 1927, at an estimated cost of $16,000,000. The project has been completed from the Mississippi River through Louisiana and, in Texas, to the Houston and Galveston district, for several years.