Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

to any future estimates of work the amount that has already been done.

Thirteen million yards have been taken out of the ship-canal excavation, along which line would also run this barge canal. My understanding is that whatever should be credited as excavation already completed has been credited to these estimates. I cannot give you that as a firm statement, because I have not been definitely advised of it.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. What about this other canal, the 6-foot canal, that you already have in lower Florida?

Mr. BUCKMAN. I think that has a controlling depth of a little over 6 feet, Senator.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. What are the possibilities of that?

Mr. BUCKMAN. Well, it is a canal, and there is no question that it can be used. It is 467 miles longer.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. It would require a different type of barge?

Mr. BUCKMAN. Of course, in its present condition it could not be used except for barges that were loaded to partial capacity or for smaller barges.

If you wanted to dig out the canal up the east coast of Florida some 230 miles, you would have what I think would be a possible route over which to haul materials. You would require that many more barges and that much more equipment and would have that much more exposure.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. Is there any other developed waterway to the west coast from Port St. Joe down?

Mr. BUCKMAN. No; not an inland canal. Some of the sounds between the islands have had artificial channel improvement, I think. However, it is fair to say that it is perfectly possible to navigate properly constructed barges all the way from Port St. Joe down to Fort Myers. That is a perfectly possible thing to do. The mileage would be 179 plus 216. The total difference in distance, going around the southern route as against going across the State, is 467 miles.

Senator PEPPER. The total of the two figures you gave is 397.

Senator VANDENBERG. What are the materials for which priorities would be necessary in the construction of a canal ?

Mr. BUCKMAN. Substantially only steel, Senator.

Inconsequential amounts of copper would, of course, be required here and there, but less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the amount of steel. It would be an inconsequential amount.

Senator VANDENBERG. Does the barge canal have the same long outlet to the sea at the west and that the ship canal had?

Mr. BUCKMAN. No, sir; the barge canal would go only about a mile and a half beyond the existing harbor entrance of Withlacoochee

. River, which has already been dredged out to a 10-foot depth. You would have to go about a mile and a half further out to get the 12-foot depth.

Senator VANDENBERG. What sort of construction is that?

Mr. BUCKMAN. There is no construction of any wall or breakwater there at all, for the simple reason that present practice is to bring those barges into what would be the mouth of the cross-State canal and is now the mouth of the Withlacoochee River. They are brought in now three times a week by the Florida Power & Light Co., and by

a

a

a

[ocr errors]

an oil company the name of which has escaped me. They have depots there. Those barges are brought from Texas to that point. There is a very substantial traffic, and it has been going on for nearly 15 years. I have a schedule of that traffic year by year. It is a very substantial traffic.

Senator Pepper has asked me if I thought it would be helpful to the committee to touch upon the relative economy of steel in barges, steel in the pipe lines, and so forth. I do not think that I want to take up the time of the committee on minutiae. I will say, though, that the amount of steel required, if all these barges that are to carry gasoline are built of steel and all the tugs are built of steel and only the cargo and heavier-oil barges are built of wood, and the pipe line steel for the line going across the State is added to that, would be far less than the total amount of steel in the pipe line proposed from Texas to the eastern seaboard. I do not know whether or not that is pertinent.

We certainly are not opposing all the pipe lines in this country. We think that everything has got to be done. Pipe lines, we think, would be a good idea. But you cannot put cotton, sulfur, wood pulp, iron ore, or wheat through a pipe line.

I call your attention to the fact that the Office of Defense Transportation has embargoed the transit of wheat on the Great Lakes. This year's wheat crop must move in some way other than by water via the Great Lakes. Either it is going to be an added burden on the rail

. roads, and it is difficult to see how they are going to assume it, or it is going to come down the rivers and go around by the intracoastal canal. That will be an increasingly serious situation next year.

Senator PEPPER. Have you any estimate of what the United States Government has already spent on that part of the Intracoastal Waterway which now exists on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast ?

Mr. BUCKMAN. No, sir; I have not that figure sufficiently accurate in my mind to be willing to quote it.

Senator Clark of Missouri. Coming back to this pipe line across Florida, how much of an operation is it to tranship this oil at Port St. Joe to the pipe line and then back to the barges on the other side of Florida, in order to carry it to Philadelphia ? In other words, what I am trying to get at is the question of the permanent proposition and also the relative economy of the pipe line and the barge canal in the shipment of oil, to say nothing, of course, of the other things that can be shipped over the barge canal.

Mr. BUCKMAN. I think I can answer that in this way. As the figures fall out, there is a very substantial increase in the economy when you do not have to transfer.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. That is what I was getting at.

Mr. BUCKMAN. If you can move by barge all the way when the canal is opened, I suppose the pipe line will go out of existence. But we

I do need that pipe line for these first few months.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. I understand that, and I think everybody is agreed upon the necessity of the pipe line. I was getting at the permanent feature of it. There is a very substantial economy made in shipping all the way by barge line rather than by transshipping twice, at Fort St. Joe and Jacksonville.

Mr. BUCKMAN. Very substantially so, so much so that they cannot exist side by side. The barge canal would show a lower economy.

а

Senator PEPPER. To get certain of your products from the oil areas to points on the east coast, the contemplated pipe line would take 700 barges; but for the barges to take the products all the way through, you would have to have 800 ?

Mr. BUCKMAN. You would need 730 in one case and 804 in the other; but there is the cost of transshipment, labor, delays, and then the turn around.

A barge moving from point A to point B must lose a certain amount of time at each point of origin and point of destination. You would have four points of origin and destination-two points of origin and two of destination. If you bring it by pipe line, you have that much more turn-around time.

Let us assume a barge loses a day in turn around. That is not, let me say at once, a probable figure. In other words, you can unload a barge in no time at all and load it just as quickly, unless repairs are waiting to be made. But let us take it simply to have something to point at. Then, if the barge moves from Philadelphia to Port Arthur and back, you have 2 days lost in turn-around time. If it moves from Port Arthur to Port St. Joe and goes back, you have 2 days loss there, and from Jacksonville to Philadelphia, 2 more days lost—or 4 days.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. Would not the matter of return cargoes be a consideration ? Mr. BUCKMAN. Oh, yes.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. From Texas points you could load the barges with oil and move them to Port St. Joe, where the oil would be sent through the pipe lines. On the other hand, if your barges can go all the way from Texas to Philadelphia, they could be loaded at Phila

. delphia with dry cargo, which you could not put through the pipe line. A portion of your barges, at least from Port St. Joe to Texas points, would otherwise go back empty.

Mr. BUCKMAN. Exactly:

There seems to be some significance-I hope there is in the fact that the designs now being made for the Maritime Commission for these oil barges that have been authorized have placed the loading pipes, instead of on the deck of the barge, outside, under the deck; and the sounding wells, instead of in the middle, off to one side, with the view of carrying deck cargo back. That is so well recognized now that it has crept into the design of these new barges. There undoubtedly will be deckcargo movement back on all these barges.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. That will be a very substantial factor in the economy of barge-line operation ?

Mr. BUCKMẢN. Very substantial; at least 500 tons of dry-deck cargo.

Senator PEPPER. Apropos what the Senator from Missouri has said, we have an intracoastal waterway from Trenton, N. J., down to points on the east coast of Florida, a distance of more than 1,000 miles. Then we have another existing waterway on the Gulf coast that is more than 900 miles long, and that starts on the other side of Florida. That would leave the impression that almost 2,000 miles of waterways have been built just to serve the State of Florida as a point of destination or as a point of origin.

Mr. BUCKMAN. If there are no more questions, I wish to thank you for the opportunity of making this statement.

Senator CARAWAY. Thank you very much.
We shall next hear from Mr. Graham.

Mr. GRAHAM. I thought we were to be called in the morning.

Senator PEPPER. Madam Chairman, Senator Ellender wishes to ask Mr. Buckman a question.

Senator ELLENDER. I wonder if I may ask Mr. Buckman of what use this pipe line would be after the completion of the canal.

Mr. BUCKMAN. Do you mean across Florida ?
Senator ELLENDER. Yes.

Mr. BUCKMAN. I do not know, sir, what it might be used for. It could be dug up and used in some other place where a barge canal is not parallel.

Senator ELLENDER. Would there be an advantage to having it there?

Mr. BUCKMAN. I think that if I were in the division of the Chief of Staff, after this experience I would keep it there in the ground, because we might want to transport a certain amount of high-test gasoline to the naval establishment right there at Jacksonville, and it would not mean a question of barges operating farther north. If we had one in the ground, I would leave it there, but I do not think it would be used commercially.

Senator ELLENDER. You would have to have barges to bring the gasoline or whatever other product it might be to the western terminus?

Mr. BUCKMAN. You would certainly have to do that, and I do not see much use in transferring to a pipe line if you could go on just a hundred miles farther with the barge and in 20 hours of transportation.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. But you do think the pipe line might be useful as a sort of stand-by unit?

Mr. BUCKMAN. As a stand-by. Bear in mind, in that respect, that in 1939 I discussed this question with the officers in the Navy Department and pointed out the necessity of providing for this movement of oil to the eastern seaboard. I was told at that time by the officer in charge of war plans that it was not necessary because we had an adequate number of pipe lines to the east coast that could take care of our needs.

When I pointed out to him that, 16 years before, whatever pipe lines there were had been taken up, it was news to the Navy Department. I think they had to revise their plans after that.

But I do think that if we get a facility in the ground and can afford to keep it there, we might well do it; but it will not compete commercially with the paralleling barges.

Senator CLARK of Missouri. Thank you.

Senator CARAWAY. Mr. Graham said he had not expected to testify today; that he thought he was to be called in the morning. There being no other witnesses, I think we shall adjourn. We shall meet tomorrow morning at 10:30 o'clock.

(At 4:15 p. m. an adjournment was taken until Tuesday, June 30, 1942, at 10:30 a. m.)

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF PIPE LINE AND

NAVIGABLE BARGE CHANNEL ACROSS FLORIDA

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 1942

UNITED STATES SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS,
OF THE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment on June 29, 1942, in the hearing room of the Senate Committee on Commerce, the Capitol, at 10:30 a. m., Senator Josiah W. Bailey, chairman of the Committee on Commerce, presiding.

Present: Senators Bailey (presiding), Caraway (chairman of the Subcommittee on Rivers and Harbors), Clark of Missouri, Bilbo, Radcliffe, Pepper, McNary, Vandenberg, and Burton.

Present also: Senators Andrews and Ellender.

Present also: Maj. Gen. Eugene Reybold, Chief of Engineers, War Department.

Senator BAILEY (presiding). The subcommittee will come to order. It is now 10:30, so we shall begin immediately.

General Reybold, I know that you are busy. I am sorry that we do not have more members present at this moment; however, they will be coming in within a few minutes, and, no doubt, may ask you to go over some of the ground you have gone over, but that cannot be helped. You may proceed.

STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. EUGENE REYBOLD, CHIEF OF

ENGINEERS, WAR DEPARTMENT

Major General REYBOLD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

It is a pleasure to appear before your committee in connection with your hearings on H. R. 6999. I must state at the outset, however, that time has not permitted the Department to ascertain the relationship of this legislation to the program of the President, and, accordingly, my testimony does not involve any commitment by the Department as to such relationship.

Senator BAILEY. I have just dictated a note to the Director of the Budget to ascertain that fact.

Major General REYBOLD. It is the purpose of the bill, H. R. 6999, to authorize, under the direction of the Secretary of War and the supervision of the Chief of Engineers :

(a) The construction of a high-level lock barge canal from the St. Johns River across Florida to the Gulf of Mexico.

(6) The enlargement and improvement of the present Intracoastal Waterway from the vicinity of Apalachee Bay, Fla., to Corpus

51

« PreviousContinue »