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Nero Orleans Harbor.–A survey of Gonldsboro Bend shows that, so far as completed, the works have accomplished their purpose of holding the bank and preventing caving, although no marked deposit is ob. served. Preparations have been made for the authorized extension of the protection and work will begin at once.
Red and Atchafalaya rirers.--Since July 1 over $13,000 has been ex. pended in an ineffectual attempt to keep open the channel of Red River from the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya. Both the Red and Mississippi were at an unusually low stage through the season, and the absence of current in Old River prevented the remoral by scour of material stirred up by scraping or other means. It seems certain that annual dredging can not be relied on to keep open this channel at a justifiable cost.
In the Atchafalaya River seven mats for the first sill have been laid, covering a length of 560 feet. These mats are each about 80 by 300 feet, and 3 feet thick, loaded with over 400 tons of stone. The contractors having failed to supply stone as required, the Government plant and bired labor were used to obtain from the Ouachita River what was needed. Captain Kingman is of opinion that work of this kind can be better and more cheaply done by hired labor than by contract.
Levecs. The contracts for Deer Park and Kempe levees have been let, and work is in progress on both.
Amount available June 30, 1887...
-$1,372, 706.71 Amount expended present fiscal year, exclusive of liabilities outstanding Juno 30, 1887.
$218, 834. 38 Outstanding liabilities November 1, 1887,
58, 007, 34 Covered by contracts November 1, 1887
614, 350, 39
891, 192, 11
Balance available November
lierewith are sent copies of the reports upon the first and second districts, containing details of interest. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
President Mississippi Rirer Commission. The SECRETARY OF WAR.
(Through the Chief of Engineers.
OFFICE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
U. S. ARMY,
December 22, 1887. Respectfully transmitted to the Secretary of War with inclosures.
J. C. DUANE,
REPORT OF CAPTAIN S. S. LEACH, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UPON OPERA
TIONS IN THE FIRST DISTRICT.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Memphis, Tenn., November 15, 1887. GENERAL: Pursuant to the requirements of section 4 of the river and harbor act of August 5, 1886, I have the honor to submit herewith a re. port to November 1, 1887, of the “work done, contracts made, the expenditures thereunder or otherwise, and balances of money on hand up to November 1, and the effect of such work,” so far as relates to the portion of the works in my charge embraced in the first district.
The district extends from Cairo, at the mouth of the Ohio, to the foot of Island 40, a distance of 220 miles. The only place in the district where actual work has ever been undertaken is the Plum Point Reach, where, for a distance of 12 miles, beginning 157 miles below Cairo, the river has been brought under control as to its channel and the flood es. cape practically prevented. The extent and location of works have been fully reported on and their condition and the results obtained and maintained have been chronicled from time to time, my last report bring. ing the subject down to the close of the last fiscal year.
There has been but little change in the condition of the channel works since last report. The contraction works have been almost constantly above water and therefore out of the reach of danger. The bank revet. ments are in the same condition as at last report; that is, they are generally in good order and effective.
The middle section of the Fletcher's revetment, the remarkable endur. ance of which has been repeatedly commented upon in my reports, is still in place. It seems to have suffered little, if any, damage since the last report. It was intended to form part of a continuous revetment of the bend, near the middle of which it is situated. In January, 1885, work upon it was interrupted from exhaustion of funds, and has never been resumed. It was left a short, unfinished piece of work, iso. lated in the middle of a rapidly caving bend, with its nearest supports nearly a mile distant above and below. This short piece of work with. stood all front attacks, and only succumbed in part when the caving of the unprotected bank above and below it, to a distance of 400 feet back of its position, caused it to be attacked in rear at both ends. Even under this great disadvantage it has yielded but slowly, and for the last year and a half has protected the entire bend from caving to any pernicious extent. With such pieces of revetment placed at supporting distances of 500 feet instead of 5,000, as in this case, it can not be doubted that the bank will be permanently and effectively prevented from caving. I am, therefore, impelled to repeat with added emphasis the statement made in my report of July 30, 1886, to the effect that caring banks of average difficulty can be protected by discontinuous revetment. I would recommend at the outset that the spaces be equal in length to the revetments, which would effect at once a saving of 50 per cent. in cost.
The low water of this year has been unusual, both in its small volume and prolonged duration. As a consequence, commerce has suffered greatly from obstructed navigation. At present the load draught of boats running from Cairo down is limited to less than 5 feet by a crossing at Phillips, 50 miles below, where the most careful search with a sounding.pole has discovered no greater depth than 5 feet 2 inches. . Besides this, pilots are now reporting on the 400 miles of river, com.
prising the two districts in my charge, the following bad places : Four of 6 feet depth, one of 6), nine of 7, two of 71, and 5 of 8 feet, making à grand total of twenty-two places in balf the river where the navigable depth does not exceed 8 feet. Before the improvement was begun at Plum Point, Bullerton Bar was notoriously the worst one below Çairo and could be depended upon to give a foot less water than any other crossing. It is conceded by all informed river-men that in such a water as this no more than 41 feet could have been found there. In its improved condition the actual depths, determined frequently and with care, have never fallen below 9 feet, thus making this place twice as deep as formerly, and better than tweifty-two other places which used to exceed it in depth.
This season, for the first time in the history of the work, the discharge of the river at the lowest stage was entirely through the regulated channel.
Levees.-At the last meeting of the Commission an allotment of $75,000 was made for " Levees Plum Point Reach, west bank.” The allotment was made in the belief that it would cover but a part of the reach, but the survey showed the quantities to be less than had been assumed, and this, with the very low prices obtained, so much increased the length of line which could be covered with the money, that a standard leree will be built from the intersection of Mill and Bear bayous, opposite Ashport, to a connection with the old levee on Craighead Point, a distance of 22 miles, or nearly double the improved portion of the reach. The old levee, with which a junction is effected at the lower end, is 8 miles long and in fair condition. The few breaks will be put up by the planters behind it, and its length will be added to the 22 miles mentioned, so that the application of this allotment closes 30 miles of the Saint Francis front against the escape of flood waters from the river.
Proposals for the work were opened September 20, and were as follows:
Abstraot of proposals for leree work on Plum Point Reach, west bank, received in response to advertisement dated August 18, 1887, and opened September
20, 1887, by Capt. Smith S. Leach, Corps of Engineers.
Sections 5 to 16.
Cts. Cts Cts. C18. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts Cts. Ots. Cts.
214 213 214 215 213 234 233 234 231
18) 197 208 203 199
18 164 161 163
16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
173 173 177 178
197 198 19% 19
19 19 19 19 19 19
.01 .013 18 cents. Sec.
tion numbers not given.
Nos. 1 and 2. .015 Nos. 3 and 4: .02 211 cents. Sec.
tion numbers not given.
(S. B. 101
23 23 23 23 23 111 140 141 142 143 19 173 174 173 174 175
.03 .015 .013 Sta.
The award was made to the lowest bidders, Serbian, Wright & Co., of Cairo, Ill., sections 1 to 4, inclusive, north, and sections 1 to 14, inclusive, south, at 154 cents; and Timothy Sullivan, of Memphis, Tenn., sections 15 to 19, inclusive, south, at 14} cents.
Work is now in rapid progress.
A table of depths and velocities observed on the Plum Point Reach July, 1886, to November, 1887, is herewith; also detailed statements of expenditures and financial statements and general balance sheet for ibe district. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SMITI S. LEACH,
Captain of Engineers. General Q. A. GILLMORE,
President Mississippi River Commission.
Table showing comparative lcast-channel depths and velocities in rarious channels of the
improved portion of Plum Point Reach, Mississippi River.
25 Nov. 10
12 16 19
30 Dec. 10
1887. Jan. 14
31 Feb. 9
28 Mar. 5
6. 45 5. 00 8.50 18. 70 27.90 31.22 32. 10 32. 29 32. 40
22.5 33. 5 42.0 44.0 45.5
7.0 10.5 22. 0 30.0 32.0 32.0 31.0
1. 14 3. 00 2. 79
7.04.18 10.5 3. 26 21.5 3. 92 31.0 5. 20 34 0
5. 74 32.5 5. 41
16.5 28.0 38,5 41.0 43.5
4. 16 3.63 3. 17 4.29
4. 47 4.62 4.79 4.50 4.00