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STURGEON BAY AND LAKE MICHIGAN SHIP CANAL, WIS.
THE SECRETARY OF WAR
A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, DATED OCTOBER 13, 1943, SUBMITTING A REPORT, TOGETHER WITH ACCOMPANYING PAPERS AND AN ILLUSTRATION, ON A REVIEW OF REPORTS ON STURGEON BAY AND LAKE MICHIGAN SHIP CANAL, WIS., REQUESTED BY A RESOLUTION OF THE COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ADOPTED ON NOVEMBER 5, 1941
FEBRUARY 14, 1944.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and
ordered to be printed, with an illustration
Washington, February 5, 1944. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
DEAR MR. SPEAKER: I am transmitting herewith a report dated October 13, 1943, from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, together with accompanying papers and an illustration, on a review of reports on Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan Ship Canal, Wis., requested by a resolution of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors, House of Representatives, adopted on November 5, 1941.
The Under Secretary of War advises that, although relatively small amounts of critical materials would be required in the proposed project if it were authorized, it would require some materials, manpower, and equipment, and it does not appear that the war effort would be measurably or directly benefited by the project. There is no objection to the submission of the report, but this Department does not approve of the submission of any estimate of appropriation for the construction, or the initiation of any construction on this project until after the war.
The Bureau of the Budget has been consulted and advises that, while there would be no objection to the submission of this proposed report to the Congress, in the absence of evidence showing that the
proposed works are necessary to the prosecution of the war, the submission during the present emergency of any estimate of appropriation for the construction of the project would not be in accord with the program of the President. Respectfully,
HENRY L. STIMSON,
Secretary of War.
Washington, October 13, 1943.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: 1. The Committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House of Representatives, by resolution adopted November 5, 1941, requested the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors to review the reports on Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan Ship Canal, Wis., submitted in River and Harbor Committee Document No. 9, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, with a view to determining if it is advisable to modify the existing project in any way at this time. I enclose the report of the Board in response thereto.
2. After full consideration of the reports secured from the district and division engineers, the Board recommends that the existing project for the Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan Ship Canal, Wis., be modified to provide for a turning basin 20 feet deep located on the southwesterly side of the existing channel, southeasterly of the existing highway bridge, and between the city and the Bushman docks, about as indicated as area A on the accompanying map, at an estimated cost of construction of $11,000, with maintenance estimated at $500 annually, provided local interests furnish, free of cost to the United States, suitable spoil-disposal areas for new work and for subsequent maintenance as required.
3. After due consideration of these reports, I concur in the views and recommendations of the Board. Very truly yours,
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS
Washington, August 23, 1943.
1. This report is in response to the following resolution, adopted November 5, 1941:
Resolved by the Committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House of Representatives, United States, That the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors created under section 3 of the River and Harbor Act, approved June 13, 1902, be and is hereby
le sub requested to review the reports on Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan Ship Canal,
Wisconsin, submitted in River and Harbor Committee Docuinent Numbered ropria
9, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, with a view to determining if it is advisith tk able to modify the existing project in any way at this time.
2. Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan Ship Canal is located on the west shore of Lake Michigan about 128 miles northerly from Mil
waukee, Wis., and is an artificial waterway, without locks, connecting War.
Lake Michigan with the head of Sturgeon Bay, an estuary of Green
than by way of hazardous Porte des Morts passage which is about 1943. 40 miles northerly from the canal. The original canal was constructed
by local interests, the United States assuming possession on April 25, 1893, under authority of the River and Harbor Act of July 13,
1892. The authorized project for improvement, completed in 1942, d Ha provides a channel about 8.6 miles long with a minimum depth of 22 remte feet and widths generally ranging from 160 to 600 feet, the controlling bors u width for 22-foot depth being 130 feet in a land cut 7,200 feet long Cani through the peninsula, and with converging piers for the protection No. of the eastern entrance of the canal from Lake Michigan. The total ng if Federal cost on all projects to December 31, 1942, is $2,446,500 of
which $1,048,700 is for new work, including the purchase price of
the canal, and $1,397,800 for maintenance and operation. The distri latest approved estimate of annual cost of maintenance is $45,000.
There are no recommended changes in the project pending before mod Congress. Local interests have made many harbor improvements,
the cost of which is unreported.
3. The city of Sturgeon Bay, through which the channel passes, has a abou: population of 5,439, 1940 census. It is the county seat of Door County
with an area of 469 square miles and a population of 19,095. Door 90 a County is a well-developed agricultural region, the value of livestock nit in 1930 being $3,053,000, dairy products $2,166,000 and crops que $2,982,000. The value of manufactures in 1935 was about $3,275,000.
The city of Sturgeon Bay is the northern terminus of the Ahnapee and Western Railway and is well served by improved Federal and State highways. Local vessel traffic from 1922 to 1941 inclusive averaged 340,000 tons yearly, while through traffic averaged 397,000 tons. During the calendar year 1941, a total of 680,000 tons of traffic was handled on the waterway, Principal cargo items are stone, coal, gasoline, lumber, paper, and sand.
4. Local interests desire a turning basin in the vicinity of the city of Sturgeon Bay with a depth of 22 feet and of such area as to permit turning of vessels up to 600 feet in length. They state that navigation interests have greatly curtailed their services to the city of Sturgeon Bay due to the absence of turning facilities and that during 1941 about 40 percent of the normal vessel coal receipts from the east had to be supplied from Illinois coal fields by the use of locally owned boats. Some of the vessel owners have refused to come to the harbor. It was estimated that these conditions have increased the cost of coal about 10 cents a ton.
It was also stated that passenger boats have declined to enter the harbor in recent years because of inability to turn except with great difficulty and hazard. The mayor of Sturgeon Bay stated that not only is the basin needed for normal