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the SPEAKEI

Dear Mr. Hruary 14, Mgether withi

navigation sippi Ri

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

'8TH CONGRESS

2d Session

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{ Deo. 509

DOCUMENT
No. 509

LISSISSIPPI RIVER BETWEEN CAIRO, ILL. AND BATON

ROUGE, LA.

LETTER

FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR

TRANSMITTING

LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, DATED FEBRUARY 14, 1944, SUBMITTING A REPORT, TOGETHER WITH ACCOMPANYING PAPERS AND ILLUSTRATIONS, ON A REVIEW OF THE NAVIGATION PROVISIONS OF THE PROJECT FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER ADOPTED BY THE ACT OF MAY 15, 1928, AS AMENDED, WITH A VIEW TO DETERMINING THE ADVISABILITY IN THE INTEREST OF NAVIGATION AND FLOOD CONTROL OF INCREASING THE DEPTH OF THE NAVIGABLE CHANNEL FROM 9 FEET TO 12 FEET BETWEEN CAIRO, ILL., AND BATON ROUGE, LA. THIS REPORT WAS REQUESTED BY RESOLUTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FLOOD CONTROL, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ADOPTED ON MARCH 8, 1943, AND THE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, UNITED STATES SENATE, ADOPTED ON MARCH 9, 1943

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MARCH 22, 1944.-Referred to the Committee on Flood Control, and ordered

to be printed with two illustrations

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington March 20, 1944., The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

DEAR MR. SPEAKER: I am transmitting herewith a report dated February 14, 1944, from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, together with accompanying papers and illustrations, on a review of the navigation provisions of the project for the improvement of the Mississippi River adopted by the act of May 15, 1928, as amended,

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with a view to determining the advisability in the interest of nav liver ca tion and flood control, of increasing the depth of the navigable chan from 9 feet to 12 feet between Cairo, III., and Baton Rouge, La. Ti kisting report was requested by resolutions of the Committee on Flood Contae moli House of Representatives, adopted on March 8, 1943, and the Capet wide mittee on Commerce, United States Senate, adopted on March 9,15 hd the

Inasmuch as the proposed modification of the existing project wo.. channel involve large requirements for materials, equipment, and manpor øst, over and since it is not essential to the war effort, the Department is of

Ver opinion that if modification of the existing project is authorized, struction thereof should be deferred until after the war.

The Bureau of the Budget has been consulted and advises ! from a preliminary review of the report, it appears that an appra:EVIEW I of the economic feasibility and justification of a 12-foot channel the lower Mississippi can only be made if similar surveys are made 12-foot channels on the upper Mississippi, the Illinois waterway, i the Ohio River, which should fully consider also the effects of s navigation improvements on existing and proposed improvements flood control, hydroelectric power, domestic and industrial webbject

: R supply and drainage, on pollution control, and on recreation and wi Riverado life resources. That Bureau states further that while there would ]o: The C) no objection to the submission to Congress of the proposed report This repo the Chief of Engineers, dated February 14, 1944, the authorization hiei of Ex those parts of the improvements recommended that would be necessa de Mississi to provide a 12-foot navigation channel between Cairo, III., and Bars poted resol Rouge, La., as recommended therein, would not be in accord with program of the President at this time. Further advice as to pief of Engi relationship to the program of the President of the authorization parisation these improvements will be given by the Bureau of the Budget air adipted review and consideration of the proposed reports of the Chief to me to ad Engineers for 12-foot navigation channels on the Illinois and Miss nois, ard Ba sippi Canal, the Illinois waterway, and the Ohio and upper Mississipi ficou Rivers. Respectfully,

HENRY L. STIMSON,
Secretary of War forming

. LETTER OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARX Adipped: Dia

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, February 14, 1944
The CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON Flood CONTROL,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. My Dear Mr. CHAIRMAN: 1. The Committee on Flood Controll the House of Representatives, by resolution adopted March 8, 194 and the Committee on Commerce of the United States Senate. Fations in the resolution adopted March 9, 1943, requested the Chief of Enginets to review the navigation provisions of the project for the improvemet of the Mississippi River adopted by the act of May 15, 1928,4 amended, with a view to determining the advisability in the inters of navigation and flood control of increasing the depth of the navigatie channel from 9 to 12 feet between Cairo, Ill., and Baton Rouge, L

2. In order to comply with these resolutions I asked the Mississippi

depth of the

Rennent by hief of Engine jer the nav

ssissippi Rive

increasing the ween Cairo.

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ver Commission to make a report to me and after full consideration
its report I concur with the Commission and recommend that the
isting project for flood control, Mississippi River and tributaries,

modified to authorize a navigation channel 12 feet deep and 300
i wide at low water between Cairo, Ill., and Baton Rouge, La.,
d the execution, in the interest of navigation and flood control, of
channel improvement and stabilization program at an estimated
st, over that now authorized, of $200,000,000.
Very truly yours,

E. REYBOLD,
Major General, Chief of Engineers.

EVIEW REPORT ON MISSISSIPPI RIVER BETWEEN CAIRO, ILL.,

AND BATON ROUGE, LA.

WAR DEPARTMENT
Mississippi River COMMISSION,

l'icksburg, Miss., February 14, 1944.
ibject: Review of project for the improvement of the Mississippi
River adopted by the act of May 15, 1928, as amended.
:): The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
This report is submitted in compliance with instructions from the
hief of Engineers dated September 24, 1943, to the President of
e Mississippi River Commission and in response to the following
loted resolutions:
Resolved by the Committee on Flood Control, House of Representatives, That the
rief of Engineers of the United States Army is hereby requested to review
2 navigation provisions of the project for the improvement of the Mississippi
ver adopted by the Act of May 15, 1928, as amended, with a view to deter-
· ning the advisability in the interest of navigation and flood control of increasing
2 depth of the navigable channel from nine feet to twelve feet between Cairo,
inois, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Adopted: March 8, 1943.
Resolved by the Committee on Commerce of the United States Senate, That the
rief of Engineers of the United States Army be, and is hereby, requested to
view the navigation provisions of the project for the improvement of the
ississippi River adopted by the Act of May 15, 1928, as amended, with a view
determining the advisability, in the interest of navigation and flood control,
increasing the depth of the navigable channel from nine feet to twelve feet
tween Cairo, Illinois, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Adopted: March 9, 1943.

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DEVELOPMENT OF THE EXISTING PROJECT FOR NAVIGATION AND THE

CONTROL OF FLOODS

The run-off from 41 percent of the area of the United States must id its way to the sea down the alluvial valley of the Mississippi iver. Recorded river discharges at Arkansas City vary between 1,000 cubic feet per second and 2,500,000 cubic feet per second, The aterials through which the river runs are easily eroded. The wide riations in the river's discharge and stage and the lack of cohesion the materials of its banks and bed create a meandering stream of nstantly changing alinement. The river has never been able to cavate its channel deep enough and wide enough to carry the large ods within its banks. As soon as it went overbank in flood it uld spread all over the valley and the maximum flood stages theree did not greatly exceed the height of the banks. When the river

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reach tl Fleet

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went out of bank in flood it quickly dropped the coarser sedime

prove particularly on the concave side in bends. Thus the highest la or natural levees, are always found along an active or abando, course of the river.

When the white man came to the valley he found it a wildernes: forest and swamp through which ran the mighty ever-changing ber of The French explorers found a great navigation route connecting Gulf c heart of the continent with the sea, The early settlers soon discovered that overbank stages came

barge late in the growing season and lasted too long to permit the

in the i velopment of a dependable agriculture. They adopted the obris

in the plan of building earth embankments along the banks of the river why

by the the ground was highest to prevent overflow of their lands. But these low local levees were extended and connected together, the rit

upriver was deprived of valley storage. Overbank stages were raised and a low levees were overtopped and crevassed. Thus began the long which our people have waged for the purpose of possessing and was ing the rich bottom lands constituting the alluvial valley and of - in this mo veloping a stable, prosperous, and high order of civilization there.

Album For 200 years the levee system has been gradually extended, rais

, and strengthened. The local people have spent over $247,000.) of their own money on the levees.

While the river was an implacable enemy in that it constari threatened to inundate the valley and often breached the defers raised against it, it made settlement and development possible furnishing transportation to and from the plantations and commi-and autho

its . history as a great route of trade and travel by water leading to the and the markets of the world. The need for the development hilluvial va safeguarding of navigation on the river, open to all on equal terms free of monopoly, has been one of the firm convictions of the America with flatboats for downstream traffic. At the beginning of the laws in people since the early days of the Republic. Trade on the river ben

niteenth century, the steamboat made its appearance. The Louisis Purchase was dictated largely by the necessity of controlling tre on the river and of possessing an outlet to the sea for the territo west of the Alleghenies. The Battle of New Orleans was foughto keep a foreign power from taking and holding that outlet. Durs the War between the States both sides realized that possession of ze river was a prerequisite of success. When New Orleans and Virgin burg were taken by Union forces the ultimate collapse of the Cofederacy was inevitable. After the war between the States the paie trade flourished for some 20 years, but gradually succumbed tons road competition in its various forms. By the time of World WET the packets were practically gone and a large downstream coal trie from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky fields was o the way out due to the discovery and development of extensive oil si gas fields in Texas and Louisiana. With the establishment of de Federal Barge Line after World War I, a new era of river transpAltep backwi tion was begun. The completion of the canalization of the (10 River, the canalization of the upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivis

, the completion of the Intracoastal Canal along the Gulf Coast, ed improvements on the lower Mississippi produced a great inland walka

expenditur authorized

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