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ST. JOHNS RIVER, FLA., JACKSONVILLE TO LAKE HARNEY

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LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, DATED DECEMBER 11, 1943, SUBMITTING A REPORT, TOGETHER WITH ACCOMPANYING PAPERS AND AN ILLUSTRATION, ON A REVIEW OF REPORTS ON THE ST. JOHNS RIVER, FLA., JACKSONVILLE TO LAKE HARNEY, WITH A VIEW TO MODIFYING THE EXISTING PROJECT BETWEEN SANFORD AND LAKE HARNEY, REQUESTED BY A RESOLUTION OF THE COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ADOPTED ON MAY 20, 1941

FEBRUARY 22, 1944.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and

ordered to be printed, with an illustration

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, February 14, 1944. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

DEAR MR. SPEAKER: I am transmitting herewith a report dated December 11, 1943, from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army together with accompanying papers and an illustration, on a review of reports on the St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney with a view to modifying the existing project between Sanford and Lake Harney, requested by a resolution of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors, House of Representatives, adopted on May 20, 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, some materials, manpower, and construction uipment would be required, without benefit to the war effort. 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 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.

REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, December 11, 1943. The CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS,

House of Representatwes, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: 1. The Committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House of Representatives, by resolution adopted May 20, 1941, requested the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors to review the reports on the St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney, submitted in House Document No. 603, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, and previous reports, with a view of determining whether it is advisable to modify the existing project between Sanford and Lake Harney 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 combining the existing projects for St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Palatka, and St. Johns River, Fla., Palatka to Lake Harney, into a single project for St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney, the improvement to be in accordance with the existing separate projects modified in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers as contained in House Document No. 603, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, and further modified to provide for a cut-off channel 5 feet : deep and 75 feet wide between Lake Monroe and the vicinity of Osteen Bridge, in general accordance with plan C of the district engineer as described in his report and shown on the accompanying drawing, at : an estimated cost of $25,500 for dredging, with no increase in estimated annual cost of maintenance; subject to the conditions that local interests agree to furnish all lands, easements, rights-of-way and suitable spoil-disposal areas needed for construction and subsequent maintenance of the cut-off, when and as required, and to hold and save the United States free from any damages resulting from this work.

3. After due consideration of these reports, I concur in the views and recommendations of the Board. Very truly yours,

E. REYBOLD,

Major General,
Chief of Engineers.

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De' REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS

WAR DEPARTMENT,
THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,

Washington, November 8, 19:43.
Subject: St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney.
To: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
1. This report is in response to the following resolution adopted

1941: Resolved by the Committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House of Representatives,

l'nited States. That the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors created under a cction 3 of the River and Harbor Act, approved June 13, 1902, be and is hereby,

requested to review the reports on the St. Johns River, Florida, Jacksonville to Lake Harney, submitted in House Document Numbered 603, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, and previous reports, with a view of determining whether it is advisable to modify the existing project between Sanford and Lake Harney i at this time.

2. St. Johns River rises in an extensive marsh area in east-central

Florida and flows northward 257 miles to Jacksonville, thence eastPar ward 28 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. From the ocean to Jacksonville . it has been improved by the United States to provide a channel 30

feet deep. An existing Federal project for St. Johns River from Jacksonville to Palatka, 58 miles, provides for a channel 13 feet

deep and 200 feet wide. Except for minor work, this improvement ning has been completed. A separate Federal project provides for a chan

nel 8 feet deep and 100 feet wide for 91.4 miles from Palatka to Sanford, on the south shore of Lake Monroe; for a connecting channel 8

feet deep and 100 feet wide to Enterprise on the north lake shore; it

and for a channel 5 feet deep and 100 feet wide from Sanford to Lake i Harney, 22.6 miles. Although easing of several bends remains to be

sccomplished, this project has been essentially completed. The costs top of the existing projects to June 30, 1942, have been $180,493 for new mint work and $241,771 for maintenance. The approved annual cost of sin maintenance is $10,000. In report of 1940 printed in House Docu

ment No. 603, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, the Chief of bin Engineers recommended modification of the project above Palatka ilt: to provide a depth of 10 feet to Sanford and to Enterprise. Congress

has not yet acted upon the report. About 3 miles above Lake Monroe the river is crossed by Osteen Bridge on State Highway No. 57 arijacent to which is located the Sanford Boat Works. From this

bridge downstream the channel follows a tortuous course through the marshy lands along the easterly lake shore and enters the lake some van distance north of Sanford. Thus navigation between Sanford and ODEL' the boat works and other upstream points follows a circuitous and dan dificult channel. Practically no maintenance work has been accomki plished between Sanford and Lake Harney since 1914. The channel

can be used by small boats only and an estimated expenditure of
4.000 would be required to restore project dimensions between Lake
Monroe and Osteen Bridge. From a short distance below Osteen
Bridge, the small Woodruff Canal and connecting Woodruff Creek
extend across the marshland from St. Johns River to Lake Monroe
hear the Sanford water front, however, this shorter connection is
completely obstructed by a fill, and the canal, originally 30 feet wide
and 4 feet deep, is now only about 1 foot deep.
3. Sanford has a population of 10,200. The combined population
along the improved upstream waterway exclusive of Sanford is about

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1,560. Vegetables and citrus fruits are grown in the area and there is some general farming and cattle raising. However, much of the land is low and swampy and subject to flooding. Considerable timber exists along the upper waterway, principally cypress. There are large lumber mills at Osceola near Lake Harney and at Palatka. The Osceola mill receives its logs principally by truck and ships its lumber by rail. The Wilson Cypress Co. at Palatka obtains most of its logs from below Lake Monroe but during recent years has received 1.5 to 3 million feet annually from the vicinity of Lake Harney and above. Commerce on the waterway in the section under consideration, extending from Lake Monroe to Osteen Bridge, consists principally of these logs towed in rafts and of the movement of yachts between the lake and the Sanford Boat Works. During the latter half of 1941 the movement of logs consisted of about two tows per week and included 1,656,000 feet, log measure. Recent investigation indicates that 32 boats operated for private purposes and one charter boat are based at Osteen Bridge, 21 of which draw 3 to 4 feet of water. These boats make over_935 round trips annually between the bridge and Lake Monroe.

In addition there is some general use of the channel between Lake Monroe and Lake Harney by small fishing boats. Railroads and improved highways serve the general area.

4. Local interests desire the provision of a cut-off channel 5 feet deep and 75 to 100 feet wide from St. Johns River below Osteen Bridge to Lake Monroe near the Sanford water front, making use of Woodruff Canal and Creek, or along a straight alinement in that vicinity. They contend that the improvement is needed in order that commerce may avoid the delays and hazards of navigation via the existing circuitous and tortuous channel and that the current along the city water front resulting from the desired cut-off would incidentally improve sanitary conditions by carrying away the refuse from sewers. Local interests offer to furnish the necessary lands and spoil-disposal areas.

5. The district engineer has investigated three separate plans for providing a cut-off channel 5 feet deep in the general location desired. Plans A and B provide for channels 100 feet wide and generally 75 feet wide, respectively, following, in both cases, the route of Woodruff Creek and Canal. Plan C provides for a straight cut-off channel 75 feet wide, from the 5-foot contour in Lake Monroe to the mouth of Woodruff Creek and thence through the marsh south of Woodruft Creek in a straight line to like depth in the project channel near the entrance to Woodruff Canal. The district engineer believes that provision of a cut-off would not increase the maintenance cost of the project as the existing channel between the head of the cut-off and Lake Monroe would no longer need to be maintained. He estimates - termine the costs as follows:

I

time

First cost

Annual cost

Plan

Federal 1

Non-Fed

eral ?

Total

Federal

Non-Fed

eral

Total

A.
В
C

$20, 500
17,000
26,000

$250
250
200

$20, 750

17, 250 26, 200

$800

660)
1,010

$10
10
10

$S10

670 1,023

Includes $500 for navigation aids. ? For rights-of-way and spoil-disposal areas,

e time

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Plans A and B would shorten the distance between Osteen Bridge hot and the project channel near the west end of Lake Monroe about

1 mile and plan C by about 1.3 miles. The district engineer concludes

that these savings in distance would apply to the towing of 3,300 M feet Thelt

of logs and to about 900 round trips of yachts annually. On this basis Jumla he estimates that plans A and B would reduce transportation costs by its he

about $710 annually and plan C by $930. These estimates indicate red 15

a ratio of costs to benefits as follows: Plan A, 1 to 0.88; plan B, 1 to labore

1.06; and plan C, 1 to 0.91. Accordingly, the district engineer recom

mends modification of the project to provide for a cut-off in accordance of those with plan B, subject to local cooperation.

6. The division engineer notes that any of the cut-offs would elimi

nate the necessity for expending $4,000 to restore project dimensions w in the section of channel which would be abandoned. Taking this hat

into account he estimates the total annual costs of the three plans at about $630, $500, and $840, respectively, and the ratio of annual costs

to benefits as foilows: Plan A, 1 to 1.13; plan B, 1 to 1.43; and plan C, Lab

1 to 1.10. He believes that if the work is undertaken under normal

conditions, as it should be, rather than during the war period, the costs bsd may be somewhat less. Also, he believes that because of a shortening

of the channel, project maintenance costs might be slightly reduced. He considers plan C as preferable because it would have the advantage of affording a straight channel and, being somewhat shorter than a

cut-off via Woodruff Creek, would result in some saving in navigation Th:

time not evaluated in the computed ratios of costs to benefits. The division engineer recommends the adoption of plan C and that the two existing projects for St. Johns River above Jacksonville be consolidated into a single project.

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VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR

RIVERS AND HARBORS

7. The Board concurs in general in the views of the division engineer. A cut-off in accordance with plan C would provide a shorter and better alined channel than proposed in plan B. While the additional resulting benefits are not definitely evaluable, the Board considers them sufficient to render plan C the most favorable of the three. Consolidation of the two existing projects for St. Johns River above Jacksonville would facilitate administrative work in connection with them. Accordingly, the Board recommends combining the existing projects for St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Palatka, and St. Johns River, Fla., Palatka to Lake Harney, into a single project for St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney, the improvement to be in accordance with the existing separate projects modified in sccordance with the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers as contained in House Document No. 603, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, and further modified to provide for a cut-off channel 5 feet deep and 75 feet wide between Lake Monroe and the vicinity of Osteen Bridge, in general accordance with plan C of the district engimeer as described in his report and shown on the accompanying drawing

, at an estimated cost of $25,500 for dredging, with no increase in estimated annual cost of maintenance; subject to the conditions that local interests agree to furnish all lands, easements, rights-of-way and suitable spoil-disposal areas needed for construction and subsequent maintenance of the cut-off, when and as required, and to hold

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