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and save the United States free from any damages resulting from this
For the Board:

Brigadier General, United States Army,

Senior Member.




Local interests at Sanford, Fla., request that the existing project for St. Johns River, Fla., Palatka to Lake Harney, be modified to provide a cut-off channel from Lake líonroe to Osteen Bridge. The district engineer finds that the benefits which would accrue from provision of the requested channel are sufficient to justify its construction, and accordingly recommends that the improvement be provided.


Jacksonville, Fla., January 6, 1943. Subject: Review of previous reports on St. Johns River, Fla., Jack

sonville to Lake Harney. To: The Division Engineer, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, Ga.


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1. This report is submitted in compliance with the following resolution, adopted May 20, 1941:

Resolved by the Committee on Rivers and llarbors 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 bereby, 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 at this time. The duty of making the review and preparing a report thereon was assigned to the distriet engineer by the office of the division engineer, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, Ga., under date of June 10, 1941.


2. The report under review considered improvement of the project channel in St. Johns River between Jacksonville and Lake Harney. Local interests requested that the existing 8-foot-depth channel from Palatka to Sanford, including the channel in Lake Monroe leading to Enterprise, be deepened to 10 or 12 feet, and that numerous bends in the section from Palatka to Sanford be eased or climinated by dredging cut-ofis. No requests were made for improving the existing 13-foot channel in the section from Jacksonville to Palatka or the existiny 5-foot channel in the section from Sanford to Lake Harney. The Chief of Engineers, in his report dated January 11, 1940, concurred in the recommendation of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors that the existing project for St. Johns River, Palatka to Lake Harney, be możlified to provide for a channel 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep at local mean low water, from Palatka to Sanford, 1 with a side channel of like dimensions to Enterprise, and for cut-offs

and easing of bends. The report was transmitted to Congress on January 25, 1940, and was published in House Document No. 603, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session. The recommended modification has not been adopted by Congress.


LE 3. At this time the only request of local interests is provision of a

cut-off channel via Woodruff Creek and Canal just above Lake Monroe, in the section between Sanford and Lake Harney. The present investigation is therefore confined to (1) field surveys of Woodruff Creek and Canal, and of a short reach of the project channel of St. Johns River above Lake Monroe, to determine the cost of the

desired improvement, and (2) a study of the tributary area to deterElle mine the benefits which might result from the improvement.


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4. St. Johns River rises in extensive marshes in Brevard County in east-central Florida, and flows northerly 257 miles to Jacksonville, thence easterly 28 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. Existing projects for

the river provide for channels 30 feet deep and generally 300 feet is.

wide from the ocean to Jacksonville, 28 miles (actual widths are generally 400 feet or more); 13 feet deep and 200 feet wide from Jacksonville to Palatka, 58 miles; 8 feet deep and 100 feet wide from Palatka to Sanford, 90 miles; and 5 feet deep and 100 feet wide from Sanford to Lake Harney, 25 miles.

5. The slope of St. Johns River is very flat. At low-water stages, tidal influence extends to Lake Monroe, 173 miles above the mouth

of the river. Lake Harney, 198 miles above the mouth, at extreme slow stages is approximately at mean sea level. Long-continued

northerly winds cause a rise at Lake Monroe, and similar southerly winds cause abnormally low stages. The mean tidal range at Jacksonville is 1.1 feet, and at Palatka 1.2 feet.

6. The usual maximum flood stage at Lake Harney is approximately 9 feet above mean sea level; at Sanford on Lake Monroe, 8 feet; at Lake George, 3 feet; and at Palatka, 2 feet. Only infrequently have greater flood stages occurred.

7. In its upper reaches the river banks are low and swampy, with considerable stands of timber, principally cypress. Between Lake Monroe and Lake Harney are large areas adjacent to the river with

elevations of 4 to 6 feet above mean sea level, which when not flooded Thou are suitable for production of Bermuda grass for cattle pasture.

areas are usually flooded for from 1 to 6 months each year, 8. Woodruff Creek drains a small marsh area on the southeast side of Lake Monroe about 2 miles east of Sanford. The creek proper is about 1 mile long, averages about 100 feet in widih, and has natural depths up to 7 feet. A shoal at the mouth has a limiting depth of 2 feet . About 40 years ago local interests dug a small canal connecting

end of the creek with the natural river channel at a point Ris hear the present Osteen Bridge. This canal, known locally as Wood

ruff Canal, was originally 30 feet wide and 4 feet deep. Deterioration from silting and aquatic growth has reduced its depth to about 1 foot,

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and a low fill for an unimproved access road has been constructed across the southerly end.

9. St. Johns River is shown on United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Charts Nos. 577, 682, 683, 684, 686, 687, and 688. Woodruff :* Creek and vicinity are shown on the last-mentioned chart and on the map accompanying this report.


10. The area tributary to the project channel, Jacksonville to Sanford, comprises northeastern and central Florida, with a population of about 560,000 in 1940. The area tributary to the channel from Sanford to Lake Harney, with which this report is concerned, includes only the city of Sanford and the territory contiguous to the river above Lake Monroe. This area includes parts of Seminole and Volusia Counties.

11. The population of Sanford and of Seminole County, according to Federal and State census, for the past 20 years was as follows:

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12. The population of Volusia County in 1940 was 53,710. Most of this population is, however, concentrated along the east coast and in the vicinity of DeLand and is not a part of the tributary area.

13. The population, by election precincts (including hamlets of the same name), of the area near the waterway under consideration, exclusive of Sanford and immediate environs, according to the 1940 Federal census, is as follows:

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14. There is a large cypress mill at Osceola operated by the Osceola Cypress Co., and another at Palatka, operated by the Wilson Cypress Co. Logs destined for the former mil) are moved principally by truck and the finished product by rail. The reported average annual output of manufactured lumber by the Wilson Cypress Co. for the past 4 years has been approximately 30.5 million feet, board measure. Most of the logs used by this company are obtained along St. Johns River below Lake Monroe, but about one and one-half to three million feet annually have in recent years been obtained in the area above the requested improvement.

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15. Besides cypress logs and lumber, the principal products of Seminole County are vegetables (chiefly celery), citrus fruits, manufactured fertilizer, and cattle.

16. In the vicinity of Sanford, on the muck lands adjacent to Lake Monroe, and in the vicinity of Oviedo, celery and other green vegetables are grown, and in the vicinity of Geneva are numerous orange groves. Some general farming and cattle raising are carried on.

17. Data on various agricultural products of Seminole County for the 1940-41 scason are as follows:

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According to the latest (1936-37) report of the Florida Department of Agriculture.

18. The tributary area is served by the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from Jacksonville to Tampa via Sanford, with a branch from Sanford to Lake Charm; and by a branch of the Florida East Coast Railway from New Smyrna Beach to Lake Okeechobee via Osceola, Geneva, and Chuluota. A main highway (U. S. No. 17) from Jacksonville to Tampa and south Florida passes through Sanford. The tributary area has an adequate system of paved roads.

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19. No bridges cross Woodruff Creek or Canal; no alterations of existing bridges would, therefore, be required. The low fill across the canal, referred to in paragraph 8, was placed several years ago to permit transport of muck by truck from the bank of the St. Johns River. At the time of inspection the fill was passable, but in poor condition; there was no evidence of recent use. The local interests contacted had no knowledge of when or by whom the road had been used. They were of the opinion, however, that no trouble would be encountered in securing the necessary right-of-way for the proposed improvement. It is believed that the fill can be removed without detriment to property owners on either side of the canal, and that no bridge or other means of crossing would be required.


20. Prior reports on St. Johns River above Jacksonville are summarized in the following table:


TABLE 1.-Prior reports on St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney

Preliminary examinations


Where published, congressional


dation of the
Chief of En-




Date of re


Estimated rost



House or


Con- Sesgress sion

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Date of re



9, 1883

Jan. 26, 1891

St. Johns River, Fla., between Lakes Monroe and

St. Johns River, Fla., at entrance to and exit from

Lake Monroe and between Lakes George and

St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Sanford and

near Orange Mills.
St. Johns River, Fla., at Orange Mills Flats near

St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney?.
St. Johns River, Fla.. Jacksonville to Palatka
Intracoastal Waterway, Beaufort, N. C., to Key


Feb. 23, 1895

June 3, 1907
May 29, 1911
July 15, 1911

St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Sanford ?

Mar. 15, 1924

St. Johns River, Fla., Jacksonville to Lake Harney'.

Jan. 11, 1940







! Printed in Annual Report of Chief of Engineers for 1879 (p. 795).
. These reports are the bases of the existing projects.
3 Favorable only to cut-offs and easing of bends in the section Palatka to Sanford.
• Report under review herein.

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