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pendingen Herb. Our des channel impin railroad
hority:ment pol federal Cose highwa mprove
Colonel HERB. You are right, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is embraced in your communication now pending before the Director of the Budget ?
Colonel HERB. Our recommendation, Mr. Chairman, is that 21 levee improvements and 1 channel improvement for local flood protection, including necessary changes in railroad facilities by the United States generally in accordance with the plans of the district engineer, and with such modifications thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost to the United States of $7,944,000 for construction and that the Secretary of War be authorized to modify the plans for the presently authorized agricultural levee projects listed in table 29 of the district engineer's report, on which construction has not yet been initiated, to conform generally with the comprehensive levee plan now presented by the district engineer; that the United States bear the cost of alterations and reconstruction of railroad facilities on presently authorized projects as set forth in table 47 of the district engineer's report, and as required by initiation of the construction of the affected local protection improvements, at an estimated total cost to the United States of $1,422,000; provided local inerests furnish all necessary rights-of-way. Under existing authority, the bridge and utility changes required for the channel improvement portion of the Indianapolis project to provide increased waterway is a Federal cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Does that include highways? Colonel HERB. Yes, sir; for the channel-improvement portion of the Indianapolis project.
The CHAIRMAN. Does that include railways in the Vincennes area?
Colonel HERB. Yes, sir, if such alterations are required by the project.
The CHAIRMAN. Who bears the cost of the alteration of the rail. . road?
Colonel HERB. The Federal Government, if such alterations are required by the project.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed. Colonel HERB. Also that the comprehensive plan for flood control and other purposes in the Ohio River Basin approved by the Flood Control Act of June 28, 1938, be modified by deleting therefrom Wolf Creek Reservoir, Ill., and the Spencer and Shoals Reservoirs, Ind.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any objection on the part of local interests to the deletion of that Wolf Creek Reservoir ?
Colonel HERB. No, sir.
(The report of the Chief of Engineers together with the comments of the States of Illinois and Indiana are as follows:)
Washington, April 1946. Subject: Wabash River and tributaries, Indiana and Illinois. To: The Secretary of War.
1. I submit for transmission to Congress my report with accompanying papers and illustrations on preliminary examination and survey for flood control of Wabash River and its tributaries, Indiana and Illinois, and Mississinewa River and its tributaries, Indiana, authorized by the Flood Control Act approved August 11, 1939; and of the following streams authorized by the Flood Control Act approved June 28, 1938:
Russell and Allison levee unit on Wabash River, I.; Rochester and MeClearys Bluff levee unit on Wabash River, Ill. ; England Pond levee unit on Wabash River, Ill. ; Tri-Pond levee unit on Wabash River, Ill.; Wabash River at Terre Haute, Ind.; and Embarrass River, Ill.
Included is the report of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, in response to resolutions adopted June 6, 1939, and August 2, 1939, by the Committee on Flood Control of the House of Representatives which request reviews of the reports on Wabash River, Ohio, Ind., and Ill., published as House Document No. 100, Seventy-third Congress, first session, with a view to determining what improvement of the Mason J. Niblack levee, Knox County, Ind., for flood control is advisable at this time and with a view to determining whether any flood-control improvement of the Patoka River and tributaries is advisable at this time.
2. The Wabash River rises in Grand Reservoir near Celina, Mercer County, Ohio, flows northwesterly 67 miles to Huntington, in northeastern Indiana, thence 408 miles in a general southwesterly direction and enters the Ohio River 10 miles upstream from Shawneetown, Ill., and 133 miles above the mouth of the Ohio River. The lower 200 miles of its course is along the Illinois-Indiana State boundary. The drainage area of 33,100 square miles comprises 320 square miles located in west-central Ohio, 24,220 in central and southern Indiana, and 8,560 in southeastern Illinois. The principal tributaries are the White, Patoka, and Mississinewa Rivers, with drainage areas of 11,400, 860, and 830 square miles, respectively, which enter from the left or easterly side, and the Little Wabash, Embarrass, Tippecanoe, and Vermilion Rivers, with drainage areas of 3,320, 2,380, 1,920, and 1,520 square miles, respectively, which enter from the right bank, Exclusive of the southeastern portion, which is hilly and rolling, the drainage area is in general a glaciated region of moderate relief, wherein the streams have gentle slopes and broad flat valleys. Natural drainage in the northern part of the basin is poor and numerous swamps and lakes exist. The basin had a population of 2,587,000 in 1940, about 54 percent of which resided in incorporated cities and towns. There were 21 cities with a population greater than 10,000. Indianapolis, Ind., and its surrounding metropolitan area, with 455,000 inhabitants in 1940, is the largest center of population. Terre Haute, Muncie, Anderson, and Kokomo, with populations of 62,700, 49,700, 41,600, and 33,800, respectively, are important cities in Indiana, while Danville, population 36,900, and Champaign, population 23,300, are the largest Illinois cities. Farming, including stock raising, is the most important occupation. Corn, wheat, oats, and fodder are the principal crops. The basin is also an important industrial region containing 3,350 manufacturing plants in 1939. Abundant deposits of coal, clay, limestone, and gravel are located within the basin, and petroleum is produced in the southern part. The region is served by a well-developed system of railroads and highways.
3. There is no existing Federal project for improvement of Wabash River for navigation. Present commerce on the streams consists of a limited amount of recreational and fishing-boat traffic and the movement in barges of sand and gravel dredged from the stream beds. Twenty local flood-protection projects within the basin were authorized by the Food Control Act approved June 22, 1936. One, at Terre Haute, has been completed by the Works Progress Administration, Costs to the United States for construction of the other projects are now estimated to total $13,005,025 and to local interests for lands and damages, $4,950,333. Construction of six of the latter has been undertaken and one has been completed. Five flood-control reservoirs and eight additional local flood-protection improvements located in the Wabash River Basin, and estimated to cost the United States $30,445,000 for construction and reservoir flowage, and local interests $203,000 for other lands and damages are contained in the comprehensive plan for flood control and other purposes in the Ohio River Basin approved by the Flood Control Act of June 28, 1938. The works approved by the act of June 28, 1938, excepting the Shoals Reservoir, are eligible for selection for construction by the Chief of Engineers, but no work has been undertaken. Construction of the Shoals Dam is prohibited by the Flood Control Act approved December 22, 1944, pending submission and adoption by Congress of the present report. The Works Progress Administration and other Federal agencies, in conjunction with local interests, have constructed numerous projects throughout the basin in the interest of local flood protection, land drainage, soil and water conservation, and for other purposes. By far the largest is a local flood-protection project in Indianapolis, Ind., estimated to cost $16,093,000. In addition to participation in the above-mentioned projects, local interests have organized a large number of levee districts and have
expended over $4,000,000 for drainage and flood-control improvements, consisting principally of levees, and over $1,000,000 for channel improvements.
4. The Wabash River Basin has an average annual precipitation of 40 inches. It is subject to general and local storms which may produce damaging floods at any season of the year. There are records of severe general floods since 1874, and it is known that others occurred at earlier dates. The most outstanding since 1874 were the floods of March 1913; August 1875; May 1943; March-April 1904; January 1930; and January-February 1916. The flood of 1913 caused the maximum known stages at many stations throughout the basin and caused damage estimated at $25,000,000. Gage records at Mount Carmel, Ill., which are indicative of conditions along the lower Wabash, show that flood stage has been exceeded on an average of twice annually. The average number of floods per year at other points is 4.5 on the Wabash River at Lafayette, Ind.; 3 on White River at Hazleton, Ind.; 3.5 on Eel River at Bowling Green, Ind.; and 1.4 on Embarrass River at Ste. Marie, Ill. Exclusive of areas in the cities of Indianapolis and Muncie, where complete flood protection is being provided, 1,080,000 acres of farm land and portions of 33 urban centers and many important railroads, highways, and other property having a total value of $233,000,000, are subject to overflow or damage by floods. The average annual direct and indirect flood damage in the entire basin is estimated at $5,200,000 of which 90 percent consists of crop and noncrop damages in rural areas.
5. Local interests desire additional improvement of the streams in the Wabash River Basin for flood control, water conservation, and other purposes by means of the construction of new levees, improvement of existing levees, channel improvements, including removal of islands, erosion control, bank stabilization, improved drainage, and construction of flood control reservoirs. They have indicated a willingness to provide local cooperation. Certain local interests consisting principally of parties who reside in the reservoir areas or whose interests would be directly affected by the reservoirs, have evpressed a desire that the Shoals, Wolf Creek, and Spencer Reservoirs, approved by the Flood Control Act of 1938 be not constructed.
6. The district engineer has made a comprehensive study of the Wabash River Basin with a view to providing the desired ftood protection. He has considered various means of flood control and finds that the most desirable plan for comprehensive improvement consists of (a) the construction of the 21 levee imrove. ments and one channel improvement, listed in tables 48 and 49 of his report, for local flood protection in addition to those already authorized or approved ; (b) modification of 8 of the local flood protection projects authorized by the Flood Control Act of June 22, 1936, and of the Russell and Allison levee improvement included in the Ohio Basin plan approved by the act of June 28, 1938, to provide for the Federal Government bearing the cost of changes in railroad bridges and approaches and 50 percent of the cost of changes in highway bridges and utilities for the projects designated as Indianapolis, Fall Creek Section, and Indianapolis, Warfleigh Section, and 50 percent of the cost of damages resulting from set-back of the Russell and Allison levee; and (c) modification of the comprehensive plan for the Ohio River Basin approved by the Flood Control Act of June 28, 1938, to provide for installation of hydroelectric power facilities by the Federal Government at the Shoals and Spencer Reservoirs. He finds that flood control by other means is not economically justified in the basin, and that it would be uneconomical and inadvisable to construct levees which would protect agri. cultural land against all floods. His plans for levee improvements are generally designed to provide protection for agricultural lands against floods up to one having an average frequency of occurrence of once in 14 years, with higher levee grades for urban areas. In his opinion it is advisable to modify the grades and cross-sections of those agricultural levees within the basin which have been previously authorized or approved but not yet constructed, in order to better conform to the proposed comprehensive plan and the Secretary of War should be authorized to make the necessary changes.
7. The estimated Federal and non-Federal first cost of the 21 levee improvements listed in table 48 of the district engineer's report is $7,776,000 and $839,000, respectively, a total of $8,615,000. The total average annual charges are estimated at $505,600 and the average annual benefits are $807,000, which gives an over-all economic ratio of 1.60. The total first cost of the channel improvement listed in table 49 is $246,000, of which $78,000 is non-Federal cost. The total average annual cost is estimated at $15,200, and the average annual benefit at $30,000, which gives an economic ratio of 1.97. The increase in Federal first cost to result from the proposed modification of the 9 authorized and approved
local protection projects is $2,412,000 comprising $1,635,000 for alteration and reconstruction of railroad facilities, $742,000 for reconstruction of highway bridges, and $35,000 for land. The estimated additional Federal first costs of the Spencer and the Shoals Reservoirs for installation of the proposed power facilities are $452,000 and $565,000, respectively, a total of $1,017,000.
8. The district engineer has investigated the advisability of improving for flood control, the Mississinewa, Embarrass, and Patoka Rivers, tributaries which are specifically mentioned in the authorizations for this report. Of the estimated $4,545,000 of direct average annual flood damages in the Wabash Basin only $2,100 is attributed to the flood plain of Mississinewa River and the district engineer finds that improvement of this stream for flood control is not warranted at this time. Lands at the mouth of Embarrass River would be protected by the England Pond levee included among the 21 new leveee works now proposed by the district engineer and by the Russell and Allison levee already approved. No other improvements for flood control on this stream are found warranted at present. The flood problem on Patoka River is partially due to construction of Houchins ditch, a channel straightening by local interests, without providing an adequate outlet. The district engineer finds that the most practicable plan for remedying the situation consists of further channel improvement to extend to the river mouth, 19.5 miles, but that the benefits would not justify the expenditure required. Areas at the mouth of Patoka Riiver will be protected by Wabash levee unit No. 5 authorized by the act of 1936 and Wabash levee unit No. 17 included in the 21 new levee units proposed by the district engineer. The city of Terre Haute referred to in the Flood Control Act of 1938 authorizing this report has been afforded protection by the improvement completed by the Works Progress Administration. The act of 1938 also specifically provides for reports on Russell and Allison levee, Rochester and McClearys Bluff levee, England Pond levee and Tri Pond levee. Improvement of the Russell and Allison levee is a part of the approved plan for the Ohio River Basin. In the present report the district engineer proposes modification of the requirements for this work so that the United States will bear the cost of railroad bridge changes and share in damage costs as explained above. The other three units are included in the 21 new Federal improvements now proposed by the district engineer. These 21 also include the Mason J. Niblack levee referred to in the resolution of June 6, 1939.
9. The district engineer recommends
(a) That a total of 21 levee and local protection projects and one channel improvement project as listed in tables 48 and 49 of his report be adopted for the alleviation of flood damages in the Wabash Basin at an estimated cost to the United States, including the cost of railroad bridge alterations, of $7.944,00) for new work, and that, prior to the expenditure of Federal funds for the construction of any of the projects, local interests be required to furnish assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will (1) provide, without cost to the United States, all rights-of-way necessary for the construction of the project; (2) hold and save the United States free from damage due to the construction work; and (3) maintain and operate all works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War;
(b) That the comprehensive levee plan developed in his report be used as a guide for future flood protection work in the Wabash Basin and that the Secretary of War be authorized to modify local protection projects authorized in the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938 to the extent necessary to conform with this plan;
(c) That existing authorizations for the construction of local flood protection projects be modified to provide for the construction at Federal cost of alterations to railroad bridges and approaches necessary to those projects as listed in table 47 of his report at an estimated cost of $1,422,030, provided that local interests furnish all rights-of-way necessary for the work; that the Federal Government, at an estimated cost of $35,000, assume one-half of the cost of damages to land deprived of protection due to set-back of the Russell and Allison levee, Illinois ; that the Federal Government participate in the cost of bridge reconstruction for the authorized Fall Creek and Warfleigh sections at Indianapolis, Ind., at estimated Federal costs of $440,000 and $515,000, respectively;
(d) That the Secretary of War upon the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers and the Federal Power Commission be authorized to modify the approved general comprehensive plan for flood control in the Ohio River Basin to include the development of hydroelectric power in the Shoals and Spencer Reservoirs at a total Federal cost of $565,000 and $452,000, respectively; and
(e) That consideration be given to the enactment of legislation which will provide : (1) authority to designate and establish portions of the flood plain on a
given waterway as floodways or flood channels; (2) authority to regulate construc.. tion, both public and private, which has caused, or might cause, encroachment or undesirable restriction of the floodways, or might interfere with existing or proposed flood protection works; (3) power to remove or to require removal of any structures, natural growths, deposits, refuse, or other material within the floodway limits; and (4) that the administration of these provisions be under. the direction of the Secretary of War and the supervision of the Chief of Engineers.
10. The division engineer concurs in general with the plan of the district engineer. He points out that the necessary modification in grades of levees. authorized by the Flood Control Act of June 28, 1938, can be accomplished under the provisions of that act. He believes that the United States should not bear a part of the cost of lands placed outside the levee by the proposed set-back of Russell and Allison levee, Illinois, and should not share in the cost of changes in highway bridges and other utilities, exclusive of railroads, in connection with the Fall Creek and Warfleigh sections of the authorized flood-protection projectat Indianapolis, Ind. In his opinion it is unwise to expend Federal funds for local protection works until the States of Indiana and Illinois have adopted legislation that will assure the provision and maintenance of adequate floodways. He recommends (a) adoption of projects for the 21 new levees and local protection units and one-channel improvement generally as proposed by the district engineer, including railroad changes by the United States, at an estimated first cost to the United States of $7,944,000, provided local interests satisfactorilyassure that they will furnish the rights-of-way, hold the United States free from damages and maintain and operate the works after completion in accordance with prescribed regulations and provided that prior to expenditure of any Federal funds, the States concerned enact certain described legislation in regard to the provision and maintenance of suitable floodways free of undesirable encroachments, (b) that the Secretary of War be authorized to modify the authorized agricultural levee projects listed in table 29 of the district engineer's report on which construction has not been initiated to conform with the comprehensive. plan now presented, such projects to be subject to the provisions of local cooperation stated in (a) above, (c) that the United States bear the costs of railroad changes at presently authorized projects as set forth in table 47 of district engineer's report at an estimated cost of $1,635,000, the work to be undertaken only as required by initiation of construction of the projects and provided that local interests furnish the rights-of-way, (d) that the provisions of the Flood Contral Act of December 22, 1944, with respect to. Shoals Dam be repealed, and (e) that the approved comprehensive plan for the Ohio River Basin be modified to permit the development of power at Shoals and Spencer Reservoirs when approved by the Secretary of War upon recommendation of the Chief of Engineers and the Federal Power Commission at estimated Federal costs of $565,000 and $452,000, respectively.
11. Local interests were advised of the nature of the report of the division engineer and at their request the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors held a public hearing at Vincennes, Ind. The hearing disclosed that many local interests are opposed to construction of the approved Wolf Creek, Shoals, and Spencer Reservoirs. After careful consideration of the reservoirs the Board concludes that their benefits would not be sufficient to outweigh the local objections. In view thereof the Board concurs generally in the views and recommendations of the division engineer except that it recommends that the approved general comprehensive plan for flood control and other purposes in the Ohio River Basin be modified so as to eliminate these three reservoirs.
12. After careful consideration, I concur in the views of the Board and accordingly recommend :
(a) That the 21 levee and local protection improvements and one channel improvement listed in tables 48 and 49 of the district engineer's report be undertaken, including necessary changes in railroad facilities by the United States, generally in accordance with the plans of the district engineer and with such modifications thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost to the United States of $7,944,000 for construction, and that the Secretary of War be authorized to modify the plans for the presently authorized agricultural levee projects listed in table 29 of the district engineer's report, on which construction has not yet been initiated, to conform generally with the comprehensive levee plan now presented by the district engineer; provided, that prior to expenditure of Federal funds for any of the improvements, the States or other responsible local agencies furnish assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will (1) provide