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$14,000,000 and without jeopardizing the safety and integrity of the main Mississippi River levees and without preventing or jeopardizing the diversions contemplated in the adopted project through the Atcha falaya River and Atchafala ya Basin.
The plan proposed is the construction of a levee running westward from the Mississippi River levee at Shaw along Grand Cutoff Bayou to the Red River, thence upstream along the north bank of Red River and the east bank of Black and Tensas Rivers to Newlight, La. It is to provide protection to 233,000 acres exclusive of a sump area of 100,000 acres below elevation 46 mean gage level, against backwater overflow from floods up to 1 foot below the maximum recorded of 1927, and against all headwater floods of the Tensas, Black, and Red Rivers. It is estimated, on the basis of past records, that the area will be inundated by backwater at average intervals of once in about 35 years. The grade of the levee at the lower end of the basin, from about 3,000 feet west of the mouth of Bayou Cocodrie to the vicinity of Monterey will be built to a grade 1 foot below the 1927 flood con- . fined as far south as Shaw, assuming Morganza Floodway operating. This will be the fuse plug levee. Its actual elevation will depend somewhat upon the nature of the Morganza inlet. Above the fuse plug the levee will confine headwater floods at all times when the use of the backwater area is not required by extreme floods of the Mississippi River. Rainfall within the area is to be collected in the sump area below elevation 46 and discharged through floodgates as stages in the backwater outside permit. The deficiency bill has provided $2,500,000 for initiative work. Surveys have long been under way and are following the water southward. We hope to begin construction at the lowest end where the levees required are highest.
We have investigated the possibility of modifying the alinement of the levee along Black River to take in more territory by making various combinations of cut-offs. It is possible that one of the proposed cutoffs; namely, the one called “Smithland” would improve the economy of the project and will increase the protected area by about 20,000 acres.
In addition to the Tensas-Cocodrie project in the Red backwater, an emergency ring levee has been constructed around the City of Jonesville, so far as possible upon the alinement selected for the permanent Jonesville ring levee authorized as a flood control general project by the act of June 22, 1936. The present levee is being built to a grade of 63.4 mean sea level which is 3 feet above the flow line of the 1945 flood and to a cross section in general having 12 crown and 1-on-2 side slope. It is being built under the provisions of section 6 of the Flood Control Act of 1928 which requires the contribution of rightof-way and one-third of the construction cost by local interests. The final ring levee, which has not been built because rightof-way has not been provided will take in a much larger area than the emergency ring levee.
The Commission has from time to time for many years considered the possibility of affording protection to all of the Red backwater area by closing Old River. The possibility has been reinvestigated recently with the thought in mind that protection up to a stage which permitted 1,500,000 cubic feet per second to pass into the main river below Morganza might prove feasible and warranted. This would afford pro
tection to 1,765,000 acres as compared with the 330,000 of the TensasCocodrie project. Another incentive to the study was the large increase noted in the 1945 flood in the discharge of the Atchafalaya River which revived the recurrent apprehension that the Mississippi itself might seek that course. The Atchafalaya offers about a 50 percent shorter route to sea and its carrying capacity has increased in marked degree since 1930. The last hydrographic survey also showed some enlargement of Old River.
In the 1945 flood, the maximum flow through Old River was about 450,000 cubic feet per second.
In the project food the flow from the Mississippi River through any structure closing Old River would conceivably be 600,000 cubic feet per second. If Atcha falaya River continued to enlarge, it might be desirable to plan upon an inflow of 800,000 cubic feet per second.
A structure of the latter capacity would cost about $32,000,000 and in addition a navigation lock costing $10,000,000 would be needed. This exceeds the $14,000,000 authorization of the 1941 Flood Control Act by $28,000,000.
The closure structure would be operated to hold stages at Simmesport and Barbre Landing to bankfull until the flow in the main river with Morganza floodway operating reaches 1,500,000 cubic feet per second, or until the flow reaches 1,250,000 cubic feet per second if it is desired to avoid operating Bonnet Carre.
In view of the fact that Old River does not appear to be enlarging at a rate to cause alarm as yet, and of the further fact that capture of the Mississippi by the Atchafalaya River could be prevented by the use of structures far less expensive, we do not contemplate urging the adoption of closure structure at this time. Closure of Old River by a levee would result in its crevassing at intervals which seem too frequent to justify consideration and would require very frequent operation of Bonnet Carre spillway. A series of uncontrolled weirs were also considered, but the plan did not appear workable.
The 1941 act added to the project for flood control, Mississippi River and tributaries, the improvement of Bayous Rapides, Boeuf, and Cocodrie south of the Red River at an estimated cost of $2,600,000. The plan provides for 15 miles of diversion channel from Bayou Rapides, near Alexandria, La., to Bayou Boeuf at its junction with Bayou Clear, a control structure at head of diversion channel; channel improvement of Bayou Boeuf from Valentine Lake (mile 105.5) to Bayou Lamourie (mile 86) and between Bayou Clear and Union Chapel (mile 66) with a control structure at head of Lamourie; 18 miles of diversion channel to Bayou Cocodrie below St. Landry at mile 21 with a control structure at its head and the realinement, enlargement and clearing of the bayou below this point and the improvement of the bayou up to Lake Cocodrie,
The Deficiency Act of 1946 provided $2,000,000 to start with. Designs have been completed for the lower 1642 miles of the work and specifications have been prepared for the lower 12% miles, which should shortly be under contract. Designs and specifications are about 70 percent complete for the Bayou Rapides control structure.
DREDGING AND BANK PROTECTION The features of the project, “Flood control, Mississippi River and tributaries,” other than direct flood control, may be grouped under the headings "Dredging” and “Bank protection. Our dredging activities, since the completion of the cut-offs relate quite largely to maintaining open-river navigation. A fleet of five dustpan dredges and four pump barges is maintained for the purpose. Last year a 30-inch dredge was leased, supplementing our own plant, for jobs to which dredges designed largely for channel maintenance are not suited. About 35,000,000 cubic yards were dredged for all purposes during the year.
Bank protection on the lower river has come to be almost synonymous with articulated concrete revetment. The Congress in 1944 authorized an additional $200,000,000 for the attainment of a 12-foot minimum navigable depth channel from Cairo to Baton Rouge-in lieu of the 9-foot project hitherto in effect—to perpetuate the flood reductions gained through channel shortening and to protect the levees against destruction by caving banks. These results are to be attained over a period of 15 years, primarily by means of bank protection, supplemented by such additional dredging and low dikes as may be required. Revetment work, employing large volumes of labor, plant, and critical materials was quite difficult during the war. We now have two large plants and expect to allocate about $11,000,000 to revetments this coming season. One of the plants will be leased to a contractor. We should like to interest contractors in the large program before us, in the interest of expediting it and improving processes.
The contract work last year was quite successful and satisfactory. By the end of next fiscal year—1947—we hope to have a third plant, also for lease, and to prosecute work at the rate of about $18,000,000 a year. We are constantly striving to develop less expensive types of bank protection. We have recently experimented with a thinner, tighter type of concrete mattress which is rolled down the bank on a drum. It appears to offer considerable promise, but is not yet in volume production.
The CHAIRMAN. Please give a statement of total authorizations, amount that has been appropriated, the amount now estimated to complete authorized project.
General CRAWFORD. The addition of several new features to the project, coupled with the sharp rise in prices has forced us to examine our resources in the form of unused authorization for appropriations to ascertain whether they are still adequate for the completion of what we have to do. We find to our regret, but scarcely to our surprise, that they are no longer adequate.
I have here a table setting forth the sum which the Congress has authorized for appropriation. It totals $864,934,000. Of this amount there has already been appropriated $514,158,000, leaving $350,776,000 still to be appropriated. I have also a list showing the major items of the project yet to be done, and the estimated cost to complete them based upon current prices.' It adds up to $479,725,000, which is $128,949,000, or 37 percent, in excess of the remaining balance of authorization. Some $36,000,000 or so of this increase is represented by increases
in the scope of the project such as berms on Mississippi River and south bank; Arkansas River levees; Morganza floodway, controlled inlet; Flood control below Morgan City; Railroad connection, Opelousas to Ville Platte; raising Krotz Springs Bridge; raising south bank Red River levees and berms; Berwick lock; Wave Wash protection, no previously included in project; dredging in Atchafalaya River and Grand Lake; dredging at Krotz Springs Bridge.
The rest is due to the increase of about 33 percent in the cost of heavy construction as indicated by the change in cost indexes for that field since 1940.
It is to be noted that with the sharp increase in the cost of doing work, it is essential that annual appropriations increase if it is desired to maintain former rates of progress.
Major items of project for "Flood control, Mississippi River and tributaries"
yet to be done- Estimate of cost to complete, exclusive of funds obligated, prior to July 1, 1946
Estimated cost Major item
to complete Mississippi River levees.
$31, 000, 000 South bank Arkansas River levees.
3, 100, 000 South bank Red River levees-------
5, 000, 000 Roads on levees.
16,000,000 St. Francis Basin---
8, 100, 000 Yazoo headwater plan.
41, 200, 000 Yazoo backwater plan--
18, 500,000 White River backwater plan-
350, 000 Tensas-Cocodrie area (Red River backwater plan)
16, 100, 000 Morganza floodway--------
12, 400, 0000 Atchafalaya floodways.--
23, 600,000 Bayou Rapides, Boeuf, and Cocodrie_
2, 000, 000 Atchafalaya River and Basin improvement-
3, 000, 000 Bank stabilization works and dikes_
246, 000, 000 Mapping------
2, 075,000 Dredging -----
31, 300,000 Total --
- 479, 725,000 The CHAIRMAN. The first individual project that we have under consideration, when we reach individual projects, is a project in which Representative Zimmerman, formerly a distinguished member of this committee, is interested, and that is known as the St. Johns Bayou project.
General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER-WEST TENNESSEE TRIBUTARIES
The CHAIRMAN. As we come down the river from St. Johns Bayou, the first project we have under consideration is a project for improvement of tributaries in west Tennessee; is that right? General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. And there is a favorable report? General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And Mr. Cooper, of Tennessee, long interested in that project, is present today.
Mr. Cooper, do you favor or oppose the project?
STATEMENT OF HON. JERE COOPER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TENNESSEE Mr. COOPER. I appreciate the chairman's very fine remarks. I might say it was my privilege to serve on this committee. I enjoyed the splendid association with the distinguished members. I believe the distinguished chairman is the only member left of the members I served with. I would still be on this committee if I really had my way about it. I was a member of it at the time I was elected a member of the Ways and Means Committee of the House.
I appreciate this opportunity to appear. As you all know, we are exceedingly hard-pressed. The House meets at 10 o'clock. We have the OPA bill up. "I am presiding over the House during the consideration of that bill.
I simply want to say that I appear in support of the splendid report of the Chief of Engineers. It is a fine report. It is characteristic of the fine reports that the Chief of Engineers submits. It is splendid in every respect. It is favorable to this project. I want to strongly request that this project be included in the next authorization bill reported.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to have your further statement tomorrow, which is the day set aside for Members of Congress.
The next project on our agenda for consideration is a project that has been fostered by a very able member of this committee, Mr. Davis, of Tennessee, known as the Memphis project, and that report is before us.
Mr. Davis, if you desire at this time to make any statement or make any announcement, we will be glad to have you do so.
Mr. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You have set this down for hearing on tomorrow. Therefore, I will not take the time of the committee at this point.
The CHAIRMAN. As we proceed down the main river, the next matter under consideration is a proposal similar to that at Memphis for Vicksburg, Miss. All the members of the committee know about Vicksburg, Miss., on the high hills. It is one of the few places in the United States that constructed at its own expense its flood wall. Vicksburg has a definite problem. Representative McGehee is here. He has Col. Alexander Fitz-Hugh, chairman of the committee on flood control for the Vicksburg project, with him. We will be glad to hear you when we reach the Vicksburg project.
You may submit the names of those who will appear to the reporter, and they may be inserted at this point in the record.
(The list of names referred to is as follows:)
LIST OF PERSONNEL REPRESENTING VICKSBURG PROJECT
S. P. Price, president, chamber of commerce.