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to the Corps of Engineers, the State of Tennessee and all others. He is the associate editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal which serves a very wide area in the Mid-South and reflects the views of all of the people of this section in support of this most worth-while project which by no means is to be considered local in nature. I do think, however, that Maj. Max C. Tyler, a very distinguished engineer and who has just retired as President of the Mississippi River Commission is prepared to make a statement of real benefit to the committee. He is well known as the Chair has just stated by all of the members of this great committee. He rendered splendid service to his country, speaks with authority, and will be able to cover much ground in a short time.
If it be not inconsistent with the wishes of the Chair, I should like to present first General Tyler, then Mayor Chandler, followed by Mr. Frank Pidgeon, City Engineers Fowler, and Mr. Carley. Should the Chair or any members of the committee desire to ask them questions in connection with the matter to be presented, they are ready, willing and anxious to comply.
The CHAIRMAN. General Tyler, will you please come around ? It is a pleasure to have you. You know where to be seated, as you have occupied this seat most effectively and efficiently for many years in the past as the Assistant Chief of Engineers, as a division engineer, and as President of the Mississippi River Commission.
General, will you give us in your own way simply the project under consideration? Mr. Davis may ask you any questions that occur to him.
STATEMENT OF GEN. MAX C. TYLER General TYLER. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I feel that the President of the Mississippi River Commission has made such a clear statement that there is very little that I can say about this project unless you wish me to go into the background a little bit.
The CHAIRMAN. In your own way you may make a statement.
General TYLER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I can add little to the clear statement of the president of the Mississippi River Commission who is so ably and forcefully directing the work of the Commission.
1. The Flood Control Act of 1944 amended the act of 1928, as amended, by authorizing a comprehensive plan for the stabilization of the Mississippi River between Cairo, Ill., and Baton Rogue, La. The plan has four objectives, viz:
(1) To stop the frequent retirement of the main-line levee defenses to set back locations.
(2) To obtain a minimum channel depth of 12 feet for navigation. (3) To obtain greater channel capacity for carrying floods; and
(4) To make it possible to develop harbors and water-front properties for the accommodation of river commerce at stabilized locations where the investments in such properties will be secure.
2. The cities of Memphis and Vicksburg were advoeates of the stabilization program as shown by the following quotation from the 1944 report of the Mississippi River Commission-House Document 509, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session.
The cities of Memphis and Vicksburg advocate stabilization of the river channel in order that harbors may have permanency of location, plan, and depth and so
that sites on the river may be developed by industry with assurance that they will neither be destroyed by caving banks nor left a long distance from the navigation channel by some change in the river's course,
STATEMENT OF GEN. MAX C. TYLER
3. The lower Mississippi River is doing a splendid job. During the war it has carried millions of tons of oil, gasoline, and sulfur to the industries on the Ohio, the Illinois, and the upper Mississippi. It has carried to the sea over 2,000 vessels built for war purposes in lake and up-river shipyards. But if the river is to do what it is capable of doing in the public interest and is to pay still greater dividends on the money the Government has invested in the inland waterway system, safe harbors must be built on the lower river where industries can create freight suitable for shipment by water or receive it, and where river craft may be built, serviced, and repaired.. · 4. There are certain points on the lower river famous in our military and political history and in the history of the river as a navigation route where good harbors are a vital need now and where they can be provided and maintained, or maintained where already in existence, at reasonable cost.
These points are: Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, Greenville, and Memphis.
The river is being stabilized in its new cut-off location at Greenville by extensive revetments in order to preserve the excellent harbor in the old bend way channel in front of Greenville.
Vickburgs needs are under consideration by this committee.
5. The stabilization program authorized by the 1944 act contemplates fixing banks by revetments and dikes and the development of a single efficient channel by dredging and the closure of chutes and back channels, working downstream from points already fixed.
The chute closure, the revetments, and the channel dredging of the Memphis harbor plan are such works and constitute an application of the principles and methods of stabilization contemplated by the Mississippi River Commission's 1944 report.
The river is divided just below the Memphis bridges by Presidents Island. Up until 1904 Tennessee chute or the east channel was the main channel. Now it carries only about 6 percent of the low flow and 30 percent of the bank-full flow. Best channel conditions will result from the concentration of all flow in the west channel by the closure of Tennessee chute as proposed.
The stabilization authorized by the 1944 act must proceed by sections of river or reaches and in each section the work must proceed downstream from a point already stabilized.
Memphis is such a point. The city front is stabilized by revetment and must be held on account of the high property values and the two existing bridges and one under construction."
Memphis is the proper starting point for the stabilization of the river from Memphis to Helena and the first step should be the closure of Tennessee chute and the revet ment of banks as contemplated by the harbor plan.
6. This harbor plan is not of local concern only. It will increase the efficiency of water transportation reaching Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Texas,
The CHAIRMAN. Is it not true that the same situation obtains on other rivers ? For instance, I have in mind Portsmouth, Ohio. That city is located on the bluffs, but the manufacturing and industrial area along the river and back of this area here, the railroads enter Memphis, and they cannot go around the bluffs. There is at present this proposed revetment work, and the river swings away from the city, leaving what we call chutes, and you propose to close the head of the chute next to the Memphis side of the river, and then you propose to construct a levee across that island between that chute and the main river? General TYLER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What would be the distance between that levee and that dam at the head of the chute and the levee on the other side of the river, on the Arkansas side?
General TYLER. It is about the same distance as several other places on the river. I do not have the map in front of me, but it looks like it is 212 to 3 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. Then there will be the channelization work, and you will enter from the south end of the chute? General TYLER. The end of the chute, just as it is done at Greenville.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the population of Memphis?
Mr. Chairman, after this fine statement made by General Crawford, supported by General Tyler, I feel it is hardly necessary for us to add cumulative statements. But I do want you and the committee to know that Maj. Walter Chandler of Memphis is here, a former member of Congress. I should like for him to speak briefly, from the public standpoint, in support of this project, if it is in order.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any further statement you care to submit, General Tyler, in support of this project? General TYLER. No, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Any questions by Mr. Allen? Mr. ALLEN. General, you feel, then, that these inland harbors on inland waterways represent a wise expenditure of funds?
General TYLER. There is no question about it in my mind. The dams that have been constructed in the late years in the vicinity of Pittsburgh had as one of their main objectives the creation of safe harbors in that area. On all of the canalized rivers the pools make excellent harbors. They are not carried in the law as harbors, but that is what they are. Industry on those pools has a stable location and slack water for the movement of their commerce and the mooring of their commerce, and for the construction of wharves, tipples, and all that sort of thing.
It is only on the lower Mississippi, on those streams where you cannot build dams and have to regulate the river, that this kind of development is so vitally essential.
The CHAIRMAN. It saves the people the big expense of unloading if they have the harbor to go right up there with the barge and unload?
General TYLER. It does that; but it more especially makes it safe to build something and to realize that if you do spend money on a terminal or on a wharf, the investment is secure and that you will not find yourself several miles from the river in a few years or will not find yourself caged into the river.
Mr. ALLEN. You have about the same situation at Baton Rouge as you have at Memphis?
General TYLER. Somewhat similar.
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have had your statement, General
MEMPHIS, TENN. Mayor CHANDLER. In a message to Congress on January 24, 1935, transmitting a report of the Mississippi Valley Commission, the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in part:
We think of our land and water and human resources not as static and sterile possessions but as life-giving assets to be directed by wise provision for future days. We seek to use our natural resources not as a thing apart but as something that is interwoven with industry, labor, finance, taxation, agriculture, homes, recreation, good citizenship. The results of this interweaving will have greater influence on the future American standards of living than all the rest of our economics put together.
The Mississippi River is a natural resource of untold value to the American people as an artery of commerce and an adjunct of industry, and the more we use this navigable stream, the higher will be the value of this great river.
No more convincing proof of this fact could be presented than the record of service performed by the river during World War II. Ships so urgently needed for the all-world war were built on the Great Lakes and in other inland ports, including Memphis, and were floated and towed down the Mississippi to the Gulf. Submarines, destroyers, escorts, tankers, invasion craft, drydocks, cargo vessels, and other war craft passed Memphis in numbers exceeding 2,000 on their way to join our fighting forces in all parts of the world.
Gasoline, oil, coal, ore, steel, sulphur, grain, and other materials essential to the prosecution of the war were carried in vast tonnages on the Mississippi River, up- and downstream. The river thereby helped to utilize the manpower, plants, and facilities in the Mississippi Valley, and also assisted in meeting the unprecedented demands on all forms of transportation.
Indeed, the accomplishments of the United States Corps of Engineers, under the direction of Congress, in stabilizing the banks, developing and protecting harbors, and in maintaining and improving navigation on the Mississippi River, were fully realized in World War II, and more than justified the expenditure of public funds for those purposes.
As is well and favorably known, Congress, over the years, has made appropriations aggregating billions of dollars for the deepening, maintenance, and improvement of harbors and channels for our great cities on the seacoast and on the Great Lakes, and these expenditures have added to the commerce, the productivity, and income of the Nation and its people.
In the lower Mississippi Valley, within a radius of 200 miles of Memphis, live approximately 3,000,000 people, about half of whom are protected by the levees built along the river and its tributaries.
These people depend in substantial part on Memphis and the Mississippi River. The fact that “the run-off from 41 percent of the area of the United States must find its way to the sea down the alluvial valley of the Mississippi” has created a Nation-wide responsibility for the welfare of the people of the States touched by the Mississippi and tributary rivers. Memphis has been the haven and refuge for sufferers from the flood waters that have overrun thousands of square miles of land and destroyed millions of dollars worth of property and hundreds of lives. Even after Congress recognized the national obligation to protect the Mississippi Valley from the ravages of overflows, and passed the Flood Control Act of 1928 following the biggest flood in the country's history in 1927, Memphis responded to another call and cared for more than 50,000 refugees in the flood of 1937.
Since 1928, protective acts have been passed for other sections of the country, and Congress has reaffirmed the importance of further public works on rivers and harbors by passage of Public Law 534, Seventy-eighth Congress, which was approved on December 22, 1944. This statute, which authorizes the appropriation of $200,000,000 for improvement of the lower Mississippi River, was passed in the light of a project study made by the Mississippi River Commission pursuant to resolutions adopted in 1943 by the House Committee on Flood Control and by Senate Committee on Commerce. That study is contained in House Document 509 and was adopted as part of Public Law 534, supra.
Now that the Committee on Commerce of the United States Senate has requested the Chief of Engineers to review the provisions of the project for the improvement of the Mississippi River with a view to determining whether any changes are now advisable in the adopted project in order to provide a safe and adequate harbor development in the vicinity of Memphis, and the Chief of Engineers has submitted a comprehensive report pursuant to that request, the city of Memphis, Shelby County, and the Memphis Harbor Commission respectfully ask the favorable consideration and action of this committee on Flood Control on the project approved in said report.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you for your statement, Mayor Chandler.
Are there any other representatives, Mr. Davis, you desire to appear for the record at this time?
Mr. Davis. I would like the record to show the presence of the city engineer of Memphis, W. B. Fowler, and Mr. Frank Pidgeon, representing the Memphis Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. Jack Carley, the associate editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, a very large paper which covers the mid-South and which represents really the feeling of a great number of States and a great area in the lower Mississippi Valley. I want to express the appreciation of all of us to you, Mr. Chairman, for your generous accommodation in this matter, and your thoughtful and helpful assistance. If any man in the country knows rivers and flood conditions, it is you, and I want the record to show that Memphis and all the mid-South appreciate your long and distinguished service.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee knows of these men's efforts through the years, and more particularly through the past few years on behalf of this project. If any of you wish to make a statement, you may do so.