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CRESCENT CITY HARBOR, CALIF.
adopting the project Congress adopted it “subject to the conditions set forth in said document: Provided, That before entering upon the prosecution of the work herein authorized the Secretary of War shall require the contribution of the sum of $200,000 from local interests, and the said Secretary is hereby authorized to prosecute the work of improvement with such funds when so furnished.” The $200,000 thus specified was turned over by local interests to the Secretary of War for expenditure on this project, and, on December 1, 1921, there remained unexpended of this money $75,034.34, of which $63,842.82 was covered by outstanding contracts and liabilities, leaving an unobligated balance of $11,191.52.
3. The board reports that there has apparently been little change in either physical or commercial conditions since the report under review was submitted, that no material advance has been made toward securing the railroad, and that the near future apparently holds but little hope for such an enterprise. The people have assurances of a good State highway, however, and they desire to have this accepted as a compliance with the condition imposed as to railroad construction.
4. The board realizes that a railroad would be of more value to Crescent City than a highway, but appreciates the aid to the development of this community through the addition of this highway. Local interests have evidenced their faith in this enterprise and the board considers this a case where, though it is clear that the benefits are divided and it is impossible to definitely determine the ratio between public and private benefit, the United States might very properly meet the local interests halfway.
5. The total estimated cost of the improvement is $490,000. The board recommends that the United States now contribute $200,000, which is an amount equal to that already contributed by local interests, with which to prosecute the work, and that it later appropriate one-half of the balance required for completion, to be expended only on condition that local interests contribute an equal amount. Answering the query contained in the resolution, the board reports that, in its opinion, it is advisable to waive the condition precedent with respect to the railroad, subject to the above recommendation.
6. After due consideration of the information available, I concur in the view of the board. Very respectfully,
LANSING H. BEACH, Major General, Chief of Engineers.
Washington, D.C., December 20, 1921.
1. The board.submits its report in response to the following resolution :
Resolved by the Committee on Rivers and Harbors 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 it hereby is, requested to reexamine the reports on Crescent City Harbor, California, submitted in House Document Numbered 434, Sixty-fourth Congress, first session, with a view to determining whether the conditions precedent to the prosecution of the project by the Government, recommended therein, should be modified, waived, or adhered to under existing conditions.
2. Crescent City is a town of about 1,500 inhabitants, 70 miles north of Humboldt Bay, 17 miles south of the California-Oregon boundary, and 100 miles from Grants Pass, the nearest railroad station on the Southern Pacific Railroad. The report now under review was submitted after a careful personal investigation by this board of the locality and its means of communication by water and by land. The wagon road connecting Crescent City with Grants Pass, has the usual characteristics of a mountain road, rising at times to great height and descending precipitously to valleys below. It was obvious that no great amount of commerce could be carried over this route, and as the success of any harbor improvement appeared largely dependent upon a useful means of communication with the interior, the board recommended the breakwater, subject to the condition that assurances be given that the projected railroad between Grants Pass and Crescent City would be constructed, and, in addition thereto, that local interests would contribute $100,000 toward the cost of the work, estimated at a total of $490,000.
3. The river and harbor act of July 18, 1918, authorized the improvement, provided the Secretary of War shall require the contribution of the sum of $200,000 from local interests, but Congress made no appropriation. The river and harbor act of March 2, 1919, waived the condition requiring the construction of the railroad until an appropriation is made by the United States for the further prosecution of the project. Local interests have contributed the full amount of the $200,000 required and work is proceeding with these funds under the authorization given in the acts mentioned above. The question before the board now is whether the condition precedent, with reference to the railroad, should be modified, waived, or adhered to under present conditions. For details of the present situation attention is invited to the accompanying report of the district engineer.
4. There has apparently been little change in either physical or commercial conditions since the report under review was submitted. No material advance has been made toward securing the railroad, and from the present outlook it appears that the near future holds but little hope for such an enterprise. The question therefore is whether participation by the United States in the improvement of the harbor may now be justified without the railroad. This community, while small, is very progressive, as evidenced by the large local contribution made, and in view of the large natural resources of the country Federal cooperation in the improvement of the harbor should have a very stimulating effect upon the future business of the community.
5. While the people have failed to secure the desired railroad, they have succeeded in obtaining the next best thing, assurances of a good State highway, and on this they now base their hopes for the immediate future and ask that this be accepted as sufficient compliance with the condition precedent. This means automobile and motortruck transportation instead of rail. In the opinion of the district engineer, who is also the division engineer, the uncertainties of this CRESCENT CITY HARBOR, CALIF.
class of transportation are such as to make it impossible to predict the successful use of the truck as a substitute for the railroad on long hauls and therefore he considers it advisable to adhere to the condition precedent.
6. That a railroad would be of more value to Crescent City than a highway is evident, but it is equally clear that a good highway of moderate grade and curvature would add greatly to the development of the community. It does not seem probable that a large amount of freight would be carried all the way between Crescent City and Grants Pass, but there would be some, particularly highclass products and express matter. Also it seems reasonable to believe that such a road would attract to Crescent City practically all freight from at least the western half of the road, if not more. Under these conditions it is believed that the public interest would be sufficiently involved to warrant cooperation on the part of the United States to at least some extent. Quite a number of river and harbor improvements on the Pacific coast are now under way on the basis of 50 per cent cooperation by the United States and the · same amount by local interests. In cases where it is clear that the benefits are divided, but where it is impossible to definitely determine the ratio between public and private benefit, the above basis appears just and equitable, and Crescent City seems to be a case in point. Local interests have shown their faith in the enterprise, and it is believed that the United States might very properly.meet them half way.
7. The total estimate for the improvement is $490,000, of which the community has contributed $200,000. It is recommended that the United States now contribute a like sum with which to prosecute the work and that it later appropriate one-half the balance required for completion, to be expended only on condition that local interests contribute an equal amount. Answering the query contained in the resolution, the board reports that in its opinion it is advisable to waive the condition precedent with respect to the railroad, subject to the above recommendation. For the board :
Senior Member of the Board.
San Francisco, Calif., October 28, 1921.
1. I submit the following report called for by resolution of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House of Representatives, February 3, 1921, reading:
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 it hereby is, requested to reexamine the report on Crecent City Harbor, California, submitted in House Document Numbered 434, Sixty-fourth Congress, first session,
Februartee on Re follo