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CIVIL FUNCTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1954
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:40 a. m., pursuant to recess, in Room F-39, the Capitol, Hon. Henry C. Dworshak presiding.
Present: Senators Dworshak, Hayden, Ellender, McClellan, and Robertson.
ADVANCE ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
STATEMENTS OF BRIG. GEN. C. H. CHORPENING, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF ENGINEERS FOR CIVIL WORKS; COL. ALFRED D. STARBIRD, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF CIVIL WORKS FOR FLOOD CONTROL; AND H. COHEN, ASSISTANT CHIEF, PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT BRANCH
Senator DWORSHIAK. The committee will be in order. We will take up “Advance engineering and design.”
General CHORPENING. Before starting, I would like to make a brief statement on the overall projects for flood control.
Of the $2,500,000 included in this budget for advance engineering and design, $1,564,000 will go to 30 flood-control projects as follows:
The 30 projects are in 20 different States; 12 of the 30 projects are to have planning initiated with these funds.
Eighteen projects have had some planning prior to fiscal year 1955; 12 of the 30 projects are flood-control reservoirs, and 7 of these will be brought to construction readiness.
Eighteen of the projects are other than reservoirs and 13 of these will be brought to construction readiness. In other words, 20 out of the 30 projects for which we are requesting funds will be brought to a place where we could go into construction if these funds are allowed.
The projects are realtively small, only 8 of the 30 would have an estimated construction cost at this time of over $15,000,000.
COMPARISON IN PLANNING
Senator DWORSHAK. General, can you give us very briefly some idea as to the tempo and the scope of your flood-control planning proposed for next year as compared to this fiscal year?
General CHORPENING. You answer that, Colonel Starbird.
Colonel STARBIRD. I can give it very briefly, sir, but not with exact figures. Last year, we had appropriated, a total for advance engineering and design, $1,900,000. That would have carried on planning activities on a total of 55 projects, considering also certain carryover funds.
Of that 55, 34 were flood-control projects. For fiscal year 1955 there are around 45 projects recommended in the budget, of which 30 are flood-control projects. There would thus be 30 flood-control projects carried on with fiscal year 1955 funds plus any additional still underway with carryover funds, as compared with a total of 34 in fiscal year 1954.
Senator DWORSHAK. The money will be increased a little bit.
Colonel STARBIRD. The money actually, I believe, will be slightly less, sir. The $1,900,000 for 1954 was the total appropriated for all projects as contrasted with $2,500,000 for all the categories for fiscal
Senator DWORSHAK. $2,500,000 is more, unless you have a carryover?
Colonel STARBIRD. There was $1,900,000 appropriated plus a sizeable carryover. This year there will be $2,500,000.
Senator DWORSHAK. So there is no drastic cutback or diminution of any kind?
Colonel STARBIRD. There is no major change. However, there is some reduction overall since the carryover of unobligated funds into 1954 plus the appropriation totals $3,200,000 as compared to the 1955 request of $2,500,000, but, of course, we are likely to have some small carryover into 1955.
Senator DWORSHAK. You are maintaining about the same level of activity in planning these flood-control projects?
Colonel STARBIRD. It will be approximately the same. Would you like me to discuss each project, giving information as to where it is, our status of planning and our benefit-cost ratios?
Senator ELLENDER. Would you tell us how you selected these? What was your yardstick?
Colonel STARBIRD. Basically, sir, we used two yardsticks. One was to pick a fairly large number of small, high-benefit-cost-ratio projects that we could bring to construction status with a minimum amount of money. That was one yard stick. A second yardstick was to carry forward planning on some of the larger projects that were good projects, so that we would maintain the planning activity already under way.
Senator ELLENDER. You mean projects in which you had already started planning in the past but had curtailed because of the emergency?
Colonel STARBIRD. Either curtailed or on which planning was proceeding at a logical rate.
Senator ELLENDER. About how many projects did you have to pick from, that you thought needed attention?
Colonel STARBIRE. We originally picked from around 50.
Of course, we have a much greater number than that of authorized projects, but the 50 was what we really boiled it down to, in other words, that number covered what we considered might generally meet the criteria. Then we had to again bring that down to the number of 30 which now appears in the budget, fitting each, in our best judgment, with the criteria mentioned by Colonel Starbird, as well as staying within the funds allowed.
One of the things that we are anxious to do, as has been brought out, is to reach construction status. Twenty out of the 30 that we include here will be brought to a status where construction can get underway. That is indicative of our general overall objective. It is to bring projects to the place where, if it is in the national interest to get these projects underway, we do have plans available to proceed with their construction.
Senator ELLENDER. I wonder if we could place in the record here the number of authorized projects on which no funds have been appropriated for study or planning, other than the fact that they have been authorized ?
General CHORPENING. Yes, sir; we can do that; and we will break it down as between those that we consider active under that study that we have described and those that we have placed in the deferred category and those that we feel are inactive. We can make that further breakdown.
(The information referred to follows.) The number of authorized flood-control projects which had received no funds for advance engineering and design as of January 1, 1954, are as follows: Category
Number Active projects---
94 Projects deferred for further study
60 Inactive projects.-.
308 Senator ELLENDER. What weight did you give in selecting these 30 to cost-to-benefit ratio?
General CHORPENING. Generally we were seeking those with the higher benefit-cost ratio, and, of course, these for which we are asking planning funds were in the active category.
Senator ELLENDER. Did you give weight at all to the geographic locations of these projects?
General CHORPENING. We gave some weight to that; yes, sir. It is indicated that the 30 projects here are actually in 20 different States.
Senator ELLENDER. I notice, in just looking over the list which you have here, that there is only one Southern State included, and that is Kentucky, which is more or less in between, a border State. There were no Southern States included other than Kentucky,
All right, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DWORSHAK. Well, General, you told us a few minutes ago that you are asking for $2,500,000 as compared with $1,900,000 during this fiscal year, and that you had 55 projects in this fiscal year including 34 flood-control projects, whereas, in the proposal for 1955 you have estimates on 30 flood control projects, which indicates that you are maintaining about the same scope or the same program, insofar as activity is concerned. You have neither greatly diminished nor greatly increased your projected program for the coming year, is that right? General CHORPENING. That is essentially correct; yes, sir. Senator DWORSHAK. All right.
PAINTED Rock RESERVOIR, GILA RIVER, ARIZ. Colonel STARBIRD. The first project, sir, is a flood-control and siltcontrol reservoir on the Gila River in Arizona. The project has a benefit-cost ratio of 1.52 to 1. We have done quite a little planning to date. We have had planning funds appropriated in the amount of $304,000.
The amount recommended for fiscal year 1955 is $100,000. Slightly more than that amount will be necessary in later years to bring the project to construction status.
This, incidentally, is in a rather remote location, and we will undertake a large portion of the work in one basic contract when the project is started.
Senator HAYDEN. Mr. Chairman, the construction of this Painted Rock Reservoir is required in accordance with a treaty with the Republic of Mexico. The records show that at infrequent intervals, it is true, but when there are great floods on the Gila River, if one of those struck at the present time around Yuma it would wreck the levees built to protect the Yuma reclamation project, and probably do serious damage to the Morales Dam which is the dam built by the Mexican Government, half in the United States and half in Mexico.
The earliest record that I have been able to find of a flood of this kind was in the winter of 1861-62 when they desired to bring the garrison of Federal soldiers who were stationed at Fort Yuma regularly, east to fight in Virginia, and they substituted California volunteers for them. The flood was so great that they had to walk to their armpits across the bed of the river to the California side to get up to the knoll where Fort Yuma was located. The flood which broke the levees into the Yuma Dam came out of the Gila River. Under these conditions, before the dam was built, the Colorado would gradually rise and would scour out the stream as it rose. Where it would be 10 feet deep, in low water, it would become 30 to 40 feet deep at high water. This Gila flood came along in the absence of any scouring out of the bed. It is necessary that this work be done.
Now, what you are saying is that this is a progress report that you are making to us now? You want to get the plans in shape so that at some future date the contract can be let?
Colonel STARBIRD. That is correct, sir. With the funds available through fiscal year 1954, we will complete our general design. With the 1955 and later funds, we will complete the specific design on various individual features, and we will also complete plans and specifications in the shortest possible time so that construction can start.
Senator ELLENDER. This is strictly flood control.