« PreviousContinue »
time local people suggested the widening and straightening of certain streams of the two watersheds and the construction of a reservoir for the protection of Olive Hill. Following the public hearing a reconnaissance of the two watersheds was made by personnel of the Huntington district, after which the examination became inactive because of a lack of funds.
Little Sandy River, which has a drainage area of 780 square miles, rises near the southeastern border of Elliott County and flows in a northeasterly direction to its confluence with the Ohio River at Greenup, Ky. Tygart Creek rises near the southwestern corner of Carter County and follows a course parallel to the Little Sandy River to empty into the Ohio River opposite Portsmouth, Ohio. The two main streams as well as their tributaries generally follow very tortuous courses through rather narrow valleys. The two watersheds are predominantly agricultural with the principal urban centers being at Greenup, Grayson, and Olive Hill. Floods in the area result in frequent damages to farmlands, crops, and farm and urban improvements. Highways are frequently flooded resulting in losses in wages, business, and transportation. Studies have not progressed sufficiently to permit the making of an estimate of flood damages or the selection of even a tentative plan of flood protection.
Limited appropriations for the flood-control program in recent years have precluded the reactivation of the Little Sandy-Tygart Creek report. Funds for this study were not included in the tentative list of studies for the 1955 program as recently submitted by the Chief of Engineers to the House Appropriations Committee; however, the Assistant Chief of Engineers for Civil Works has recently stated that careful consideration will be given to inclusion of the Little Sandy-Tygart Creek study in the program for fiscal year 1956, depending upon the appropriation and priority of other reports. You may be sure that the authorized study will be completed and submitted to Congress as rapidly as the availability of funds permit. Sincerely yours,
G. T. DERBY, Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Engineer. On June 27, 1950, the Committee on Public Works of the House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling for a review of reports on the Ohio River and tributaries with a view to determining whether the recommendations contained in those reports should be modified with respect to flood control on Little Sandy River and Tygart Creek.
A similar resolution was adopted by the Committee on Public Works of the Senate.
Senator KNOWLAND. I will ask Senator Dworshak to take over my duties as chairman. My duties require me to leave for a conference before the opening of the Senate. Senator Dworshak will continue as acting chairman.
Senator DWORSHAK (presiding). General, did you want to say something?
General CHORPENING. The Oklahoma testimony has been finished, and I do not believe you were present, but I would like to make a very brief statement for the record at this moment. I appreciated the very fine things that were said in my behalf. I regret that in one instance we have had a difference of opinion on a project in Oklahoma. For the record, I am not retiring at this time, sir.
Senator DWORSHAK. General, I have heard reports you were going to assume a troop command assignment that was going to be in the nature of quite a promotion. I do not know much about the details.
General CHORPENING. I have heard rumors of that, sir. I of course, will not be unhappy should that occur. Those orders have been as yet unissued.
Senator DWORSHAK. The members of the committee have appreciated working with you, and I am sure that if you receive such an assignment, their best wishes will go with you in your work.
Senator Clements, would you like to testify on the Ohio River improvements!
GREENUP AND MARKLAND LOCKS AND DAMs, OHIO RIVER
STATEMENT OF HON. EARLE C. CLEMENTS, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF KENTUCKY
Senator CLEMENTS. I appear here this morning in the interest of funds for the Markland and the Greenup locks on the Ohio River. I have a prepared statement that I would like to submit for the record.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF SENATOR DARLE C. CLEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF APPROPRIATIONS TO
INITIATE CONSTRUCTION OF GREEN UP AND MARKLAND LOCKS AND DAMS ON THE OHIO RIVER
These locks and dams are part of a planned modernization of navigation facilities on the Ohio River. The locks and dam to be constructed at Greenup, Ky., would replace 4 obsolete facilities now in use, while that planned for Markland, Ind., would take the place of 5 obsolete facilities currently being used. The Greenup Dam would replace, among others, 1 antiquated structure on the Big Sandy River completed more than 50 years ago. The newest of the structures to be replaced was completed in 1925. By the time of the scheduled completion of the Greenup project in 1959, the locks to be replaced by it will range in age from more than 50 to 36 years, and the structures to be replaced by Markland upon its scheduled completion in 1960, will range from 49 to 35 years. But age alone is only a small part of the problem. The design of the present facilities has long since been outmoded by improvements in river equipment and the unexpectedly rapid growth in the volume of traffic attendant upon industrialization of the Ohio River Valley.
When the existing facilities were designed, the average tow did not exceed 600 feet in length, the capacity of the presently existing facilities. Today, tows more than 1,000 feet in length, driven by modern high-powered engines, are typical. With the present facilities, these large tows must be divided, and separate lockage provided for each part, causing substantial delays. The planned facilities would permit lockage of the most modern tows without separation.
These 2 new facilities of large capacity, replacing 9 obsolete structures of small capacity, would greatly reduce the time required for locking, and would eliminate much of the time now lost due to traffic congestion at the locks. These time savings would represent major reductions in transportation costs.
As noted above, the design and structure of the existing facilities are totally inadequate for present volumes of traffic. While in 1926 (the first year for which figures are available) about 3 million tons of traffic moved through the locks to be replaced by the Greenup and Markland projects, the recent traffic handled through these facilities approximated, and in some cases exceeded, 14,500,000 tons; the volume handled by each of locks 35 and 36 (above Cincinnati) to be replaced by Markland was 14,500,000 tons, and the volume through each of locks 37, 38, and 39 (below Cincinnati) also to be replaced by Markland exceeded 9,200,000 tons. The portion of the Ohio River between Huntington, W. Va., and Cincinnati, a distance of approximately 180 miles, carries one of the heaviest volumes of traffic on any reach of comparable length on the inland rivers of the United States. Six of the nine locks on the Ohio River to be replaced by the Greenup and Markland projects are situated within this segment. In 1926 the total commerce on the Ohio River was only about 20 million tons; in 1953 it exceeded 64 million tons, approximately twice the volume of freight passing through the Panama Canal. The traffic burden on these overage structures is expected to increase substantially over the next few years, corresponding to industrial growth in the Ohio Valley where each year new peaks are reached in the oil, steel, chemical, and electric power industries. The great new atomic energy installation above Portsmouth, Ohio, as well as powerplants and other supporting facilities in the area will, of course, add further stimulus to this development.
Under these conditions, operation and maintenance of these overburdened and outmoded facilities become more costly year by year, and operational breakdowns become ever more frequent. The savings to result to the Government from the Greenup project in costs of operation, maintenance, and dredging alone are estimated at $600,000 annually, while the corresponding savings from Markland are even higher.
These estimates take no account of the large emergency expenditures and the loss to the entire economy of the area which would result from a complete failure of these obsolete facilities, a possibility by no means remote. In such an event, commerce and industry in this important industrial area, serving nationaldefense needs with oil, coal, chemicals, steel and other vital products would be seriously impaired for the extended period needed for emergency repairs and the Government put to expenses far in excess of the modest sums required to progress these projects in an orderly manner. Moreover, the important atomic energy installations in the area and the sources on which they depend for power and other supplies demand an uninterrupted flow of coal and other materials moving by low-cost water transportation means. It is, therefore, vital to the national defense interest that transportation facilities be provided which afford maximum efficiency and security. The Greenup and Markland projects would represent major steps in achieving that end.
Assessing the advantages to be derived from these projects, the Corps of Engineers estimates annual benefits of about $3 million from Greenup and $4 million from Markland, or benefit-cost ratios of more than 1.1 and 1.3, respectively. It is appropriate to observe that the Greenup project, in addition to the direct benefits which it affords, would materially reduce the cost of the planned improvement of the Big Sandy River by making unnecessary the replacement of obsolete dam No. 1 near the mouth of the stream.
In considering the data here presented, it becomes clear that the Greenup and Markland projects are economically sound and that their construction would serve the best interests of the Nation by increasing the efficiency and security of transportation on one of its most important river systems.
EARLE C. CLEMENTS.
INTRODUCTION OF GROUP
Senator CLEMENTS. I would like to present a group who are unusually well informed on the needs of the area and who I feel will present to you and other members of the committee a fine justification for funds to take care of the needs there.
We have Mr. William J. Hull. Mr. Hull is chairman of the Ohio Valley Improvement Association and will be the first witness.
I would like to announce to you that we also have in the group this morning Mr. Chester C. Thompson who is president of the American Waterway Operators Association. You also have former Congressman Joe B. Bates, with whom the chairman of this subcommittee served in the House for many years. You have Mr. John McGee of the Island & Creek Coal Co. of Huntington, W. Va. You have Mr. E. L. McClanahan of Triangle Towing Co. of Maysville, Ky.
I believe that is the group that is here, and I do not know the order in which they expect to testify.
Senator DWORSHIAK. Do they all wish to testify?
Senator CLEMENTS. The time element is involved. They can divide that time to suit themselves. It is for that reason I presented my statement this morning rather than to take their time.
I present Mr. Hull.
Senator DWORSHAK. Are you appearing for the delegation, or will each one say something?
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM J. HULL, CHAIRMAN OF THE LEGISLA
TIVE COMMITTEE OF THE OHIO VALLEY IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, INC.
Mr. HULL. I think each one will record his general support.
Senator DWORSHAK. We are limited because we have another delegation appearing this morning, also.
Mr. HULL. I have submitted to the committee a prepared statement, and if it meets with your approval, I will summarize that very briefly at this time.
Senator DWORSHAK. It may be made a part of the record. (The material referred to follows) :
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM J. HULL, CHAIRMAN OF THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
OF THE OHIO VALLEY IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, INC., IN SUPPORT OF VARIOUS NAVIGATION AND FLOOD-CONTROL PROJECTS IN THE OHIO RIVER VALLEY
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is William J. Hull, of Ashland, Ky. I am chairman of the legislative committee of the Ohio Valley Improvement Association. The association is a nonprofit corporation of the State of Ohio, devoted for more than half a century to the improvement of navigation on the Ohio River and its tributaries and the conservation, control, purification, development, and use of these water resources. Its membership represents industry, shippers, river operators, civic groups, and related interests who support its work and program.
The association is keenly aware of the need for economy in Federal expenditures. It has therefore adopted a program of improvement projects for the Ohio River and its tributaries for fiscal 1955 which is designed to reconcile the most urgent needs with budgetary economy.
I. NAVIGATION PROJECTS ON THE MAIN STREAM OF THE OHIO
The Ohio River Basin includes portions of 14 States and supports a population of 20 million people. Low-cost water transportation has always been a key factor in its huge and diversified economic development. Canalization of the Ohio, begun before 1900, was justified on the basis of an estimated traffic of 13 million tons annually. By 1929, when the original canalization project was completed, 22 million tons of freight were being moved annually. At the present time, tonnage moved on the Ohio is at the rate of about 64 million tons a year. This volume is approximately double the paid tonnage transported through the Panama Canal in 1952 and represents a traffic load of well in excess of 10 billion ton-miles, an increase of more than 700 percent since 1929. This remarkable growth is shown on the graph attached as exhibit A.
The heavy traffic burdens, far exceeding those for which the facilities were designed, have accelerated the rate of deterioration and greatly increased maintenance costs. The existing locks were designed for tows of 600 feet or less in length. A single modern tow generally exceeds 1,000 feet in length and often carries a cargo of more than 20,000 tons, equivalent to 400 carloads of coal or 620 tank cars of gasoline or fuel oil. Because of the small size of the locks, modern tows must be divided and separate lockage provided for each part. This condition is illustrated by the photograph of lock 30 on the Ohio River attached as exhibit B.
Of the 46 locks and dams on the main stream of the Ohio, only 2 are less than 25 years of age, 21 range from 25 to 35 years, and 23 are from 35 to 50 years old.
The conditions are so serious that further growth in the Ohio Valley will be impaired unless the program for replacement of these antiquated structures, suspended since 1937, is promptly resumed. In the interests of national security the navigation facilities of the Ohio, which contributed so much to victory in World War II, must be prepared to handle the enormous additional traffic burdens which an atomic war would impose upon this vitally important transportation system in the industrial beart of America.
The United States Army engineers' long-term program for improvement of the Ohio would replace the present structures, 46 in number, with 21 modern, long pool dams, designed to accommodate modern long tows in a single locking. This program would quadruple the transportation capacity of the river. The new structures would reduce mounting maintenance costs to the Federal Government. They would eliminate the large emergency expenditures required by the frequent breakdowns which occur in the present system and they would reduce water transportation costs by up to 50 percent, bringing Pittsburgh and Cairo at the extremes of the 981-mile stretch of the river as close together (from the standpoint of transportation costs of bulk commodities) as if they were only 25 miles apart by rail or truck. This association estimates that returns to the American people from this investment would be more than double the total costs. Indirect benefits would greatly increase the ratio of return.
The advance engineering and design work on three major navigation projects included in the long-term Ohio River betterment program, authorized by Congress, has progressed sufficiently to permit commencement of construction in the near future. These are: The New Cumberland locks and dam, 54.1 miles below Pittsburgh, near Strattonville, Obio; the Greenup locks and dam, near Greenup, Ky., 310.5 miles below Pittsburgh; and the Markland locks and dam, near Markland, Ind., 531.5 miles below Pittsburgh.
These 3 projects would replace 12 overage structures on the Ohio which are inadequate for modern transportation needs, and burdened with excessive maintenance costs and heavy emergency expenditures caused by frequent break lowns. The United States Army engineers have assigned a cost-benefit ratio of 1.1, or better, in each case, a high ratio for replacement facilities of this type. But these ratios are based upon traffic estimates already surpassed and this association conservatively estimates that each of these projects will return its total costs more than twofold over its useful life.
The New Cumberland project, which would replace existing locks 7, 8, and 9, is of the utmost urgency. A lateral movement of an adjoining hillside is already pushing lock No. 7 into the river and locks 8 and 9 are imperiled. The entire structure may collapse overnight. This would create a national disaster, crippling the operations of the most important steel-producing area in the Nation. The total cost of the project is estimated at $47 million, of which $244,000 has been made available to date for planning.
The Greenup locks and dam would replace locks and dams Nos, 27, 28, 29, and 30 on the Ohio. These overage structures are causing serious traffic delays on a reach of the river including the highly industrialized Ironton-Ashland-Huntington area, which is one of the busiest on the entire inland waterway system. The traffic volumes of this reach are shown on the graph attached as exhibit C. Thirty-five percent of the total travel time required in moving cargoes along the reach served by locks Nos. 27-30 is consumed in locking. This is the section of the river where 30 percent of the petroleum traffic and 20 percent of the coal tonnage on the Ohio originates or terminates. Greenup would provide an important stimulus to accelerated industrial growth in this area, tending to relieve unemployment resulting from the depressed condition of the coal industry. The estimated cost of the Greenup project is $64,980,000, of which $370,800 bas been made available to date for planning.
The Markland project would replace existing locks and dams Nos. 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39 on the Ohio, long since outmoded. It would serve the greater Cincinnati metropolitan harbor area, now severely handicapped by lack of adequate navigation facilities. The heavy traffic volumes in this area, approximately the same as those in the Greenup pool area, are shown by the graph attached as exhibit C. The estimated cost of the Markland project is $77,112,000, of which $379,300 has been made available to date for planning.
It is recommended that appropriations aggregating $5,824,000 be made to permit commencement of construction of the New Cumberland, Greenup, and Markland projects in fiscal 1955. This amount should be distributed as follows:
1. New Cumberland, $1,500,000.
2. Greenup, $3,050,000, of which $50,000 (provided for in the President's budget) is needed to complete planning of the locks.
3. Markland, $1,274,000, of which $274,000 is needed to complete planning of the locks. The urgency for starting construction on all 3 of these projects promptly and simultaneously is underscored when it is realized that 5 years is required to construct each lock and dam. If it should be determined, however, that the entire amount cannot be made available in fiscal 1955, it is most strongly urged