Page images
PDF
EPUB

to the gentleman who testified before this committee and who told the committee his interest, I think he represented various shipowners, oil companies, oil tanker companies, and I asked him what economies would be effected by these larger tankers, and he told me this morning that these larger tankers would be able to carry petroleum products at a cost of 0.8 mills or eight-tenths of a mill per ton-mile. Those savings are possible because a ship of larger capacity carries greater volume, of course, without a large increase in operating costs.

Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. That would represent around a third of savings, 1.25 as against 0.8, you would get about 3312 percent saving.

Colonel FERINGA. That would be right.

Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Do you ever use figures of that kind in setting forth the benefits?

Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir. We show in this report on Savannah Harbor for deepening this portion of the river farther out that the annual tangible benefits from transportation savings on products of the proposed paper mill, are estimated at $169,485 on the basis of capacity production. That is compared to the normal means that they would use without that deepening. That is just for the one industry. And yesterday in our report on Sabine-Neches, we indicated for the deep-draft shipping that a figure of $60,000 per year would be saved which Mr. Knappen, I think his name was, Theodore Knappen, stated was very conservative to the extent that he figured it would be about ten times as much.

In figuring our ratio of economic cost, our economic ratio of cost to benefits, we tried to determine the savings actually we can put our fingers on, and that is the information we use in presenting to this committee when we state that a project is economically justified.

The CHAIRMAN. In the early days of our waterway history, it was generally conceded that the Federal Government did not have the constitutional authority to create navigational projects for commerce. James Madison, in fact, vetoed two bills, that were placed before him when he was President, and he was regarded as the Father of the Constitution, claiming that the Constitution nowhere gave that authority to the Federal Government. That was upset by the decision of the Supreme Court in 1824, in the noted case of Gibbons v. Ogden. Gibbons happened to be the ex-mayor of the city of Savannah, the one we have in question now, and to him more than any other man in the world, the water people owe that debt. Without the decision in that case, why, we would yet have been perhaps without authority to create or improve any navigation projects.

Colonel FERINGA. I hope that statement appears in the Savannah papers tonight.

Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. That is information that I am very happy to get. I confess my ignorance of it.

The CHAIRMAN. The most distinguished lawyers in the United States were engaged in that case. Daniel Webster was an attorney in the case representing Ogden. There were quite a number of very distinguished lawyers in the case. The decision was rendered by John Marshall, Chief Justice, and was one of his most noted decisions in 1824.

GREAT LAKES CONNECTING CHANNELS

Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, the report on Great Lakes connecting channels is in response to a resolution adopted February 11, 1941, by the Rivers and Harbors Committee.

The five Great Lakes with their connecting channels form a chain of waters for deep-craft navigation extending from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois eastward to the State of New York. Lake Huron, lying along the easterly side of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, extends south and from its southerly end discharges through connecting waters into the west end of Lake Erie south of Detroit, Mich. improved St. Marys River, 63 miles long. Connection between Lakes Erie, about 80 miles long, consists of St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, and Detroit River. Lakes Superior and Huron are connected by the improved St. Marys River, 63 miles long. Connection between Lakes Michigan and Huron is via the Straits of Mackinac which have required little improvement to afford depths for navigation.

This report is concerned with the connecting channels between Lakes Superior and Huron, Michigan and Huron, and Huron and Erie.

The existing project for the waters connecting these four lakes was intended to provide for down-bound (east-bound) channels suitable for vessels drawing 24 feet and where separate up-bound channels are provided suitable depths for vessels drawing 20 feet when lake stages are at established datum planes. Down-bound channels have a controlling depth of 25 feet and a present limiting safe vessel draft of 22 feet 3 inches, and the controlling depth in the up-bound channels is 21 feet. However, lakes stages are often above the datum plane elevations for these depths. Descriptions of the many reaches of improved channels with their project widths and depths are tabulated in paragraph 33 of the district engineer's report. The project also provides for compensating works at various places to control the flow of water from lake outlets and the lake stages, for production of hydroelectric power at St. Marys Falls, Sault Ste Marie, Mich., near the head of St. Marys River, for North Canal containing the Sabin and Davis locks at Sault Ste. Marie and for South Canal at the same location containing the Poe and MacArthur locks. These locks have lifts of 21.7 feet and dimensions as follows:

[blocks in formation]

The River and Harbor Act of March 2, 1945, modified the project to provide for new power facilities at St. Marys Falls; removal of Bridge Island and bridge changes in South Canal at St. Marys Falls; widening to 700 feet of the existing 600-feet-wide channel through the most difficult to navigate section of Southeast Bend, St. Clair River; and provision of a channel 21 feet deep, 200 feet wide, and about 8,000 feet long in Detroit River passing north of Belle Isle. Except for compensating works in St. Clair and Niagara Rivers and for the improvements authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1945, the project works have been completed.

Póe lock is in poor condition and its continued operation for an extended period would require complete renewal of the floor and culvert system and major repairs to the walls.

In our opinion, it has completed its useful life. I had pictures before the Board, I do not have them with me now, showing that the lock is in complete disrepair.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the estimated cost of the lock proposed there?

Colonel FERINGA. The cost would be in the neighborhood of around $10,000,000.

The CHAIRMAN. Did not the MacArthur lack cost about $16,000,000 to $18,000,000 ?

Colonel' FERINGA. That is right, but it was constructed during the wartime at a time when we could not stop production. It forced the necessity of winter construction when it meant housing the entire area in order that the construction could be continued during the war.

The CHAIRMAN. That was during wintertime?

Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir; and I think that cost was about $16,000,000, but I believe in normal times it would be constructed for around $10,000,000.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the comparative size of the Poe lock and the Weitzel lock-is the Poe lock larger!

Mr. Sabin. The Weitzel lock is 515 feet between the gates; and the Poe lock, I think, is 800 feet between the gates.

The CHAIRMAN. This lock proposed there now would be about the size of the MacArthur?

Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir.
The Poe lock is estimated to cost $16,565,000.

During the 7 years 1938 to 1944, commerce through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie averaged about 94,700,000 tons annually; in the peak year of 1942, amounted to 120,000,000 tons; and in 1944, to about 117,000,000 tons. St. Clair River commerce during the same 7 years averaged 103,000,000 tons annually; in 1942 was about 126,300,000 tons, and in 1944 about 122,900,000 tons. Corresponding figures for Detroit River were 113,200,000 tons, 136,700,000 tons, and 133,200,000 tons. During 1944, the first full year of operation for MacArthur lock, about 39,710,000 tons of commerce was passed through that lock, 38,770,000 tons and 34,620,000 tons through the Sabin and Davis locks, respectively, 1,050,000 tons through Poe lock, and 2,810,000 tons through the Canadian lock. In that year the 5 locks accommodated a total of 23,500 trips of vessels, 14,955 of which had drafts in excess of 16 feet and about 1,500 drafts of 22 to 26 feet. Vessel trips for St. Clair River averaged 20,500 annually during the years 1940 to 1944, inclusive, and 31,500 annually for Detroit River.

Important items of commerce are iron ore, coal, grain, and stone.

Navigation interests on the Great Lakes desire provision of more adequate lockage facilities between Lakes Superior and Huron; more commodious anchorage grounds both above and below the locks in St. Marys River; deepening of the downbound connecting channels to accommodate vessels with drafts of 24 feet; a cut-off channel at Southeast Bend or widening to 800 feet as a less desirable substitute in view of objections by local residents to a cut-off; and construction of a channel 10 feet deep and 100 feet wide through a shoal at the mouth of the North Channel of St. Clair River. This shallow channel would permit small craft navigating between Lake St. Clair and upstream points on St. Clair River to bypass Southeast Bend and thus avoid its hazards and reduce traffic congestion.

The plan of improvement recommended by the Board of Engineers provides for widening the anchorage area at Point Iroquois Shoals, head of St. Marys River, for a distance of 16,000 feet, to provide a depth of 27 feet over maximum widths of 1,500 to 5,300 feet; widening the channel in Lake Nicolet, St. Marys River, below the falls, by 1,000 feet for a distance of 5,500 feet, with tapered approaches and to a depth of 26.5 feet to serve as an anchorage area; widening of Southeast Bend Channel, St. Clair River, to 800 feet from Harsens Island Light No. 12 to Light No. 5, thence tapering to 700 feet at Light No. 1 and continuing at that width to the head of St. Clair Flats Canal and deepening to 26 feet; deepening the westerly 300 feet of Amherstburg Channel and of Ballards Reef Channel below Livingstone Channel, Detroit River, to 27 feet; and constructing compensating works in Detroit River below and to the west of Grosse Ile to limit the discharge, which would otherwise increase as a result of the channel enlargment, and control lake stages; improving the North Channel outlet of St. Clair River by dredging a channel for small craft into Lake St. Clair with a depth of 10 feet, width of 100 feet, and about 8,000 feet long; and replacing Poe lock at St. Marys Falls Canal with a new lock on the same site 800 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 32 feet deep, with necessary reconstruction of nose and center piers.

Project

Existing

Authorized by 1945
River and Harbor

Act

Recommended in this report

Anchorage at Point Iroquois. None.
Widen channel for anchor- do.

age in Lake Nicolet. Southeast Bend..

25 x 700 feet..

27 feet deep, 16,000 feet long, widths

1,500 to 5,300 feet. 26.5 feet deep, 5,500 feet long x 1,000 feet

wide, tapered apprcaches. 26 feet deep, 700 to 800 feet wide, be

tween light 12 and light 1. Deepen to 27 feet over a width of 300

feet, 36,000 feet long; also compensating works.

21 x 600 feet.

Amherstburg and Ballards

Channels.

Detroit River...

None..

21 x 200 feet north

of Belle Isle.

do.

10 x 100 feet, 8,000 feet long.

North Channel outlet, St.

Clair River to Lake St.

Clair. Poe lock

100 x 800 feet, 32 feet over sill.

95 x 800 feet,

16.6 feet over

sill.
4,100 horse-

power.

Power plant at St. Marys

Falls.

First step, 14,000

kilowatts.

No change.

The Chief of Engineers concurs in the views and recommendations of the Board. Cost to United States for new work: (This report)

$28, 063, 000

Maintenance and operation.
Interest and amortization --

70, 000 1, 226, 480

Total annual carrying charges-

1, 296, 480

We have not endeavored to set up a cost to benefit ratio, because we feel that the project is necessary for the replacement of existing works and to afford necessary relief to a tremendous amount of shipping. I think a density of shipping that is not known in any other part of the world.

The CHAIRMAN. Essential type of shipping, iron and steel industry?

Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir. Mr. Sabin, I hope, will paint a word picture for the committee telling the type of traffic that goes down as well as up.

The CHAIRMAN. How many ships pass through there, 23,000, did you

say?

Colonel FERINGA. I think that is what I read a few minutes ago.
The CHAIRMAN. That is passing through the four locks, I judge?
Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You did not include the Canadian lock?

Colonel FERINGA. There is a total, I think, of five locks, but the Canadian lock is not as deep as the United States locks, and they use the shallow boats in order to reduce the volume of traffic going through the larger locks.

The CHAIRMAN. To average it up, that would be 23,000 through four locks. How many to the lock?

Colonel FERINGA. That would be around 6,000 per lock.
The CHAIRMAN. About 6,000 in 6 months.
Colonel FERINGA. I think we have a 9-month operation.
Mr. SABIN. Occasionally, it is seven and one-half.

Colonel FERINGA. Seven and one-half to eight months' operation. A tremendous volume of commerce passes through the Great Lakes connecting channels. In the prewar year 1939 the locks at Sault Ste. Marie handled more commodity commerce than the Panama and Suez Canals combined. During the combined navigation seasons of 1942 and 1943, commerce through the canals at Sault Ste. Marie totaled about 235,700,000 tons, for St. Clair Riyer 245,200,000 tons and for Detroit River 265,500,000 tons as compared with 213,700,000 for the port of New York.

The CHAIRMAN. My recollection is that the ore produced about 85 percent of the steel used in the war.

Colonel FERINGA. I think that is right, sir.

Taking into account the comparative lengths of navigation seasons, the locks at Sault Ste. Marie handled 57 percent more average tonnage per day than the average daily tonnage for the port of New York. The improved lockage facilities proposed by the district engineer will eliminate vessel delays during periods of heavy traffic and afford more dependable and safer service. Improvement of the channels as found advisable by the reporting officers will similarly contribute to assurance against traffic interruptions, afford additional safety to commerce and permit certain vessels to carry increased loads with resulting transportation economies. In the opinion of the Board the proposed work as a whole will improve vessel operations sufficiently to warrant the expenditures required.

In accordance with existing law we have sent the report to the Governor of Michigan. He agrees in its entirety with it, with the exception that the compensating work he feels should not be placed at the location we propose to place them. We have informed the

« PreviousContinue »