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The improvement will also provide a harbor of refuge for commercial vessels, the fishing fleet, and for recreational craft.
Lake Pepin is a large body of water on the Mississippi River, and in the past there has been considerable loss of life due to shipping being overtaken by squalls and having to run to cover. Judge Mansfield mentioned to me when we were going over the list of our projects that the project had been considered by the committee many years ago.
The project presented is for an entrance channel coming in from the north (indicating], and having a small basin located at this location [indicating]. Being exposed from the north to winds, and therefore not being fully protected, we propose to close this opening [indicating] and in lieu thereof to make an opening which would come in from the southward and make the water less hazardous.
The local interests have also provided in part a pier where commercial shipping is now accommodated.
Mr. LARCADE. At what point on the Mississippi River is this lake located ?
Colonel FERINGA. It is 68 miles below Minneapolis, and the lake itself is 20.8 miles long, a considerable body of water.
The estimated first cost of the project is $79,300. The annual carrying charges, including amortization, interest, and maintenance, are $3,586.
Although I do not have the ratio of cost to benefits, because the Board recommends this project as a necessary accommodation to existing traffic, we believe that the project is economically justified and can stand on its own feet.
That finishes the upper Mississippi projects. We have one more small project that you might wish to take up now and not defer it until morning.
Mr. ANGELL. I see our colleague, Congressman Brooks is here.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Yes, I just wanted to mention that I see Congressman Brooks present. Do you desire to make a statement, Congressman Brooks?
Mr. Brooks. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman, I am just waiting to talk to the Colonel. I am, however, very much interested in all of these projects, and I am listening intently to the testimony that is being given.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Colonel, if you have some noncontroversial projects that are set for tomorrow morning it might help the cause if you will proceed with them.
Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir; I will be glad to. I believe there are three more projects, which I cannot imagine there would be any controversy; Fairport Harbor, Ohio, and the Chicago River, Ill. We will take up first Fairport Harbor with your permission, sir.
FAIRPORT HARBOR, OHIO Mr. Chairman, the report on Fairport Harbor, Ohio, is in response to a resolution adopted May 28, 1940, by the Rivers and Harbors Committee.
Fairport Harbor is on the south shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of Grand River, 33 miles east of Cleveland. The harbor comprises the lower 112 miles of Grand River.
The existing project, completed in 1940, provides for an outer harbor formed by a breakwater 3,878 feet long extending north into the lake from a point west of the river mouth and a second breakwater 6,750 feet long, 600 feet east of the west breakwater, so as to leave an entrance channel between, and extending easterly roughly parallel to the shore; for a bulkhead along the west side of the river mouth and a pier on the east side; for depths of 25 and 26 feet in about 65 acres of the outer harbor; for a channel 24 feet deep and 200 feet wide in the lower 2,000 feet of Grand River, thence 150 feet wide for 1,700 feet and thence 21 feet deep and 200 to 100 feet wide on the east side of the river for 4,000 feet; and for a turning basin 18 feet deep about midway of the latter section.
Commerce for the harbor has averaged about 3,576,000 tons annually during the past 10 years.
Several fish docks and a boat works are located on the west side of the river near the upstream project limits. In 1939 depths ranged from 3 to 9 feet. Since completion of the existing project, shoaling has occurred in that locality to a present minimum depth of 1.5 feet. As a result it is now difficult to dock the fishing craft and other small boats and at times it is necessary to haul such boats to the docks by
The local area commercially tributary to Fairport Harbor consists of Painesville Township which includes the communities of Fairport, Richmond, and Painesville and has a population of about 20,500. Chemicals, rayon, metal products, and soybean oil and meal are manufactured. The harbor is a receiving point for iron ore for distribution by rail and for limestone processed locally and a shipping point for coal by lake boat.
Local interests desire a lakeward extension of the west breakwater, extension of the east breakwater to the shore, and dredging of the westerly portion of the river channel adjacent to the fish docks and boat works to a depth of 12 feet.
They claim that the breakwater improvements are needed to eliminate delays and hazards to vessels using the harbor. The dredging is desired to eliminate expense and time lost in hauling the fishing boats and other small craft to the docks.
The Board is of the opinion that the addition of 500 feet to the present west breakwall or other additional breakwater construction at the harbor is not warranted at this time.
The Board, however, recommends that the existing project for Fairport Harbor be modified to provide for deepening to 8 feet of the westerly part of the channel of Grand River at the upper end of and adjacent to the 21-foot depth existing project channel, to a line 20 feet from the westerly dock lines.
The Chief of Engineers concurs in the views and recommendations of the Board.
The improvement is recommended provided that local interests agree to hold and save the United States free from damages resulting from the further improvement.
Cost to the United States for new work, $14,500; annual cost of maintenance, $1,900; interest and amortization, $500; total annual carrying charges, $2,400.
The Board finds it impracticable to present an estimate of the monetary benefits of this work. It is of the opinion that, unless the improvement is undertaken, continued shoaling will make the use of the docks unprofitable and force their abandonment, that the proposed channel would protect the fishing and boat-repair industry which has a business estimated at $200,000 annually, and that the general benefits that will accrue in connection therewith will justify the expenditures re. quired. The Board notes that following enlargement of the river channel by the project work, flow velocities have decreased and shoaling adjacent to the fishing and boat works docks has increased, and it regards the restoration of the channel depths for small craft as a proper charge against the deep-draft channel project.
Fairport Harbor is on Lake Erie. The local interests wanted considerable work done by the Department. They felt that the existing breakwater was not sufficient, and they wanted an extension to the northward. They feel that the harbor is unduly exposed and desire a new breakwater to the eastward to protect the harbor. They also want deepening of the harbor to a greater degree than we now recommend.
We have looked into the entire problem systematically, as we always do, and have carefully considered the desires of local interests, but we can presently recommend to this committee only a small part which is economically justifiable, and that is deepening a small section of the inner harbor to 8 feet. This small section is near the fishing dock and is now so clogged up that the fish boats have to be hauled into the harbor by the use of power winches. It is a small project that is needed. CHICAGO RIVER, NORTH BRANCH NORTH OF NORTH AVENUE, CHICAGO
(H. Doc. 767, 78th Cong.) Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, the report on the Chicago River, Ill., with the view to determining if it is advisable to provide any improvement in the North Branch, north of North Avenue, is in response to a resolution adopted by the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House on June 27, 1941.
North Branch of Chicago River rises in Lake County, Ill., flows southeasterly about 24 miles and unites with the South Branch to form Chicago River which extends 1.6 miles east to Lake Michigan at Chicago Harbor. North Avenue crosses North Branch about 3.8 miles from the lake.
The Chicago River is one of the streams in the waterway system connecting the Mississippi River with Lake Michigan.
The existing Federal project for Chicago Harbor extends from the lake to Rush Street, mile 0.9. Thence the project for Chicago River provides for depths of 21 feet in the river to its head and in the North Branch, North Branch Canal, and North Branch Turning Basin to North Avenue.
Receipts by water north of North Avenue have increased from 397,000 tons in 1938 to nearly 892,000 tons in 1941. About 52 percent of the 1941 traffic was moved in barges and the remainder by lake vessels.
Barge commerce in that year, of which 19,950 tons was destined to points on North Shore Channel, included large amounts of coal for the Commonwealth Edison plant and sand and gravel with some gasoline and stone. Lake vessel cargoes were principally sand and gravel with some cement, anthracite coal, and crushed stone.
Between North and Belmont Avenues, North Branch is largely bordered by industries engaged in light to medium manufactures, dealers in building materials, and boat yards. To the north the area is residential section but includes boat yards and at Addison Street, mile 7.3, is located a large steam power plant of the Commonwealth Edison Co.
Two of the eight boat-building concerns have facilities to construct vessels drawing more than 7 feet.
Various local interests desire further improvement of North Branch and have suggested, as a maximum, the provision of a channel 21 feet deep to Addison Street, mile 7.3, with turning basins at Diversey Parkway and above Western Avenue, miles 6.1 and 6.5, respectively, and of a channel depth of 9 feet to the vicinity of mile 8.0 to accommodate boat-building plants.
They believe the improvement would result in considerable savings. in transportation costs and permit the boat yards to bid on construction of larger vessels.
The district and division engineers have recommended a channel 18 feet deep from North Avenue to Belmont Avenue, mile 6.8 with a turning basin near mile 6.6 and a barge channel 9 feet deep from Belmont Avenue to Addison Street. In addition to dredging, the Federal work would include removal of 11 sunken vessels and about 1,300 feet of dilapidated docks. The estimated Federal cost of the proposed work is $139,000.
From the data presented the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors was not convinced of the advisability of the United States undertaking at this time improvement of the North Branch of Chicago River north of North Avenue for other than barge traffic. Local interests were so advised and invited to submit additional information to the Board. Careful consideration has been given to the communications received.
The provision of an 18-foot channel would require considerable bridge modification at the expense of local interests. The Board was not convinced that the over-all benefits from the proposed deep channel justified the improvement.
However, the Board is of the opinion that a limited improvement of the north branch above North Avenue for barge traffic is justified. Accordingly, the Board recommends modification of the existing project for Chicago River to provide for a channel 9 feet deep between North Avenue and Addison Street, the channel between North and Belmont Avenues to extend to within 30 feet of existing bulkheads and river banks, and thence to Addison Street, with a bottom width of 50 feet.
The Chief of Engineers concurs in the recommendation of the Board.
The improvement is recommended subject to the conditions that local interests furnish assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will hold and save the United States free from damages which may result from construction and maintenance of the improvement. Cost to United States for new work..
Annual cost of maintenance.
Total annual carrying charges-86902-46-14
The small expenditure required for new work is fully justified by resulting increased safety and convenience to established and prospective navigation.
Mr. Chairman, the map before you indicates the project. Lake Michigan is the large body of water; this is Chicago Harbor [indicating); the entry to Chicago Harbor is by means of piers and jetties, and ships secure entrance not only to Chicago Harbor but also to Chicago River, which in turn empties into the Illinois waterway and thence into the Mississippi River. The Illinois waterway connects with this channel, as I will explain more fully later, and in turn serves the southern portion of Lake Michigan as far east as Indiana Harbor.
In times past it has been operated to connect with the North Branch of Chicago River. It has been previously improved and has a controlling depth of about 9 feet--actually there is more depth than that-about 21 feet at this point [indicating]. Above this point North Branch has a great number of docks and is also somewhat obstructed by bridges. There is considerable industry located up and down this branch and local interests have requested a depth in excess of what we feel we can recommend to this committee.
We recommend that the river be deepened to 9 feet, that is, the river as it exists now, and widened to within 30 feet of existing docks.
We recommend that from North Avenue, the head of the present project, to as far as Belmont Avenue, from Belmont Avenue to Addi. son Street, at which point I believe the power plant is located which is dependent upon the waterway for fuel, that the channel have the same depth but that the bottom width be 50 feet.
Mr. PETERSON. What width is recommended for the remainder?
Colonel FERINGA. It will depend a lot on the channel. We do not want to get closer than 30 feet from the docks. It will have a width of about 100 feet in many places; at others it narrows, but at no point are we to come nearer than 30 feet to the docks.
The cost of the proposed work, as previously indicated, is $28,000. The manual cost of maintenance, if it is decided to do this work, is $15,000; and the total annual carrying charges $15,248.
The Board recommends the expenditure as fully justified by the resulting increased safety and improvement to established and prospective navigation.
We have not tried to evaluate the project on a cost-benefit ratio basis.
Mr. PETERSON. There are some channels there already at varying depths?
Colonel FERINGA. That is correct; it is not so much depth as width. I have some pictures of the conditions existing there, showing that the channel has been allowed to fill up. Local interests desire a full-size channel and we find it would not be economically justified; and in addition it would disrupt the existing bridge system in this locality.
Mr. PETERSON. That is a rather thickly populated section of Chicago.
Colonel FERINGA. I think so, Mr. Chairman. I do not know how thickly populated, but there are several bridges in this section and I do not think we would be justified in disrupting that system.
The map indicates the location of the bridges.
Colonel FERINGA. They are permanent bridges and we recommend that they be kept so.