« PreviousContinue »
sary lands, easements, rights-of-way, and spoil-disposal areas for the new work and subsequent channel maintenance when and as required; (6) provide all necessary spoil-impounding and drainage works; (c) assume responsibility for maintenance of such bank revetments and levees as may be constructed or reconstructed in connection with the works; and (d) hold and save the United States free from damages due to construction and subsequent maintenance of the Federal improvements. First costs to local interests are estimated at $86,400. Cost to the United States for new work-
$865, 000 Annual cost of maintenance in addition to that now required -
7,500 Amortization and interests.--
38, 540 Total annual carrying charges--
46, 040 Average annual benefits are estimated by the district engineer at $53,240 for savings in the cost of transporting 120,000 tons of riprap. stone, 140,000 tons of sand, gravel and road materials, and 50,000 tons of petroleum products. These estimates, which do not include benefits to recreational commerce and benefits which may arise in connection with movements of lumber and package freight, indicate a ratio of costs to benefits of 1 to 1.14.
In brief, Mr. Chairman, what is proposed is that the existing channel which has been previously authorized and it is now in operation, be improved to take care of the existing commerce and it is expected that a larger amount of commerce will make use of the improved channel.
The channel from the location just closely above Vallejo as far as Asylum Slough is now 8 feet deep and 100 feet wide, and we recommend that it be made 15 feet deep.
At this location here [indicating] there is not as much traffic, and we recommend that where it was 8 feet deep and 75 wide that it be deepened to 10 feet. I think that is the minimum improvement that is required to take care of the traffic, the growing traffic. The project is economically justified.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Is there any other witness who would like to be heard on this project!
Mr. PITTENGER. Colonel, when you say it is economically justified you mean that it will mean a saving to the people in cost of getting back and forth to the valley.
Colonel FERINGA. That is completely right; it is a definite saving that we can put our fingers on, not an indefinite saving that might result, but a definite saving that we can actually evaluate and add up:
Mr. PITTENGER. What is asked for here is something that will add to the sum total wealth of the country to that extent.
Colonel FERINGA. You say it better than I could; you are completely right. Mr. ANGELL. And you know of no opposition to this project?
Colonel HERINGA. There is no opposition to this project that I know of.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. If there is nothing further on this project, we thank you.
(The following statement was subsequently submitted:)
STATEMENT BY NORTHCUTT ELY, SPECIAL COUNCIL FOR THE STATE ENGINEER, STATE
OF CALIFORNIA, RE NAPA RIVER, CALIF. I am directed by State Engineer Edward Hyatt, on behalf of C. H. Purcell, director of public works, to appear before the House Committee on Rivers and Harbors in reference to the pending omnibus rivers and harbors authorization bill, in connection with the proposal for Napa River, Calif. (H. Doc. No. 397). On page 2 of that document the committee will find the comments of the director of public works, acting for Governor Warren, dated October 1, 1945. This report is rendered in pursuance of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945, and constitutes a favorable recommendation of the project, subject to the provisions therein stated.
I respectfully refer the report of the State to the attention of the committee.
COOS BAY, OREG.
Mr. ANGELL. Mr. Chairman, Representative Ellsworth of Oregon is present, and I wonder if it would be possible to hear him at this time on the Coos Bay, Oreg., project.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. We will be glad to hear you, Congressman Ellsworth.
STATEMENT OF HON. HARRIS ELLSWORTH, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OREGON
Mr. ELLSWORTH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like to have the privilege of appearing now because we may have a quorum call at any time.
I am appearing with reference to the proposal to deepen the harbor and the passage across the bar at Coos Bay in Coos County, Oreg.
The southwest part of Oregon, the southwest quarter, is a very large region in square miles, and a region, I might say for the benefit of the members of the committee that are not familiar with it, w.hose development has been held back only because of the lack of adequate transportation.
We have only one railroad line that reaches this area, and a large portion of the area has no railroad facilities; I mean the section from Coos Bay south to Humbolt Bay, Calif., has no railroad transportation at all. Consequently the harbor at Coos Bay is of importance not only to Oregon but to the country as a whole because from this Oregon section comes products which are needed throughout this country and throughout the world.
Until the war period came along, with the shallow harbor now existing on Coos Bay, a certain type ship had been developed which permitted shipment of considerable tonnage out of the port of Coos Bay. This shipping consisted of smaller boats, shallow-draft boats, that carried relatively small amounts of cargo, but those ships could make many trips, and it was a fairly successful operation, but only fairly successful, and it was not really an economical way of shipping; it was merely a way of moving commodities. Those ships have either all been taken into Government service-I think nearly all of them were damaged or lost, so that in the future the shipping out of that part of Coos Bay will have to be on larger vessels, that is, larger vessels of the Liberty type and the Victory ships.
Those ships cannot come into Coos Bay Harbor now and load a load and depart; they must come in with a minimum amount of fuel
and take on a part of the cargo and then leave Coos Bay and then go to some other harbor for a full load, which makes a back haul or back trip of the ship of some 500 miles in most cases.
The port at Coos Bay is the only harbor of any consequence, any size, between Portland, on the north, a distance of 200 miles north, and the port of Humbolt Bay, 180 miles south of Coos Bay.
The Army engineers went into exhaustive hearings on this project, on this proposal, made a survey and complete investigation, all of which was contained in their report.
The proposed improvement in the harbor would provide a channel 40 feet in depth, mean low water across the outer bar and an inner channel 30 feet deep, and generally 300 feet wide with suitable turning and anchorage basins along with other improvements.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Is there any opposition to this projecte
Mr. ELLSWORTH. There is no opposition that I have ever heard of. I believe it is correct to say that there is no opposition at all.
The ratio of benefits to cost-the district engineer's report showed the total benefits, including the actual benefits and the collateral benefits to be $1,224,000 annually, which amount would give the ratio of cost to benefits at 1 to 2.64, which is a very high ratio.
PETERSON Mr. ELLSWORTII. When the Board passed on the report it eliminated the collateral benefits, that is, the benefits not approvable or traceable directly, and the Board struck out of their findings in the reports all except the direct benefits of $889,000 per year, which would make a ratio of 1 to 1.97, which I believe is a favorable ratio projects as projects go.
The estimated cost is $5,689,000; but if and when completed this harbor will be in position to carry the maximum tonnage carried on normal ships, both coast wise and intercoastal, which boats could come in and go out freely. It will provide for ships moving vast amounts of lumber, and I am sure the members of the committee realize that the lumber production of the Pacific Northwest has moved steadily southward until now the major lumber production is down in this part of Oregon (indicating], in the southwest part of the State of Oregon. In other words, the center is somewhere around Eugene, Oreg., area, and beyond Eugene to Roseburg.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. That is near your home.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. As a matter of fact, Roseburg is my home, and my other home is at Eugene, where my mother lives.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. You have a very fine section out there; I have had the pleasure of driving through that section of the country and you have quite a bit of activity.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. It is new country, Mr. Chairman. There is considerable potential development.
And, I might mention the fact that right at Coos Bay, along the coast line there exists a limitless amount of chromium ore, and the endeavor has been made to have the Bureau of Mines give an estimate as to how much and how far this extends. The Bureau of Mines of the State has stated that it was so much that it would be of no value to make an estimate.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Has there been much development of at ore?
Mr. ELLSWORTH. Very little. During the war two plants were constructed and a lot of chromite was taken out; the claim is made that the ore is of low grade, from the standpoint of processes now in use, but the Bureau of Mines within the last few years had established at Albany, which is also within the radius of this port, a large electrolytic metals laboratory for the primary purpose at the moment of working out a better process for development of chromium from the chromite I do not know whether I am using the correct metallurgical terms—but to produce chrome from the ore.
I am told by the experts on such things that on the Coos Bay there is sufficient chromium possibilities to produce stainless steel in vast quantities. And, they have the coal for power; they have the chromium ore, the source of chromium, ånd they have manganese and other things which exist in that area in tremendous quantities but nothing has ever been done there yet; all of them will benefit from this port.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. That is a benefit that has not been incorporated in the report, however.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. The chromium business.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. I think that is right. I do not believe that the engineers would consider that because it is not something that exists as of now and not one that can be proved that it is going to exist in the future, but it is a potential business, and the Bureau of Mines is working on the proposition, as I understand, from the technical standpoint and a great many benefits should develop from it.
Mr. Chairman, I have prepared a little more lengthy statement than I have presented orally which with your permission I would like to make a part of the record.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. You may insert the statement as a part of the record.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT BY HON. HARRIS ELLSWORTH, MEMBER OF CONCRESS FROM OREGON
The proposed channel deepening and improvements of the harbor at Coos Bay, Oreg., recommended by the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, and now under consideration by the committee, is not only vital to the communities of Coos Bay and North Bend, Oreg., and the tributary area, but also to the interests of southwestern Oregon. Changes in wartime shipping, and the present and potential future developments in southwest Oregon, indicate strongly the need for a harbor which will accommodate vessels having up to 30-foot draft, in order to provide efficient operation of vessels to and from this port. At the present time, there is no harbor between Portland, Oreg., and Humbolt Bay, Calif., which can handle vessels of more than 24-foot draft. Coos Bay is located approximately midway between these two ports, being 200 miles south of Portland, and 180 miles north of Humbolt Bay.
It is clearly demonstrated in the report of the engineers, that the lack of harbor facilities of adequate depth imposes a great penalty on Coos Bay and the territory served by that port because of the necessity of back-haul movement of ships. Off-shore and intercoastal ships are almost always compelled to come to Coos Bay practically empty, although the port would normally be the last port of call for out-bound shipping. After taking on cargo, ships back-track to other ports to complete their cargo, resulting in additional travel of 500 miles and upward, with the consequent loss of time and added expense. These partial loadings and back-haul result in increased transportation cost on all commerce coming into and leaving the port.
During the war, 50 percent of the ships which took cargo out of Coos Bay were Liberty ships or other types of vessels which when loaded drew up to 28
feet of water. These vessels would come to Coos Bay with only sufficient oi) to make the return trip to another port, take on such cargo as would still enable them to leave the harbor and proceed to other ports for the balance of the cargo and their full bunkers of fuel. There can be no question but that this is a wasteful and costly procedure, but the essential products originating from the port of Coos Bay were necessary in the war effort both here and abroad.
Prior to the war, special types of vessels were used to handle lumber, which is the principal cargo originating out of Coos Bay Harbor. Many of these vessels, due to wartime use and losses, are no longer available and will not be replaced. Water-borne tonnage, during the postwar period, will be shifted to the larger, more efficient vessels built during the wartime which require deep channels. Without the special types of vessels used during prewar years, and with the improvements proposed in this report, it is entirely possible that the harbor of Coos Bay would see a material decline in the tonnage of water-borne freight at a time when normal developments should see this tonnage increase to nearly double the prewar figures. Consequently, it is important that the harbor be improved to handle the latest-type, deep-draft vessel, so that normal commerce can continue to flow from this port and adequate provisions can be made for the increasing developments in this area.
The principal industry of Coos Bay, its tributory area, and southwestern Oregon, is the production of forest products. During recent years, there has been a decline in the production of lumber in Washington and northern Oregon, and the principal production has gradually shifted to southwestern Oregon. In the tributary area surrounding Coos Bay, it is estimated that there is a stand of 48 billion board feet of prime lumber, while in southwestern Oregon, and the area immediately adjoining the tributory area to Coos Bay, the stand is estimated to be 178,000,000,000 board feet.
Lumber production in southwestern Oregon has been slow in developing due to limited transportation facilities. The provision of adequate water transportation will greatly encourage the industry and facilitate the delivery of lumber supplies from this area.
In the area tributary to Coos Bay, there are located 34 inland sawmills with an annual capacity of approximately 200,000,000 board feet. These mills, located in Coos and southern Douglas Counties, are not located on railroads, and would benefit greatly from the proposed improvements. There are an additional 26 mills, with an annual capacity of 260,000,000 board feet in Coos and Douglas Counties, which have access to rail transportation, but which would make material savings by using the facilities of the improved port of Coos Bay. The average estimated savings for the 34 mills is $2.77 per thousand board feet, and for the 26 mills, having access to railroad facilities, the saving is estimated at $3.63 per thousand board feet. Logs, piling,, lumber, plywood, wood pulp, and other wood products would find their way in increasing quantities through the facilites of Coos Bay to other markets in the United States and throughout the world.
The estimated annual production of lumber which would flow through the port of Coos Bay is approximately 600,000,000 board feet, although the wartime shipments leaving the harbor exceeded this figure. It is important to mention at this point that under recent legislation, timber production will be on a sustained yield or permanent basis and the declining production, experienced in other sections of the Northwest, due to excessive cutting, will not be experienced in this area. This means that the harbor improvements proposed at this time will have a permanent utility and will not face declining use after a few years of boom production.
In recent years, the Bureau of Mines has made numerous surveys of mineral resources in southwestern Oregon, and has indicated the presence of substantial mineral deposits which hold promise of commercial development. Undoubtedly, many of these will be developed in the future. Recently, the Bureau of Mines located an electrometallurgical laboratory at Albany, Oreg., for the development of new processes for the extraction of metals from ores prevalent in southwestern Oregon and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. In Coos and Curry Counties there are large deposits of chrome which will be developed commercially when new processes for the extraction of the metal have been perfected. These de posits were used during World War I and World War II. As a result of a survey made on coal deposits in Coos County, the Coast Fuel Corp. of Coos Bay installed modern mechanized mining operations, and is rapidly developing a market for the coal resources. With steel production established, and the production of other