Page images
PDF
EPUB

to say.

ships uneasy and shift around there. It will help in producing quieter water.

That, I think, is about all I have to say and to add to what has been testified at the previous meeting:

Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. What is the tide at Portland!
Mr. HALLET. It averages 8 to 9 feet between the high and low.
The CHAIRMAN. These depths are based on low tide!

Mr. HALLET. Mean low water. In other words, you do not have to await tides. A ship is able to come in and out right around the clock.

The CHAIRMAN. All our port depths are based on mean low water. Foreign countries base them on their high tides, which is a very uncertain thing.

Mr. HALLET. I think that, technically, that is what I had in mind I think I might say a word, if I may, about the maritime attitude of the State of Maine, which, after all, is asking the Federal Government for these developments; and I think that is good.

In the Pacific last summer I got the bone of the wreck of a ship on which my uncle had sailed. He landed on the atoll of Ujae west of Kwajalein and found the wreck, which has been there since 1883, and collected a few parts of the iron. I have presented those to the Governor and counsel of Maine, and they at once said, "Well, there is the bone of the American merchant marine, and we will go ahead and put some flesh on it as far as Maine is concerned.” For which we were grateful. Their attitude is very cooperative with the port authority in its pier development.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.

Mr. Hale. Mr. Kimball is here. He is secretary of the Main Port Authority and also represents our local Propeller Club, which is a very influential and useful organization.

The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to hear you, Mr. Kimball.

STATEMENT OF HAROLD E. KIMBALL, SECRETARY OF THE MAINE

PORT AUTHORITY AND OF THE PORTLAND PROPELLER CLUB

Mr, KIMBALL. My name is Harold E. Kimball. I am secretary of the Maine Port Authority and of the local Propeller Club, which, as you gentlemen realize, is a national organization primarily interested in an adequate merchant marine. We have the secretaryship of the local organization in the port authority office, and the board of governors of that organization is the most representative group of waterfront interests that it is possible to assemble in the area. That is because the railroads as well as the terminal operators, stevedores, steamship agents, and so forth, serve on the board of governors, and that group has been in complete accord with the port authority from the inception.

The CHAIRMAN. The railroads are really interested in this improvement ?

Mr. KIMBALL. They definitely are. Representatives of every railroad serving the port appeared at the public hearing held by the board of engineers in Portland in December a year ago. In fact, the railroads are proposing with the State to make an indirect contribution to the improvement of the port by eliminating the second bridge through which the proposed channel is to extend. That bridge has only a 75-foot opening in the draw. The railroads and the State propose to eliminate that and to construct a dual-purpose double-deck bridge about 150 feet north of that point, and that will remove one hazard to navigation in that area.

The CHAIRMAN. What type of bridge is that? Is it a high bridge ? Mr. KIMBALL. It is a low bridge now; but by moving it 150 feet upstream they come to very shallow water, and there is now pending an application to the War Department to permit the building of a bridge there without a draw, and that will definitely be at least an indirect contribution to improve that end of the inner harbor.

It was estimated at the hearing that at least 80 percent of all the petroleum products, shortly after we return to normal, will be handled in these T-2 type tankers. Although ships are coming in now in increasing numbers, they have to be handled on the tide.

Perhaps, apart from any losses to the oil company operating the tanker, probably the greatest hazard, and the thing that we are most interested in, is that these ships may be up in the inner harbor, going up on the tide, and then having some sort of disaster occur in that section where there is a very dense concentration of petroleum products, without being able to move the ship out, being tide-bound. That is one reason why we are very anxious to get more water so that those ships can be moved promptly without having to wait for sufficient water.

In addition to the tankers, there are also colliers which come up through the first bridge and dock over here [indicating] at the railroad terminal. They have been drawing in excess of 29 feet.

The CHAIRMAN. They come from Norfolk?.
Mr. KIMBALL. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. To what extent do you use coal there now?

Mr. KIMBALL. Well, if we had a graph you would see that the coal line was being depressed, while the petroleum line was climbing all the time. I do not know just how Portland now ranks, but it must be pretty well up on the list of petroleum distribution centers. That is why this deepening of the channel in the inner harbor is primarily for the operation of tankers.

Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. Has the Coast Guard an installation there?
Mr. KIMBALL. Yes; they have a base on the South Portland side.
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. Can you indicate it?

Mr. KIMBALL. Over in here [indicating on map]; and the cutters tie up at the State dock.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any drydocks for ship construction?

Mr. KIMBALL. There are two shipyards on the South Portland side. One of them is an organization known as the Greater Portland Development Commission. It has acquired that from the Maritime Commission and is developing it for industrial sites. Then there is the so-called East Yard upon which iron interests have held an option, I believe, which is reverting to the Maritime Commission on the 19th of this month. That is merely a repetition of a newspaper statement. I would not want to state it as a positive fact. But there is an admirable shipbuilding plant on the South Portland side which is somewhat unique, inasmuch as the vessel is all constructed in basins

and floated out rather than being built on the conventional inclined ways. That is a very complete plan. It was originally built to construct ships for the British Government prior to our entry into the recent war, and then it later built Liberty ships.

Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. I understand that the Maine Port Authority has rather extensive facilities there?

Mr. KIMBALL. We are now operating the State pier and we have several development plans in prospect.

Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. How much investment do you have there in those facilities?

Mr. KIMBALL. In the State pier itself, exclusive of the site, $2,000,000. We are hoping to be in position shortly to double the capacity of that pier at a cost of something over half a million dollars. At the present time all of the facilities in Portland Harbor are being taxed to their utmost with overseas relief cargoes, and of course there is a prediction that that business will have to be sustained for a year, probably. After that we look for a large increase in our former import tonnages which are handled through Portland, such as China clay, baled wood pulp—that used to be one of our chief commodities. It is impossible, I understand, to import that at the present time, owing to the price ceilings imposed in this country; but we have been assured by the interests who formerly used our facilities just as far as we were able to accommodate that traffic, that with any increase in available facilities there, there will be increased tonnage immeasurably.

That is all I have to offer at this time, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions, gentlemen? (No response.) If not, we thank you very much.

Mr. HÁLE. We have another witness here from Portland. I would like to say on my own behalf that this is a project which is of the deepest interest to all our people and which we regard as extremely important. If there is any information which the committee desires Í will be glad to get it for the committee and be glad to appear before it at any time.

The CHAIRMAN. Portland is the largest port on the Maine coast, is it not?

Mr. HALE. Yes, by far.

Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. I suggest that Congressman Hale be permitted to insert in the record any statement which he or any of his constituents are interested in putting into the record.

Mr. HALE. I welcome that privilege.

The CHAIRMAN. We have received letters from the American Merchant Marine Institute and the Atlantic Refining Co., regarding this and other projects to be considered, which, without objection, will be placed in the record. (The letters referred to read as follows:)

AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE INSTITUTE, INC.,

New York 4, April 8, 1946. Hon. JOSEPH J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Rivers and Harbors,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: We have been advised that the Committee on Rivers and Harbors is holding a series of hearings, commencing April 9, on various harbor-improvement projects. The American Merchant Marine Institute, Inc., which represents a majority of the ocean shipping interests of the United States, would like to express to you their views in connection with some of these projects.

86902-46 -3

The members of the institute own and operate many large ships of the Victory and Liberty classes, various C classes, and the T-2, T-3, and larger tankers.

In general, the harbor improvements to which we are asking you to give favorable consideration, are ones which will encourage and make more efficient the use of the modern merchant marine which this country has developed and is developing, and these improvements, particularly in depth and width, will result in very large over-all economies to the people of the United States,

We should like to see the improvements recommended by the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors carried out on the following harbors: Portland Harbor, Maine; Fall River Harbor, Mass.; New Haven Harbor, Conn.; Schuylkill River, Pa.; Savannah Harbor, Ga.; Hollywood Harbor, Port Everglades, Fla. ; Sabine Neches Waterway, Tex.

In addition to the projects which are now scheduled for hearings and on which reports have been made, we understand that reports may reach Congress on a number of other projects in which we have a great deal of interest, in the next few months. We hope these can be included in any bill which may be prepared. The ones in which the Institute has particular interest which fall in this class are: Mystic River, Boston Harbor, Mass. ; Arthur Kill, New York-New Jersey Channels; Tampa Harbor, Fla.; Tidewater ship canal, New Orleans, La.; Lake Charles Harbor, La.; Galveston Harbor, Tex.; Texas City Channel, Tex.; Houston ship canal, Tex.; Aransas Pass and Corpus Christi Channel, Tex. Very truly yours,

FRANK J. TAYLOR,

President.

THE ATLANTIC REFINING COMPANY,

Philadelphia 1, Pa., April 8, 1996. The Honorable JOSEPH J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Rivers and Harbors Committee,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. SIR: As we maintain terminal facilities and operate large type tonnage to such facilities, we are much interested in the proposed improvements to New Haven Harbor (Conn.), Sabine-Neches Waterway (Tex.), Schuylkill River (Pa.), and Hollywood Harbor (Port Everglades, Fla.), as to which your committee will hold public hearings beginning this week.

The American Merchant Marine Institute, of which we are members, will present data to the committee in connection with the proposed improvements, which we hope can be accomplished at an early date through necessary congressional action. The much larger tankers now in operation, such as the T2's built by the Government during the war, necessitate these proposed improvements to satisfactorily operate these larger ships to terminals such as the ones in question.. Yours very truly,

H. G. SCHAD,
Vice President and General Manager Transportation.

BRIDGEPORT HARBOR, CONN.

STATEMENT OF COL. P. A. FERINGA, UNITED STATES ARMY,

RESIDENT ENGINEER, BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS

Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, the report on Bridgeport Harbor, Conn., is submitted in response to a resolution adopted by this committee on August 30, 1944.

Bridgeport Harbor is on the north shore of Long Island Sound 57 miles east of New York City and 20 miles west of New Haven. The main harbor consists of an outer and inner area. Poquonock River, Yellow Mill Pond, Power House Creek, and Johnsons River extend from the main harbor into the eastern part of the city of Bridgeport.

The existing project provides for breakwaters protecting the outer area of the main harbor and a main channel 30 feet deep and general

ly 400 feet wide extending from deep water in Long Island Sound to à point 720 feet below Stratford Avenue Bridge; for tributary channels 18 feet deep in Poquonock River above the main channel, in Yellow Mill Pond and in Johnsons River; two anchorage basins in the main harbor, one of 30 acres, 25 feet deep, and the other of 36 acres, 18 feet deep.

No work has been done on the modifications authorized by the River and Harbor Act approved March 2, 1945, which provide for dredging the main channel from its present depth of 25 feet and general width of 300 feet, to 30 feet deep and generally 400 feet wide. Deepening Johnsons River channel to 18 feet from its present general depth of 9. feet to a point 600 feet below Hollisters Dam as provided for in the River and Harbor Act of 1930 has not been accomplished because local interests have not complied with the requirement to contribute onehalf of the estimated cost of $39,000. The existing project as a whole: is 63 percent complete.

I might state that at that time Johnsons River was used by I think, one industry, and that traffic thereon was largely local. That condition has now changed. Instead of having a local industry, they now have three oil companies that are making use of that part of the waterway for interstate commerce, and therefore the Board felt that it was not proper to charge local cooperation, which we always do if it is just for local benefits, instead of Nationwide benefits.

Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. Can you point out on the map where the railroad bridge runs?

Colonel FERINGA. Here is the railroad bridge right here, sir (indicating on map].

Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. Thank you very much.

Colonel FERINGA. There are 45 wharves with nearly 13,000 feet of available berthing space at Bridgeport Harbor, including 11 terminals with nearly 5,000 feet of berthage adjacent to the improved channels and anchorages in the main harbor.

Commerce of the harbor and its tributaries had an annual average of over 2,000,000 tons during the past 5 years; principally coal and petroleum products.

In 1941 this was carried in 3,137 in-bound and out-bound trips of barges, motor vessels, and steamers drawing up to 27 feet.

Bridgeport, with a population of over 147,000, is the center of an industrial area containing 21 additional towns and having a total population of about 300,000.

Local interests directly concerned with the establishment of petroleum terminals on Johnsons River request a turning basin 30 feet deep adjacent to the main channel at the Johnsons River channel entrance to accommodate large tankers for delivery of oil through a proposed 12-inch pipe line to the storage facilities to be constructed at Eagles Nest and deepening of Johnsons River channel to 15 feet for use in the receipt and shipment locally of petroleum products by motor vessels and barges with drafts of 12 to 18 feet.

The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors recommends modification of the existing project for Bridgeport Harbor to provide for construction of a channel 30 feet deep-switching it slightly in order to avoid damage to piling that would be undercut. In other words, where the project before came along in the southwest part of

« PreviousContinue »