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now moving to, from, or through Baton Rouge in any of these movements. That such traffic can be developed at material public savings will be discussed later in this report. We have used an annual postwar tonnage of 250,000 tons in order to keep our estimate on the conservative side.
Figure 4 shows by comparison the reasonableness of our tonnage curve.
Table III is our estimate of tonnage increases by principal commodities, discussed later in this report.
The present transfer costs for all commodities moving by barge over the municipal ship wharf at Baton Rouge has been furnished by the barge lines and averages $1.75 per net ton. The handling charges at New Orleans for unloading and loading barges are $0.75 a ton for commodities handled by the assistance of machinery and $1.00 a ton for such other commodities as require manual handling. With the new terminal constructed on the proposed canal, the only difference in handling goods between New Orleans barge docks and that at Baton Rouge will be an extra lift ranging from 0 to 48 feet, depending on the stages of the river. The new barge terminal will be provided with proper lifting equipment and accessories, thus limiting this extra lift cost to a nominal increase, caused by the reduction of the number of hourly loads handled by a normal gang, of men. We estimate that $0.25 a ton will more than cover this extra cost. It will probably be half of our estimate. It is safely estimated that average handling costs at the new barge canal terminal, properly constructed and equipped, would not exceed $1.25 a ton, or a saving of $0.50 a ton. If our estimate of 250,000 tons in 5 years after the war is reached, and we think it will be reached, the annual savings in handling costs alone would amount to $125,000.
Table IV is an example of freight rates, all rail versus water-rail for south Louisiana and Texas.
Table V shows that the savings per ton reflected in freight rates maintained by the barge lines on the principal commodities presently handled at Baton Rouge range from $0.60 to $1.60. These savings would average $1 a ton, and we deem it prudent to estimate that $1 a ton savings in freight rates would accrue to the additional postwar movement of 115,000 tons by barge through Baton Rouge as shown by figure 3. These annual savings would amount to $115,000.
The movement of steel through Baton Rouge dropped from 12,732 tons in 1937 to 6,813 tons in 1941. Inquiry has developed the fact that this loss in steel traffic was due to the excessive high costs of terminal handling at Baton Rouge. Steel could not be unloaded directly from barges to cars. It had to be manhandled and trucked over the levee. Some of the steel could not be unloaded at all. At the proposed terminal, the steel would be handled by mechanical equipment direct from barges to cars at great savings, possibly as much as $0.75 a ton less than at the municipal terminal. This would not only restore the old traffic of 12,000 tons but would surely attract additional steel and machinery traffic from the Pittsburgh and Chicago district and destined for southwest Louisiana and south Texas points.
Table III is our estimate of the increased tonnage, over that of 1941, by principal commodities that will be routed via barge through Baton Rouge. The increased movement of commodities listed therein, except three or four, will result, we believe, from the natural and compelling volume of business which every section of the country must experience after the war, if we are to double our national income, as of necessity we must, in order to meet the Nation's war debts. Some businesses will increase their outputs or sales more than others, but transportation of goods, and especially water transportation, will certainly be double, if not treble, that of prewar days.
The L. & A.-Kansas City Southern and the Missouri-Pacific Lines will have direct access to the new terminal. These lines serve a territory in south Louisiana to Lake Charles and southeast Texas to Houston, which, after the war, will consume a large amount of steel, iron, machinery, pipe, pig lead, paints, and agricultural implements. New construction, replacement of worn-out and obsolete articles, improvements, expansions, remodeling, all of this must come as a postwar economic necessity. The amount of steel, machinery, iron, paints and agricultural implements consumed by a territory of over two million people and of the productive character of the Louisiana and Texas area that can be served through Baton Rouge as a river gateway, leads us to make an estimate that the new terminal will, after the war, handle 45,000 tons of steel, 45,000 tons of iron and steel articles, including machinery. In 1934, the Chief of Engineers reported 136,946 tons of steel received at Memphis by river for distribution. In 1936, 70,000 tons of steel moved by water from New Orleans to Houston. It should also
handle 5,000 tons of agricultural implements and 10,000 tons of pig lead, paints, varnishes, and oils:
We have estimated a movement of only 15,000 tons of oil, grease, and petroleum products by barge from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. That estimate will probably be far exceeded by the exports of the Standard Oil Co., routed by barge to ship-side in New Orleans.
Elsewhere in this report, it has been mentioned that the agricultural area surrounding Baton Rouge comprises a large amount of milk cows, hogs, sheep and cattle. Based on information obtained from the Animal Industry section of the Department of Agriculture, there should be consumed in the cattle area of Baton Rouge a minimum of 75,000 tons a year of mixed feed. This is based on less quantities per head than is generally used for well-fed cattle. At least 25 percent of that amount should be grain from Kansas City, St. Louis, and other river ports. That would give us 18,000 tons of grain arriving by barge at Baton Rouge. We have used 10,000 tons to be conservative.
The movement of rice and rice products through Baton Rouge reached an amount of nearly 9,000 tons in 1941. It has since dropped to practically nothing due to shortage of barges and excessive time in waiting for transportation. With postwar adequate commercial barge service restored and lesser costs of transfer at the proposed terminal, the survey indicates that the tonnage of rice and rice products which would seek rail-water movements through Baton Rouge might well reach an amount of 15,000 tons.
Compiling the statistics disclosed by the survey, we find that,
A. We may expect a postwar tonnage of water-borne goods through Baton Rouge Barge Terminal of not less than 250,000 tons annually. This is an increase of 115,000 tons over 1941 traffic.
B. The savings in freight rates by this additional water movements will be at least 15,000 X 1.00=$115,000.
C. Savings of at least 50 cents a ton will be effected at the new terminal in the transfer of goods from rail to barge or vice versa. These savings of the 1941 tonnage would have been 135,000 X.50=$67,500. On the expected total postwar tonnage these savings on transfer will be 250,000 X.50=$125,000.
D. Total annual public savings effected by the new barge terminal on the proposed barge canal: Savings in freight rates_
$115, 000 Savings in transfer costs.
Local cooperation as required for the construction of the Baton Rouge Barge Channel can be readily obtained. The Department of Public Works, State of Louisiana, the city of Baton Rouge, and the police jury of East Baton Rouge Parish each will do whatever may be reasonably expected to aid in the construction and obtaining of rights-of-way.
The Baton Rouge Port Development Association is an active sponsor of the project. The aims and purposes of that organization are set forth in the following extracts from its charter:
“The objects and purposes of this corporation shall be to promote and improve the commercial, industrial and agricultural interests of the city of Baton Rouge, La., and its trade area primarily by the advocacy, promotion, and formulation of plans for improving and enlarging the port facilities in the city of Baton Rouge and its vicinity; by the development of commerce in and through the Port of Baton Rouge; by the development of navigation and flood control on the Mississippi River and its tributaries; and to that end to joi and cooperate with any and all other organizations having similar purposes and objects whether said organizations be local or national; and to do and perform any and all things in furtherance of the objects hereinabove set forth."
The Baton Rouge Port Development Association has already secured an option on a suitable location on the site of the proposed canal for a new municipal wharf. If the canal is constructed, a modern barge wharf with facilities for transfer of goods from barge to rail and barge to truck and vice versa will be constructed at that site. This wharf will be of adequate capacity to take care of the estimated future growth of the traffic and will be open to all shippers on qual terms.
Mr. PYBURN. The next witness is Mr. H. C. Leonard, chairman, of the Baton Rogue Port Development Association, Baton Rouge, La.
STATEMENT OF H. C. LEONARD, CHAIRMAN, BATON ROUGE PORT
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, BATON ROGUE, LA.
Mr. LEONARD. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the Port of Baton Rouge serves both ocean-shipping and inland waterway barge navigation. We are 243 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico via South Pass and 250 miles via South West Pass.
As one comes up the Mississippi River from the Gulf, Baton Rouge is the first site lying above the flood levels of the river. A minimum depth of 35 feet is available from Baton Rouge to the Gulf via South West Pass and that route is used by the largest oceangoing tankers in their operations to and from the Standard Oil Co. refinery, the second largest refinery in the United States.
Upstream the Mississippi River and its tributaries, constituting the great inland waterway system of the central valley, afford barge channels between Baton Rouge and all the industrial centers on the Ohio, the Upper Mississippi, the Missouri and the Illinois.
Downstream via the Intracoastal Canal at New Orleans and via the alternate route of the Intracoastal from Plaquemine to Morgan City, Baton Rouge is connected by barge channels with all Gulf ports.
Baton Rouge is served by four railroad systems.
All available water from above river flood levels has been occupied by industry.
The freight handled at Baton Rouge by barge has averaged 4,000,000 tons per annum since 1937, and has been approximately 6,000,000 tons in 1942, 1943, and 1944. The figures for 1944 are the most recent available.
Up to this time no Federal project has been adopted in the interest of the large barge business at Baton Rouge. The existing Federal project provides for dredging downstream from Baton Rouge to maintain a minimum depth of 35 feet for ocean vessels.
We are asking for this improvement which is recommended by the engineers not only for the purpose of providing better and safer accommodations for the existing business but to enable us to put more business on the Mississippi River.system.
We believe that better harbors and terminals are necessary on the river to produce and attract the tonnage which will make the large investment in through channels yield greater dividends to the taxpayers.
If the estimated cost of this barge channel and harbor, $2,000,000, is prorated against the average annual tonnage since 1937, 4,000,000 tons, the investment will figure only 50 cents per annual ton of commerce. On the basis of 6,000,000 tons for the years 1942, 1943, and 1944 the investment per annual ton of commerce figures only 33 cents.
This is an extremely low investment per annual ton of commerce as may be shown by comparison with many other ports where the Federal investment is several dollars per annual ton of commerce.
But the investment we are asking for will create new water front sites for the location of industries of the kind which will put new business on the river, not only by barge up and down the river but probably by lighter to and from oceangoing vessels.
We believe this barge channel and harbor meet every test of a good business proposition for the investment of Federal funds. We have an option on a site for a public terminal and we are prepared to meet the conditions of local cooperation recommended by the engineers.
With your permission, I would like to ask the consulting engineer for the Baton Rouge Port Development Associations, Maj. General Tyler, to make a few brief comments.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. General Tyler, we will be very happy to have your statement.
We are delighted to have you here this afternoon. I notice you appear in a civilian capacity, but we all remember the very fine work that you have done with the engineers in years gone by.
General TYLER. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. MAX C. TYLER
General TYLER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, this is not a project that is by any means a local proposition. There is as much as 6,000,000 tons of barge business out of Baton Rouge a year. That is the highest figure we have had during the war. That business is mainly oil and gasoline, and goes as far north as Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Paul, up the Cumberland and up the Tennessee.
The available water front in Baton Rouge is on high ground. Baton Rouge is the first high ground that you encounter as you leave the Gulf and go up the Mississippi River. It is above flood.
All of that front has been occupied by industry. There is no further high ground which can be developed. In time of flood the barges that carry on this average of 4,000,000 tons a year, and a peak of 6,000,000 tons a year, are moored here at the terminals of the Standard Oil Co., and other docks all along the river. They badly need a harbor in which to get out of the flood currents and the drift of high water in the Mississippi.
This proposed canal extends through swampland along the continuation of the high ground north of Baton Rouge for a distance of about 4 miles, and in that area there will be undoubtedly located industries which will put large additional tonnage on the Mississippi River.
It is the belief of the port commission in Baton Rouge and others throughout the Mississippi River Valley that such harbors are definitely needed in order to produce the business which will help to pay out the investment that we already have in the Mississippi and its tributary streams.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. In other words, this is needed for the development of the port ?
General TYLER. It is not only needed to serve the existing commerce, which is large—a port which handles 4,000,000 tons on the average is not a small port--the improvement is needed not only to serve the existing commerce, but it is needed to produce new commerce. And if you will prorate the cost of this development to the existing tonnage, and compare it with many of the South Atlantic and Gulf ports, you will find that the investment here would be not over 50 cents average annual ton of commerce, where in many ports it runs as high as $59 a ton.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Would you like to give us any idea' as to what this project would cost ?
General TYLER. About $2,000,000, sir.
And it is proposed that it be extended as has been authorized by this committee in many cases in the past; that it be extended in here as needed; that it will not necessarily all be done at once.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, extensions have been made in a great many of our ports to accommodate new business which is located above the existing deep-water channels.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Any questions?
General TYLER. There is a swamp in here. There is no channel in there now.
Mr. PITTENGER. You said it was more than of local interest. What did you mean by that phrase?
General TYLER. I mean that the commerce of this port extends through the entire inland waterway system.
Mr. PITTENGER. Intracoastal? General TYLER. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, the Tennessee, the Cumberland, the Illinois, the upper Mississippi, are all served by the business here.
Mr. ANGELL. What contributions do local interests make toward it?
General TYLER. They will furnish the rights-of-way, the soil disposal areas. They have agreed to build a terminal if it is required for municipal purposes; furnish the land. · Mr. ANGELL. Will it be open for all interests in competition with one another, or restricted ?
General TYLER. The public terminal will be opened to all on equal terms.
Mr. PITTENGER. Why do not the people now down in New Orleans object to it? Does it help them?
General TYLER. It certainly does not hurt them.
Mr. PITTENGER. I just want the record to show it. I am concerned about those folks.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Thank you very much, General.
Mr. LARCADE. I do not think it is necessary for him to state that Baton Rouge is the State capital of Louisiana. The Standard Oil Co. has one of the largest oil refineries in the world which contributes a considerable amount of tonnage referred to by General Tyler.
That is all, Mr. Chairman.
ILLINOIS RIVER, BOAT BASIN AT PEORIA, ILL. Colonel FERINGA. The next project, Mr. Chairman, is a boat basin at Peoria, Ill.
We recommend favorably that this boat basin be provided because the Illinois River, which flows through Peoria-Peoria is on the banks of the river-at Peoria Lake-is congested. There is no provision for taking care of the light pleasure craft that congest the waters an