Page images

Insertion of an item reading along the following lines in the river and harbor bill would provide authority for maintenance of the enlarged project as a regular civil function of the Army engineers :

Middle River and Dark Head Creek, Md.; maintenance of enlarged project consisting of a channel 200 feet wide and 10 feet deep together with an anchorage basin at the head of the improvement at least 400 feet wide, 2,000 feet long, and 10 feet deep.


(H. Doc. 766, 78th Cong.) The CHAIRMAN. What is next, Colonel Feringa?

Colonel FERINGA. The small project in Virginia, the Mattaponi River.

The CHAIRMAN. This Mattaponi River has four branches. One is called Matt, one Tay, one Poe, and Ni, and after they all came together, they called at Mattaponi.

That is an old section of Virginia between here and Norfolk.

Mr. Chairman, the report on Mattaponi River, Va., was submitted in response to a resolution of this committee adopted July 18, 1941. It is a review report and is printed in House Document No. 766, Seventyeighth Congress, second session.

Mattaponi River rises in eastern Virginia and flows about 120 miles southeasterly to join the Pamunkey River at West Point and from the York River which enters the Chesapeake Bay at Yorktown.

Navigation extends up to Dunkirk, 41 miles above the mouth of the Mattaponi River. The river is 2,500 feet wide at West Point. The mean range

of tide at West Point is 2.9 feet. The existing project provides for a channel 9 feet deep and 150 feet wide from the mouth to Locust Grove, 28 miles above the mouth; thence 7 feet deep and 100 feet wide to a basin, 180 feet wide and 400 feet long, immediately above Rosespout, 34 miles from the mouth; and snagging between the mouth and Dunkirk.

The commerce of Mattaponi River increased from 51,800 tons in 1931 to 227,100 tons in 1940. During the latter year it.consisted principally of pulpwood, petroleum products, cement, lumber, and railroad ties.

Commerce handled at the West Point terminals on the Mattaponi River during 1940 totaled 40,215 tons and consisted principally of shipments of piling, lumber, logs, and railroad ties, and of receipts of petroleum products, fertilizer, and cement, all transported in 34 round trips of barges drawing up to 151/2 feet, 77 round trips of motor vessels and tankers drawing up to 12 feet, and 5 round trips of sailing vessels drawing up to 8 feet.

Local interests desire improvement of the shoal waters opposite the terminals at Sixth and Seventh Streets at West Point and the improvement of the natural entrance channel to Mattaponi River from deep water in York River. They propose a depth of 16 feet.

The Board recommends modification of the existing project, to provide for an entrance channel 16 feet deep at mean low water, 5,600 feet long, and 200 feet wide across the shoal separating the deep waters of the Mattaponi and York Rivers below the town of West Point and the enlargement to an equal depth of the natural channel in Mattaponi River opposite the existing terminals at and in the vicinity of Sixth and Seventh Streets over an area having a maximum length of 1,000 feet and width of 100 feet.

The Chief of Engineers concurs in the Board's recommendations.

The Federal cost of new works is estimated at $60,000. The cost of annual maintenance, in addition to that now required is estimated at $2,500. Interest and annual amortization amount to $2,429. The total annual carrying charges are $4,929.

The report recommends that local interests be required to give assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will provide suitable areas for the disposal of dredged material; hold and save the United States free from damages arising from the improvement; and dredge to an equal depth adequate approach and berthing areas adjacent to the terminals at Sixth and Seventh Streets of the town of West Point.

The improvement will permit the loading of barges to their maximum drafts and thereby effect annual savings in transportation and operating costs estimated at $10,590. It will also effect additional annual savings of $2,325 in loading costs to operators using the Sixth and Seventh Streets terminals, and will benefit general navigation by affording safety and convenience to present traffic.

In view of the favorable ratio of tangible benefits to costs, 2.5 to 1, the Department recommends that the existing project be modified to provide for the further improvement of Mattaponi River.

This report was made prior to the recent requirement by law that it had to go to the governors, so it has not gone. The Budget has approved it.

I have no doubt that local interests, including the Governor, are heartily in favor thereof.

The CHAIRMAN. I see the report is signed by General Reybold.
Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. The law requiring the sending of reports to the governors—that was adopted in 1945?

Colonel FERINGA. Also in the Flood Control Act of December 1944.

The CHAIRMAN. December 1944, yes; and the River and Harbor Act of March 2, 1945 ?

Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir.



Mr. BLAND. I desire to note my appearance in favor of the project and improvement of the Mattaponi River, Va. I have been following this for many years before this committee and the importance of the improvement has been demonstrated from the results that have followed previous improvements of the Mattaponi River at West Point, Va.

The Report of the Engineers, House Document No. 766, Seventyeighth Congress, amply demostrates the truth of this statement. That report shows the commerce from the years 1931 to 1940. There has been an increase from 51,771 tons in 1931 to 227,139 tons in 1940. The commerce for the year 1940 at West Point consists for incoming commerce of 300 tons of fertilizer, 100 tons of cement, 5,547 tons of petroleum products, and outgoing shipments are shown as 33,868 tons.

I question whether upon a minute and detailed investigation the entire commerce both incoming and outgoing might not be shown to have increased considerably more than shown in the report because



the report does not show that there has been detailed consideration of the volume of sea-food products.

The total commerce on Mattaponi River reached a maximum of 227,139 tons in 1940 or 15 percent greater than the tonnage for 1939.

I am personally acquainted with the commerce at West Point and I believe that the commerce as shown in the reports for 1940 is considerably below the commerce on this waterway in 1946.

I sincerely trust that the committee may approve this project.



[ocr errors]

Mr. Gary. My colleague, Hon. S. Otis Bland, who has represented the First Congressional District of Virginia for many years, has made a statement with reference to the Mattaponi River improvement project. Mr. Bland has followed this project for a number of years and is thoroughly familiar with its many details.

I recently entered the Congress as a Representative of the Third Congressional District of Virginia, and I merely wish to add to Mr. Bland's statement that the people of my district are affected by and will receive the benefits of the improvements.

It is, therefore, my desire to enter my appearance before this committee in favor of the project as recommended by the engineers.


Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, the report on Newport News Creek, Newport News, Va., is in response to a resolution adopted by the Rivers and Harbors Committee on August 13, 1942.

Newport News Creek, Va., is located on the southern end of the peninsula between the James and York Rivers and within the corporate limits of the city of Newport News.

In its original condition, it was a small tidal estuary flowing southerly through the low marshes into Hampton Roads.

In 1913–14, the city of Newport News dredged the creek to a depth of 8 feet and constructed bulkheads to create the municipal boat harbor. The original cost to the city, including land acquisitions, is reported as approximately $315,000, and later developments comprising additional bulkheading and dredging required an additional expenditure of approximately $150,000.

During the period March 26 to June 17, 1944, the United States dredged 2 small side areas in the lower part of the harbor to depths of 4 feet and 6 feet, respectively, in connection with the construction of docking facilities for auxiliary small craft operated by the Hampton Roads port of embarkation. No improvement of Newport News Creek, Va., has been authorized by Congress.

Commerce of Newport News Creek for the years 1935–44 inclusive, fluctuated between a high of 354,000 tons in 1941 and a low of 21,300 tons in 1939 and averaged 125,200 tons annually for the period.

It totaled 224,800 tons in 1944 and consisted principally of petroleum products, sand and gravel and sea food all transported by 2,461 in-bound and out-bound trips of vessels with a net registered tonnage of 189,000. Several recreational craft with drafts up to 5 feet base in the harbor.

Newport News with a population in 1940 of 37,000 is the largest city in the area tributary to the improvement.

It is the deep water terminal of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad which operates extensive yards and pier facilities.

Its largest industry is the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. which builds all types of naval vessels, passenger and freight ships, hydraulic turbines and accessories, and engages in ship repairing and the manufacture of marine paints.

There are many additional industries in that area. The city of Newport News requests provision of a channel 200 feet wide and 12 feet deep from that depth in Hampton Roads to the entrance and throughout the length of the municipal boat harbor.

The claim is made that the improvement would remove present navigation difficulties due to inadequate depths and provide a safe refuge for craft during storms.

The Board recommends adoption of a project for Newport News Creek (municipal boat harbor), Va., to provide for a channel 12 feet deep at mean low water with widths varying from 200 to 60 feet from deep water in Hampton Roads to and through the municipal boat harbor entrance thence 12 feet deep at mean low water and 150 feet wide to and including a turning basin and anchorage of the same depth and 220 feet wide and 400 feet long in the upper end of the harbor.

The improvement of the municipal boat harbor would provide for small commercial and recreational craft a needed facility which is economically justified.

The Chief of Engineers concurs in the views and recommendations of the Board.

The improvement is recommended subject to the provisions that local interests give assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will: reserve at least 400 linear feet of harbor frontage suitably bulkheaded for public use without assessment of the usual rental charge; promulgate, adopt, and enforce such regulations as may be necessary

for the safe and easy movement and anchorage of vessels within the harbor; maintain such portions of the bulkhead and wharf terminals on the harbor as may be necessary to provide adequate facilities for the handling of commerce; simultaneously dredge and maintain, during the operational life of the existing storm sewers at the upper end of the recommended improvement, a catch basin opposite the discharge of these sewers.

Cost to United States for new work is $109,000; cost of annual maintenance, $7,000; cost of interest and amortization, $4,524; total Federal annual carrying charges, $11,524. Cost to local interests for required dredging, $37,800; annual carrying charges to local interests, including $10,000 for maintenance, $13,360.

The annual benefits are estimated at $30,460 of which $21,850 is the savings in transportation cost on petroleum products, $4,560 is savings in transportation cost on sand and graved, $2,000 is elimination of annual damage to boats and equipment, and $2,050 is the estimated net annual return on property enhancement.

The ratio of annual costs to annual benefits is 1.0 to 1.22.
Both the Governor and the Budget say it is approved.


NEWS HARBOR Mr. BLAND. I am grateful for an opportunity to appear on the project for the development of a boat harbor at New port News, Va. I have been identified with this project from its inception as I was one of the commission appointed by the city of Newport News to establish the project before I entered Congress. When it was originated, it was a long step forward and has served a most useful purpose. Its efficiency and contribution to the welfare of the community will be materially increased under present plans, and the benefits will far exceed the cost. It proved especially useful for the benefit of the Army and Navy during World War II.

As cooperation in the desired improvement, the city of Newport News has offered to reserve for public use without charge sections of the bulkhead, to dredge the side channels or approaches to the piers and to enforce such regulations as may be necessary for the proper use of the harbor and navigation thereon. In addition, bonds have been issued in the amount of $224,450 for the purpose of constructing and reconstructing bulkheads on the harbor and preliminary plans have been prepared by the city with a view to relocating storm damage facilities at the north end of the harbor and to eliminate a source of shoaling in that locality. Estimates have been submitted as to possible saving which entirely justify approval of this project and its development.

The district engineer concluded the proposed improvement was economically justified and that aside from the favorable ratio on the estimated tangible figures, the proposed improvement will assure safe and easy navigation for bulk carriers of petroleum products, sea food, sand and gravel; (2) that the improvement will increase the use and importance of the harbor as a haven of safety for commerce and pleasure craft, Government craft and the contractor's plant; (3) that the proposed improvement will attract new commercial enterprises to unoccupied portions of the harbor and increase the potential benefits.

I urge the adoption of the project.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that about all we can handle this evening?
Colonel FERINGA. I would like to skip the next three or four.

However, there is one more small one, Judge, that I would like to get out of the way. It is another one of these war projects.


(H. Doc 293, 79th Cong.)

Mr. Chairman, this interim report on Withlacoochee River, Fla., is in response to a resolution adopted by this committee on May 20, 1942.

The report is relative to the maintenance of a channel in the lower part of the river. A report covering a full review of the existing project will be submitted later.

Withlacoochee River rises in Polk County, Fla., flows generally northwesterly, and empties into the Gulf of Mexico at Port Inglis, Fla., about 95 miles north of Tampa.

An existing project authorizes improvement to provide a channel 10 feet deep and 100 feet wide from the 10-foot contour in the Gulf

« PreviousContinue »