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The location of the docks at Mare Island, as suggested by Commander Cox, would, if they could be built in the dry and veneered so that the 2-foot thickness of concrete, involving the use of some 30,000 cubic yards, would be sufficient, should not cost to exceed $2,500,000. This is exclusive of the excavation necessary to prepare the site for the docks which would involve the removal of some 3,000,000 cubic yards of material.
In the Alameda site it would be necessary, in order to reclaim the land for the proposed site, to construct retaining walls around the entire area. No portion of such retaining walls could be built of any material on the ground. It would necessitate the bringing of rock to the site that was not subject to disintegration by the action of the salt water, or, say, in the matter of dollars and cents, a retaining wall for Alameda of such rock would not cost less than $30 per lineal foot.
What retaining walls that would be needed at either Mare Island or Hunters Point could be constructed, as far as the core is concerned, with the material excavated from the site-that is, in the first case, sandstone, and in the second case, green serpentine. The cost of such walls would be probably nill, as the material excavated could be taken directly to the site. The question of dredging both at Hunters Point and Alameda is a much larger proposition than that at Mare Island. The question of walls and docks, etc., at Alameda would probably be at least from 50 to 75 per cent more expensive than those at either Mare Island or Hunters Point. In the latter cases, they would be about the same. Of course, any walls or piers constructed at any naval base would have to be of extra heavy type ranging in cost from $5 to $9 per square foot.
At the various sites the structures for appurtenances would have to have a pile foundation. Those, of course, at Alameda would be more expensive than either those at Hunters Point or Mare Island. The cost of caissons, pump houses, and other machinery would cost the same at all three localities. Undoubtedly the transportation of materials would cost less at Hunters Point and Mare Island than they would at Alameda, and I am satisfied, without going into details. the cost of upkeep in the matter of dredging would be greater at both Alameda and Hunters Point than it would be at Mare Island. Without comment on any reason for this, I think that a glance at the maps would be sufficient argument to substantiate this statement.
I will say, furthermore, in regard to Alameda, the reason why they would have to have this Pearl Harbor type of dock is that the bottom of any gravity dock at this location would be below the line of seepage; that is, there is water strata all through this location, and the strata run from 40 feet below to 120 feet below the surface, being waterbearing sand and some of it almost quicksand.
Of course, at Hunters Point, you can realize that there could not be any dock built there in any locality that would cost as little as either Dock No. 2 or Dock No. 3. They were veneered from top to bottom. But I am satisfied to-day that they could not be duplicated for double the cost, and that any dock now built at any site at Hunters Point would cost now fully double what a dock could be built for then, even at the site at which those are built that are now there.
Mr. BRITTEN. May I ask Mr. Holmes a question there?
Mr. BRITTEN. Mr. Holmes, did I understand you to say that there would be more dredging at Hunters Point and at Alameda than there would be up here at Mare Island ?
Mr. HOLMES. Yes, sir.
Mr. BRITTEN. And where do you figure the base is to be laid up here—did you figure on Carquinez Straits?
Mr. HOLMES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HOLMES. I made the original survey there myself in 1913, but I figure on Commander Cox's plans.
Mr. BRITTEN. Which one is that?
Were those plans gotten up by the Bureau of Yards and Docks? Mr. HOLMES. I think not. Mr. BRITTEN. They were not? Mr. HOLMES. I think not.
Mr. BRITTEN. I wonder if they were submitted to the Bureau of Yards and Docks.
Mr. HOLMES. I don't know.
Commander Cox. They were included in a report that was submitted to the Secretary of the Navy. I have no knowledge of what became of them afterwards.
Mr. BRITTEN. I am just trying to find out and determine on what Mr. Holmes bases his estimate of the amount of dredging necessary to be done as between Hunters Point and Carquinez Straits.
Mr. HOLMES. I base it on the strength of that model, and I know what Hunters Point is from having worked there and from the Helm plan.
Mr. BRITTEN. Is it possible to build another veneered dock at Hunters Point?
Mr. HOLMES. Yes.
Mr. BRITTEN. Have recent earthquakes affected the present docks at Hunters Point.
Mr. HOLMES. No, sir. But that all rests in the solid rock. Mr. BRITTEN. Something was said yesterday along that line, Mr. Holmes, to this effect, that a dock built directly on stone, with veneer, such as you have there, would be more susceptible to earthquake than one built on piles. What is your impression of that?
. Mr. HOLMES. My answer to that would be just the same comparison as was made of the man in jail when his attorney told him they could
not put him in jail. The dock is still there, and it has been through several earthquakes, and even the chimney was not disturbed. The only effect of the earthquake of 1906 was, that on the upper end of that dock, that is, on what you would call the westerly end, was about a 40-foot fill, and that fill settled. In other words, the earthquake shook the earth down the same as you would shake potatoes down in a barrel or a basket, otherwise it didn't affect it. The chimney is slightly cracked, but it is there now.
Mr. BRITTEN. Are you quite satisfied of the fact that if a combination dock were built at Hunters Point, part on gravity, part on piles, and part as a veneer, that an earthquake would affect that kind of a dock?
Mr. HOLMES. I would not like to build it I would not like to guarantee it. I think that is poor construction, aside from the matter of earthquake. It is not considered good construction, part of it founded on piles and part of it in rock foundation.
Mr. BRITTEN. Then from what you have said, it is practically impossible, or really impracticable, to build another dock at Hunters Point?
Mr. HOLMES. No; because another character of dock could be built on either side of the present docks, both north and south.
Mr. BRITTEN. That is a thousand-foot dock?
Mr. BRITTEN. So that Hunters Point is practically eliminated from this consideration.
Mr. HOLMES. If available land—if you could have the land owned at the present time by the Bethlehem Steel Co. and the land to the north, you could probably build two additional docks there, that would be-well, while they would not be fully veneered docks, they would be docks resting on solid rock foundation.
Mr. BRITTEN. The land to the north belongs to the State and to the county, does it not?
Mr. HOLMES. No; it belongs mostly to the same company that owned the old California dry dock. There is a little piece in there called “Dry Dock Basin” that belongs to the State of California. But it is very small.
Mr. HICKS. Is it not a fact, Mr. Holmes, that noted scientists and geologists all agree, and in fact it is printed in one of these hearings that we have, that a rock formation is less susceptible to earthquakes than any other formation?
Mr. HOLMES. I think I would rather have my house founded on a rock foundation, than otherwise, during an earthquake.
Mr. Hicks. I think that is covered very fully here.
Mr. PADGETT. You spoke about the dock at Hunters Point, Mr. Holmes, and you said part of it would be a gravity dock. You mean by "gravity dock" a dock similar to the Pearl Harbor Dock? Mr. HOLMES. Yes, sir.
Mr. PADGETT. In other words, that it would be a floating dock, a little heavier than the water ?
Mr. HOLMES. Yes, sir..
Mr. PADGETT. Then the other part of the dock would be a permanent dock on the land ?
Mr. HOLMES. Yes, sir. If you will allow me
Mr. PADGETT (interrupting). Here is one part of it, and here is the other [illustrating by drawing), and you have got the gravity part as the Pearl Harbor Dock that is resting on the water, and the other one is permanent construction in the land ?
Mr. HOLMES. Yes, sir.
Mr. PADGETT. I don't think that needs any argument as to not being advisable.
Mr. Holmes. I don't think so, either.
Mr. BRITTEN. Just at that point, and for the record-I recognize this gentleman's ability. Supposing a dock were constructed along the lines suggested by you, could not that be sufficiently tied by reinforced concrete so as to make it more or less impervious to an earthquake?
Mr. HOLMES. I think in the case of an earthquake the reinforcement would not do much good.
Mr. BRITTEN. You don't think it would ? Mr. HOLMES. No, sir. I know that at the time of the earthquake I was engineer of the harbor 'commission, or rather had just left there, and you could notice there was a decided difference. For instance, the Ferry Building itself rests on piles. The first fill back of that rests upon a pile platform, and back of that is a fill on the mud, and that fill is forty to fifty years old. But you could see the distinct line of demarcation between those different fills. In other words, of course the building moved not at all. The portion of filling on piles settled somewhat. The fill resting on mud settled anywhere from three to five feet below the level of the docks, showing distinctly the different effects. You understand that properly, Mr. Britten, that in the mud in front of the Ferry Building—there has never been any bottom struck. Wells have been put down as deep as 200 feet and exactly the same character of mud was found, except it was a little denser, and a foundation resting on piles depends solely on the skin friction of the piles in the mud.
Mr. PADGETT. From the borings that you made over at Alameda, did you get to a permanent, solid bottom for the piles to rest on, or would some of the piles have to depend on skin friction?
Mr. HOLMES. You might get something to hold your piling, but the question is, what is below that? We bored to about 150 feet.
Mr. PADGETT. You went to 150 feet?
Mr. PADGETT. You would have to have piles, though, going from the surface to that depth of 140 to 150 feet?
Mr. HOLMES. Yes; and below that. Mr. PADGETT. And go partly into that clay? Mr. HOLMES. Well, to be plain, Mr. Padgett, at the Alameda mole, and all through that country, you depend upon what you call skin friction piling. In some cases in the western Pacific mole there is some hardpan, but the most of it depends on friction of the mud around the piles.
Mr. PADGETT. Would it be advisable to rest a dock as heavy as this dock would be, and with the load in it, upon piles depending upon skin friction alone? Mr. HOLMES. That is what you have at Pearl Harbor now.
Mr. PADGETT. But that is slightly heavier than the water itself.
Mr. HOLMES. Yes, that is what this dock would be, the same type of dock.
Mr. PADGETT. At Alameda?
HOLMES matter I would like to bring to the attention of you gentlemen, and that is the comparison that was made at the San Francisco hearing it may not be the proper place here, it may be that it should be made on Friday-the comparison of the cost of the Dock No. 2 at Mare Island and the Dock No. 2 at Hunters Point.
Mr. PADGETT. The one at Pearl Harbor was largely experimental.
Mr. HOLMES. I am speaking now about the comparison in cost of the dock at Mare Island and Dock No. 2 at Hunters Point. They are identical, as to size.
Mr. PADGETT. Oh, I thought you said Pearl Harbor.
Mr. HOLMES. At the Mare Island Yard they had a similar experience with Dock No. 2 that they did at Pearl Harbor. The dock was started by the cofferdam method and was a failure. They spent something in the neighborhood. of, I think, a half million dollars. Then there was a successful design made for a self-contained cofferdam, which is what they originally started at Pearl Harbor, where it was not successful. On the other hand, the dock at Hunters Point, Dock No. 2, is virtually entirely veneered, and there was no experiment there. I was there from the time it was first started to the date of its completion. There was but something like one-half of 1 per cent extras, In other words, there was no change in plans. So I claim that the comparison as to costs made between the Mare Island dock and the Hunters Point dock is not right. That is, in reality the Mare Island dock would not cost as much in excess of the Hunters Point dock. It would cost probably three times as much but not four or five times as much, as stated at the San Francisco hearing.
Mr. CURRY. Mr. Chairman, I think the committee is entitled to all of the expert testimony that we can present you here. I notice Mr. F. B. Smith, who constructed the Pearl Harbor drydock, and also constructed Dock No. 2 here at Mare Island, is present. The only reason I suggest him is because he can give you some information and possibly answer some questions that are in your minds. I would also like to call upon Capt. Ellicott and Commander Bowen. I want to state that Capt. George would have been here if he could, but he has sent word that if the Navy Department wishes to hear him in Washington, or if your committee desires to hear him in Washington, if you will ask the Navy Department to order him to Washington he will appear before your committee. And Capt. Bennett, who was also commandant of this yard for a number of years, is now sick or he would have been here. Probably if you wish to hear from him he can be called to Washington, and I am inclined to think you will have listened to all you care to before you get through. Let me ask permission, if any of these gentlemen send in a signed statement, to include it in this record.
Senator Ball. Under the circumstances there will be no objection,
(Thereafter Mr. Curry submitted the following communications for the record :)