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The CHAIRMAN. That is right; it did not. In other words, the only authority for channelization at Federal expense was in those cases like Los Angeles under the act of 1936 and cases like this, and they were brought forward in 1938 and that act was modified subsequently, and it is your view that those projects authorized under the 1936 act would be construed also under the act of 1938 ? Mr. BEARD. Yes, sir; that is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. What are the local interests required to do in this case ?
Mr. BIRRELL. Local interests are required to secure land easements and rights-of-way for flood walls and levees and for alterations to certain existing improvements.
The CHAIRMAN. What land easements? Mr. BIRRELL. Land easements and rights-of-way for construction of flood protection along Wills Creek, which is a tributary of the North Branch and which causes a great deal of damage by floods in that area and for other areas protected by walls and levees.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the estimated cost? Mr. BIRRELL. The estimated cost for Federal participation is $7,420,000, sir. · The CHAIRMAN. And for the local interests? Mr. BIRRELL. My recollection is $1,520,000, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the ratio of benefits to costs? Mr. BIRRELL. The ratio of benefits to costs is in excess of unity. In other words, for all the benefits which can be definitely evaluated the ratio of benefits to costs is in excess of one to one. There are many benefits, however, which are not subject to monetary evaluation which should receive consideration.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
(April 9, 1946–Continued)
ALTAMAHA RIVER, GA.
The next matter under consideration is local protective project for the city of Macon, Ga. It has been submitted to the Director of the Budget.
Hon. Carl Vinson appears before the committee and makes the following statement in behalf of this project, and the statement of Representative Vinson, previously appearing, is now passed to the reporter to be inserted in connection with this project.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF HON. Carl VINSON, MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM THE SIXTH
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
Mr. Chairman, I desire to thank you for giving me an opportunity to express to your committee my views on the pending rivers and harbors bill.
I am particularly interested in the recommendations with respect to improvements of the Altamaha River, Ga., and its tributaries.
The proposal before you in connection with the improvement of existing levees and extending the same has been recommended by the district and regional engineers, the Chief of Engineers, and the Governor of Georgia.
Since the details of the recommendations are outlined in the report of the Chief of Engineers to the Secretary of War which I am attaching as a part of my remarks, I shall not go into the details of the same; however, I desire to ask very special consideration for this project, for it means a great deal to the city of Macon, Ga., and particularly the southern part of the city. The area within the city which is not protected is a heavily built up industrial area and it contains 12 manufacturing establishments, railroad yards, and a large recreation park.
The improvements will greatly benefit the city of Macon, for they are subjected to flood conditions at all seasons of the year and there is an annual flood damage amounting to an average of about $17,000.
I respectfully urge the committee's favorable consideration of the Chief of Engineers' recommendations for the improvement of the levees along the Altamaha River system.
The CHAIRMAN. You will please give us a summary of the problem and the proposed solution with the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers.
STATEMENT OF COL. E. G. HERB, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CIVIL
WORKS DIVISION, OFFICE, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS Colonel HERB. The authority for this study was the Flood Control Act approved June 22, 1936.
The Ocmulgee River, Ga., is formed about 40 miles southeast of the city of Atlanta by the junction of South River and Yellow River. It flows in a general southeasterly direction for about 255 miles and joins Oconee River to form Altamaha River. Macon, a city with a metropolitan population of 84,000, is located on the west of Ocmulgee River, 205 miles above the mouth. The basin above Macon covers about 2.240 square miles of hilly, central upland. The average annual rainfall in the Ocmulgee River basin is 48.8.
About 1870 the city of Macon built the first levee along the west bank of the river to protect the present recreational grounds south of Fifth Street. Later, a corporation known as the Ocmulgee Levee Co. built a low levee approximately 4.25 miles long along the west bank of the river. In 1929 the low levee was raised from the lower part of the recreational area to the Macon, Dublin, and Savannah Railroad bridge.
Two types of storms result in high average rainfall over the Ocmulgee River Basin-extratropical cyclones which occur throughout the year, and tropical hurricanes which usually occur during July to October. Floods on Ocmulgee River result from the run-off from heavy rainfall which occurs during all seasons of the year. In general, Macon occupies lands above the maximum recorded floods, however, major floods inundate lands in the southern part of the city below Fifth Street Bridge, which is the area under consideration in this report. Flood losses average $17,715 annually.
The plan of improvement provides for extending and enlarging the present levee by constructing a sheet pile wall extending from Fifth Street south 1,160 feet to the upper end of the city levee, enlargement of the city levee, thence to a point about 13,600 feet south of Fifth Street, and the construction of a levee southward for about 7,000 feet, then west 7,900 feet to the tracks of the Southern Railroad, and gravity drainage outlets.
The total first cost of the project is $388,500, of which the non-Fed'eral cost is $39,500.
Ratio of costs to benefits are 1.0 to 1.3.
The recommendation of the Chief of Engineers is in accord with the plan that I have presented, subject to certain conditions of local cooperation.
Responsible local agencies must give assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will (a) provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements and rights-of-way necessary for construction of the improvements; (6) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works; and (c) maintain and operate all the works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.
The CHAIRMAN. The local people are required to furnish the rightsof-way?
Colonel HERB. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any flood gates to be constructed or maintained?
Colonel HERB. No, sir.; just drainage outlets through the levee.
Washington, February 1, 1946.
1. I submit for transmission to Congress my interim report with accompanying papers and illustrations on preliminary examination and survey of Altamaha River, Ga., authorized by the Flood Control Act approved June 22, 1936. It is devoted to consideration of the food problems in the vicinity of Macon, Ga., on Ocmulgee River, a tributary of Altamaha River. The advisability of improving Altamaha River and its tributaries for the control of floods in other areas will be covered in a separate report.
2. Oemulgee River, Ga., is formed about 40 miles southeast of the city of Atlanta by the junction of South River and Yellow River. It flows in a general southeasterly direction for about 255 miles and joins Oconee River to form Altamaha River which continues southeasterly about 137 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. Macon, a city with a metropolitan population of 84,000, is located on the west bank of Ocmulgee River with its Fifth Street Highway Bridge crossing the river 205 miles above the mouth. The river basin upstream from Macon consists of 2,240 square miles of the hilly central upland of Georgia in which the stream valleys are narrow. Below Macon, the river meanders in a comparatively wide flood plain through the flatter coastal lands. The Federal navigation project for Altamaha, Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers contemplates an appropriation of $40,000 annually for maintenance of a 3-foot depth by open channel work in Altamaha River, the lower 145 miles of Oconee River and in Ocmulgee River to Macon and for the accomplishment of such increase in depth as may be secured within the expenditure of that total amount. During the most favorable 9 months of the year, the controlling depth of Macon is at present about 1 foot. Existing navigation is confined to Altamaha River and the lower sections of its source tributaries.
3. In general the city of Macon occupies lands above the elevation of maximum recorded floods. IIowever, major floods exceed the elevation of the lands in the southern part of the city downstream from the Fifth Street Bridge. This portion of the city and the tiood plain extending thence downstream to the Southern Railway bridge at mile 191.9 is the area under consideration in this report. On the east bank of the river, the flood plain between these points contains 700 acres of cultivated lands in narrow tracts and 3,460 acres of low poorly drained wooded lands. The area on the west bank contains 6,500 acres. The northerly 700 acres of this, comprising area A, contains 12 manufacturing establishments, tracks of the Central of Georgia Railway which crosses the river on a bridge about 500 feet below Fifth Street, railroad yards, a park and recreation area of the city, and some farm land. It extends downstream to the bridge at mile 203.4 on which the Macon, Dublin & Savannah Railroad crosses the river. Thence area B extends south for about 11.000 feet containing 2.600 acres, principally farm lands but with some woodland and mine areas from which clay is obtained for manufacturing in area A. The flood plain in areas A and B combined embraces 540 acres of cultivated land, 1,400 acres of hay and idle lands, 510 industrialized acres and 850 acres of wooded and waste lands. Between area B and the Southern Railway track to the south, is area C containing 116 acres of cultivated lands in small parcels and 1,554 acres of wooded area. Area D, south of the Southern Railway, contains 234 acres on which brick manufacturing companies are operating, 80 acres of cultivated lands and 1,218 acres of woods. Most of the cultivated farm land is devoted to the raising of corn although garden truck crops occupy a small acreage. There is no Federal project for flood control. Local interests have constructed a levee, known as the city levee, on the west bank of the river commencing about 1,100 feet below Fifth Sireet and extending about 4.25 miles downstream. Levee cross sections are inadequate and during past floods foundation failures have occurred.
4. The floods on Ocmulgee River result from the run-off from heavy rainfall storms which occur during all seasons of the year. Areas C and D begin to be inundated when floods reach a stage of 18 feet at Fifth Street. Flooding of area B and lands on the east side of the river commences at a stage of 20 feet. Stages of about 25 feet cause flood damages in the industrial area. Sixty-five floods since 1894 have reached stages of 18 feet or more, two with discharges of 70,000 cubic feet per second have resulted in stages of 26.1 feet and a stage of 25 feet or more is to be expected with an average annual frequency of once in about 10 years. Flood losses in areas C and D, and in the east bank flood plain are small. The district engineer estimates the average annual flood damage in the industrialized area A at $16,200. He considers it practicable to protect most of area B by a levee and for the portion which would be protected estimates the average annual flood damages, which are agricultural in nature at $1,515.
5. Local interests desire improvements to afford flood protection for the industrial area at Macon and the farm lands to the south on the west bank of the river. Landowners on the east side of the river request that if the westbank lands are protected by a levee, the east bank flood plain be equally protected. Local interests have indicated their willingness to furnish the lands required for construction of an adequate protective levee on the west bank, to assume responsibility for damages resulting from the provision of such a levee and to maintain the improvement after its completion.
6. The district engineer finds that the east bank flood plain and areas C and D on the west bank cannot be protected from floods at justified cost. Also his investigations indicate that levee construction affords the most suitable means of providing protection for areas A and B and that the whole of area B cannot be so protected without constriction of the floodway to such extent as to raise flood stages with resulting increased damages to inprotected areas. His preferred plan, plan D, is designed to protect area A and most of area B without appreciably increasing flood heights. It consists of a sheet-pile wall extending from Fifth Street south, 1,160 feet to the upper end of the city levee, enlargement of the city levee thence to a point about 13,600 feet south of Fifth Street, construction of a levee thence southward along a new alinement for about 7,000 feet and thence west 7,900 feet to the tracks of the Southern Railway and the provision of gravity drainage outlets through the levee. The proposed levee · grade is designed to provide a 3-foot freeboard along the river front, and 2-foot freeboard thence to the railroad tracks, above a flood profile for a discharge of 105,000 cubic feet per second and stage of 30 feet at Fifth Street. The district engineer estimates that such a flood would have an average frequency of occurrences of once in 400 years. The estimated cost to the United States for construction is $251,500 and to local interests for furnishing the necessary lands and rights-of-way, $39,500, total of $291,000. Total average annual costs are estimated at $12,200 and average annual benefits at $21,000. The latter includes $15,800 for the prevention of flood damages and $5.200 for enhancement in the value of the protected lands. These estimates indicate a ratio of costs to benefits for the improvement of 1 to 1.72. The district and division engineers recomment the work provided local interests furnish the necessary lands and agree to save the United States free from any claims for damages resulting from the work and to maintain the levee system satisfactorily after its completion.
7. The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, after affording local interests an opportunity to present additional information and carefully considering the communications received, concludes that plan D of the district engineer is a generally suitable one. However the Board estimates the Federal cost for construction at $349,000 to provide for protective works of increased strength. On that basis it computes the total average annual cost at $16.200 and the ratio of annual costs to benefits at 1 to 1.3. The Board recommends the work at the estimated increased cost subject to conditions of local cooperation.
8. After due consideration I concur in the views of the Board and accordingly recommend the provision of flood protection for Macon, Ga., and adjoining lands to the south on Ocmulgee River, by the construction of a levee and appurtenant works in general accordance with plan D of the district engineer as shown on accompanying drawings, with such modifications thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost to the United States of $349,000, subject to the condition that responsible local agencies give assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will (a) provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements and rights-of-way necessary for construction of the improvements, (6) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works, and
(c) maintain and operate all the works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.
R. A. WHEELER, Lieutenant General, Chief of Engineers.
THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORB,
Washington, D. C., May 28, 1945. To the CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
United States Army: 1. Local interests were advised of the nature of the report of the division engineer and invited to present additional information to the Board. Careful consideration has been given to the communications received.
2. In the opinion of the Board, plan D of the district engineer is a generally suitable one. However, the Board estimates the Federal cost for construction at $349,000 to provide for a levee of increased strength. On this basis, it computes the average annual cost at $16,200. With annual benefits estimated by the district engineer at $21,000, this indicates a ratio of cost to benefits of 1 to 1.3.
3. Accordingly the Board recommends the provision of flood protection for Macon, Ga., and adjoining lands to the south on Ocmulgee River, by the construction of a levee and appurtenant works in general accordance with plan D of the district engineer as shown on accompanying drawings, with such modifications thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost to the United States of $349,000, subject to the condition that responsible local agencies gives assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will (a) provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary for construction of the improvements, (b) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works, and (c) maintain and operate all the works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War, For the Board:
JOHN J. KINGMAN, Brigadier General, United States Army, Senior Membcr. The CHAIRMAN. Any other remarks from opponents or proponents?
If not, the hearings for today are completed and we will adjouru until 10 in the morning.
(Thereupon, at 12:30 p. m., the committee adjourned until Wednesday, April 10, 1946, at 10 a. m.)
(April 18, 1946)
JAMES RIVER, VA. The CHAIRMAN. We now have for consideration the project on the James River in Virginia.
I should like to say in this connection we have had previously inquiries from a great many witnesses who are interested in the James River project; and the committee has advised them that when we reached the James River in the schedule of the hearings announced, the report had not been submitted, and that there would be no hearings—and that is true. There were no hearings at that time.
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