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But I want to call your attention to the fact that when your products go down the river, you start back with a loaded barge, the average being 3,500 tons. You have the swift current on the Mississippi River, and the cost of fighting that current is very heavy.
We have a proposition here that I think will go through at this session of Congress for slack-water outlet, which would give you a slack-water outlet through the Tennessee River and downstream route from the junction of the Tennessee to Cairo, Ill.
Mr. MARRIOTT. I am trying to visualize that.
Mr. RANKIN. I want to show you what that would mean to you.. The average barge load of 3,500 tons shipped from New Orleans to Cairo, the junction, would cost $7,050.
That is up the Mississippi River, where it has to fight the swift current. By this slack-water inland route, up the Tombigbee into the Tennessee and down to Cairo, the cost would be $4,620, or a saving of $2,450 on every barge load of 3,500 tons.
Now, that would tremendously expedite the use of this stream by you people in that area.
If you were going from Mobile, every barge load going from Mobile to Cairo, up the Mississippi River, would cost $8,375 for a load of 3,500 tons.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean by way of the Mississippi?
Mr. RANKIN. By way of the Mississippi River. That is to Cairo. Of course, above Cairo, there is no difference for the two routes.
But a barge load, one tow, eight barges, carrying 3,500 tons, going from Mobile, Ala., to Cairo, Ill., on its way to Sioux City would cost $8,365.
Through the Tennessee River-Tombigbee inland slack-water route, it would cost $3,325, or a saving of $5,040 on every load.
I bring this picture to you in order to show you what all this development will mean to you people as well as to us.
Mr. MARRIOTT. That is right.
Mr. RANKIN. We have discovered an oil field that, you might say, straddled the Tombigbee River; the biggest oil well ever brought in east of the Mississippi River was brought in a short distance from the Tombigbee, a year or two ago.
It produced a thousand barrels a day, and I presume it does yet.
Now, to ship this oil to you, go way around by New Orleans and fight that swift current, a barge load of it from this point, Demopolis, Ala., would cost $9,380, where as up the Tennessee Tombigbee route it would cost $2,345, or a saving of $6,935.
So every barge load that comes down and takes back a load of the material that you need, cottonseed meal and lumber and other things would save you that amount on every load going from Birmingham or Demopolis.
Mr. MARRIOTT. Now, I think that would get us some steel out of Birmington. We would be decidedly interested in that.
Mr. RANKIN. In other words, this development up there will not only help you people, but it will help us.
Mr. MARRIOTT. And back with your same argument, Congressman, we say that you should do that job down there and do our job at the same time, to make an over-all picture of the same project, so that we can do it at the same time.
Mr. RANKIN. You see, we buy our flour from you people, a lot of our corn and beef products, and things of that kind.
We have the things to sell that you need.
Mr. MARRIOTT. That is right. We have a proposed project up there right now for shipment of Nebraska winter wheat.
You know in Decatur, Ala., Nebraska put in a mill down there. That barge has to be loaded coming back to us. If we had this last winter during the car shortage, we would have had a lot of wheat now under this UNRRA program.
Mr. RANKIN. I will tell you a secret now that may get out sometime:
Every railroad lobbyist from Dan to Beersheba will be here fighting this project. I will tell you why:
They have the rates so manipulated that they are literally plundering the interior States. When you have this cheap water transportation there, they are going to have to meet the rates. They will come and try to get the railroad laborers to appear before the committee and talk about this proposition, condemning it, when as a matter of fact, no railroad man has ever been put out of a job by the development of water transportation, because what it does is to enable the railroads to get permission from the Interstate Commerce Commission to bring their rates down to meet the competition; and in fact, railroad traffic has increased where every one of these developments has been completed.
Mr. MARRIOTT. My expression, Congressman, is that it makes them
go to work.
Mr. RANKIN. Judge, I do not think you will have very much trouble with this committee.
Mr. MARRIOTT. Thank you very much, for your attention.
Mr. Olson. I would like to introduce Mr. John Kelly of the Sioux City Journal-Tribune.
STATEMENT OF JOHN KELLEY, OF THE SIOUX CITY (IOWA)
Mr. KELLY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my name is John C. Kelly: I am a newspaper publisher from Sioux City, Iowa. I have no copies of my statement prepared, but it is
. I am appearing largely in support of these gentlemen and to answer Mr. Angell's questions as to whether there has been any opposition; and I can say, as you undoubtedly know, a newspaper is a repository for any complaints that arise, and we have received none in opposition to the winter harbor here in the Big Sioux River.
I represent the Sioux City Journal-Tribune, a newspaper serving this trade area of 1,375,000 people, and am past chairman of the waterways committee of the chamber of commerce.
As previous members of our delegation here have pointed out, the vast plans of the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, and the Reclamation Bureau of the Department of the Interior call for an irrigation program, flood control, and development of navigation on the Missouri River.
As they also pointed out, the present plans call for Sioux City as the terminus of navigation of the 9-foot channel. Certainly then, it seems logical to expect that some provision be made for harboring facilities during the period navigation is tied up by ice and other emergencies which may arise on the river.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kelly, we have four other matters set for today that really have precedence over yours, but to accommodate Mr. Hoeven and you gentlemen we set them aside.
Could you not just put that in the record ?
It is not typewritten, though. I am perfectly willing to have it done if he can figure it out. As I have said, I am sorry I did not prepare it adequately.
I just came to back up the statements of the other members of the delegation.
The CHAIRMAN. I hope you can write English better than I can.
Mr. RANKIN. So you are all in favor of this proposition? There is none in opposition to it in Sioux City?
Mr. KELLY. None that we have ever come into contact with; and as I remarked, newspapers are always the repositories of any complaints, and so forth.
Mr. RANKIN. If any opposition shows up here, it will be the railroads.
Mr. KELLY. There has not been much opposition from that sector for recent years, sir.
It is remarkable how they have quieted down.
Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. A. S. Wendel, who is one of our prominent farmers and feeders near Sioux City, will now make a statement.
STATEMENT OF A. S. WENDEL, BRONSON, IOWA Mr. WENDEL. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is A. S. Wendel. I am a farmer living near the village of Bronson in northwest Iowa, about 8 miles from the Missouri River.
I have prepared a short brief on this. If you would rather, I will file it with the clerk. I do not represent any particular group, unless it is my drainage district down there. I think we can perhaps speak for all the agricultural people in that area down there, that they are very anxious to have the development of the river.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, in your farming operations, do you have general farm crops ?
Mr. WENDEL. Yes, sir; we raise corn and wheat, and feed quite a few cattle and hogs.
The whole of northwest Iowa is noted for corn and hogs and cattle.
Mr. WENDEL. Yes, I think he is. He should be, if he wants to get elected again this year.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you are going to reelect him are you not? Mr. WENDEL. I think so.
Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. Chairman, again I want to thank you for your kindness and consideration. When I first came in, I stated that I might want to file a statement at the regular scheduled hearing on
this project on the 16th, but with your permission now I would like to modify that and have permission to submit a statement at this point in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, your request is granted. (Mr. Hoeven's statement reads as follows:)
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES B. HOEVEN OF IOWA BEFORE THE
RIVERS AND HARBORS COMMITTEE, APRIL 11, 1946
Mr. Chairman I appear before this committee to urge approval of the Big Sioux River project which is now under consideration by the committee.
It is my understanding that the committee adopted a resolution on November 22, 1939, authorizing review of the report on the Sioux River (South Dakota and Iowa) submitted in House Document 93 of the 56th Congress, second session, with a view to determining if any improvement at or near the mouth of the river was advisable at this time.
The lowlands at the mouth of the Big Sioux are subject to overflow from that stream about 9 years out of 16 and by the Missouri River flood waters nearly every year. The backwater effects of the Missouri River normally extend for 4.2 miles up the Big Sioux River. Although the Big Sioux does not carry much silt its lower section has been so filled with silt carried by the Missouri River as to preclude navigation except by very small craft.
When the 9 foot channel is provided in the Missouri River between its mouth and Sioux City in accordance with the Pick Plan already authorzed by the Congress, Soux City will become the head of navigation on the Missouri River for the type of barge tow now plying on the Mississippi River. Of course this means that adequate harbor facilities must be provided. Industry has already taken up practically all of the space along the Missouri River at Sioux City which might otherwise have been used for harbor purposes.
The report on this ject considers improvement of the Big Sioux River at its mouth to serve as a harbor auxiliary to the authorized Missouri River 9-foot channel as provided for under the act of March 2, 1945. The district engineer appa rently believes that after the Missouri River project channel is sufficiently completed about 1,690,000 tons of commerce, consisting largely of coal, petroleum products, and grain, will use the proposed harbor annually. The district engineer also reports that after the authorized reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City have been constructed the area at the mouth of the Big Sioux may be considered safe from flooding. The proposed harbor will also make available a site for a water base for government equipment engaged in river work and will provide such shelter as to make it possible to extend river improvement for an additional period of at least 2 months each year,
It is estimated that the resulting savings in transportation costs after the harbor is constructed will exceed $1,182,000 during the 8-month navigation season, The value of the harbor in sheltering river craft is estimated at $21,500 annually and the filling of the adjacent areas for industrial sites will likely enhance the value of the land by $321,000.
The immediate area affected includes portions of Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, with a population of at least 1,000,000. Sioux City, Iowa, with a population in excess of 82,000, and Sioux Falls, S. Dak., with a population in excess of 40,000, are both inmportant manufacturing and commercial centers and live stock markets. Sioux City is the second largest city in Iowa and the leading industrial center in the Missouri River Basin above Omaha.
Local interests offer to provide all necessary lands for the desired harbor, will hold the United States free from damage due to contsruction and will guarantee that the terminal sites made available will be operated in the public interest. They also guarantee that all necessary connections to public utilities will be provided.
This project has the wholehearted support of all local interests involved and of course has the approval of the Chief of Army Engineers. There is no opposition to this project from any source as far as I have been able to determine.
The project is part of the over-all improvement plan for the Missouri River Basin. It does not involve a large expenditure of money and I sincerely hope that this committee will add its approval so that work on the project may commence at the earliest opportunity.
The CHAIRMAN. Personally, I cannot be here on the 16th myself. Mr. HOEVEN. Again I want to express my appreciation, on behalf of this delegation, for the time you have given us today.
Mr. McDONOUGH. Mr. Hoeven, it is understood, then, that there is no further testimony on this project?
Mr. HOEVEN. Not unless the committee desires it. As I said, there is no opposition to this, whatsoever, and we trust it will receive favorable consideration at your hands.
(Discussion off the record.)
(Sabine River and tributaries, Texas-Adams Bayou project, heard at this point, printed separately.)
TRINITY RIVER BELOW LIBERTY TO THE HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL, TEXAS.
Colonel Feringa. The next project deals with Trinity River in Texas.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the channel down through the bay to the Gulf?
Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir. The project was authorized, as you know, in the last River and Harbor Act, and at that time you were instrumental in having an item put in the act to determine whether a different location should be established.
The CHAIRMAN. The change in the location after you got into Galveston Bay ?
Colonel FERINGA. Yes. And as a result of that report, there will be a saving to the United States.
Mr. Chairman, the report on Trinity River from Houston ship channel to Liberty is in response to a resolution adopted on February 16, 1944, by the Rivers and Harbors Committee.
The channel under consideration extends from the Houston ship channel in Galveston Bay, Tex., northeasterly about 20.3 miles across the central part of Trinity Bay to Anahuac, Tex., and thence up Trinity River along a straightened alinement about 25 miles to a turning basin at Liberty, Tex.
Trinity Bay has an average width of about 8 miles and a natural depth of 6 feet at mean low tide is available over a large portion of it.
During storm periods vessels would encounter some difficulty in navigating a narrow channel across the central portion of the bay.
Its eastern shore, extending from Anahuac to Smith Point at its lower end, is bordered by a steep clay bank which varies in height from 20 feet at Anahuac to 5 feet at Smith Point.
From Smith Point, Red Fish Reef, over which the water depth is shallow, extends southwesterly across Galveston Bay. The Houston ship channel crosses this reef about 6 miles west from Smith Point.
Subsequent to adoption of the resolution authorizing this report and to preparation of the report of the district engineer, construction of the channel was authorized by the River and Harbor Act approved March 2, 1945, as a part of the project for improvement of Trinity River and tributaries, Texas, for navigation, flood control, and allied purposes. The authorized channel depth is 9 feet and the width 200 feet across the bay and 150 feet in the river section.
When constructed this channel would replace three previously authorized project channels which together provide for a channel with controlling depth of 6 feet from Trinity Bay to Liberty.