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STATEMENT OF HAROLD B. WOODLIEF, SECRETARY-MANAGER,
EAST CHICAGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, EAST CHICAGO, IND.
Mr. WOODLIEF. Mr. Chairman, I am secretary-manager of the East Chicago Chamber of Commerce, East Chicago, Ind. I am also authorized to speak for the Hammond Chamber of Commerce, and for the Grand Calumet Development Association, which is an association approximately 30 years of age that has studied the entire project.
We say this as a whole: That all three organizations endorse and recommend the complete report of the Army engineers. However, I only want to speak for just one moment upon this portion, or the junction of the Grand Calumet, the Little Calumet, and the Calumet River, on over to Pine Avenue, which is the eastern border line of the city of East Chicago.
You will note in reading the report, which has been approved by the Congress, that it comes over only to this point [pointing on map), and that goes into Indiana Harbor. We are desirous of having this changed on over to Pine Avenue, as on both sides it is highly industrialized, having several large plants, such as the duPont Co., the United States lead industry, Metal & Thermit Corp., and so on. And, by the way, Metal & Thermit was the company that made more tin than any other company in the United States during the war.
We have been working, and by “we” I mean the East Chicago Chamber of Commerce, for more than 20 years upon this, and I believe the record will show that we have never missed a divisional meeting of the Army engineers. We have always filed and prepared briefs and statements endorsing sometimes and condemning sometimes, because we have not always been in accord with the engineers.
But through various meetings we have been able to work out all of our disagreements, and we believe now in this recommendation in its entirety, with no exceptions. That is the position that we take.
I was very much interested in Mr. Adams' statement that there did not seem to be the bitterness between the railroads and others in the matter of this particular project that there has been in some others. While he has submitted some facts according to his analysis that differ from the engineers, I am not going to argue that point at all because that is up to you to decide which one is right. Again I say, we stand upon the engineers' figures, but we do appreciate that there is not the bitterness here that seems to exist in the case of some other projects.
Senator OVERTON. I think there is one point on which you might throw some light, and that is the increase in width which has been asserted.
Mr. WOODLIEF. All right.
Senator OVERTON. That is advocated because, among other things, of the shortness of that channel.
Mr. WOODLIEF. All right. Senator OVERTON. At the confluence of the Chicago and Calumet Channel. That throws a considerable density of traffic that might require a broader channel, and we would save on such a long channel going into the coastal waterways. What have you to say on that point?
Mr. WOODLIEF. We think it is absolutely necessary at this time in predicting what was brought out for the 25-year period. Let me
point out that the city of Gary is only 40 years of age. Is that correct, Mr. Stevenson?
Mr. STEVENSON. It began in 1906.
Mr. WOODLIEF. With a population which they hope to have in the next 10 years
Senator ÖYERTON. They have 130,000 now, have they not?
Mr. WOODLIEF. Yes, sir. But in the next 10 years they hope to have a city of 250,000. East Chicago, Ind., has a population of about 56,000 according to the Federal census, but according to the chamber of commerce a population of about 63,000. At the best we cannot expand more than 15,000 people within the city limits. We have no land to build upon for houses. It is all industrial. Every foot of this canal within the corporate limits of East Chicago is industrial property. And we are gradually building to the point where, with the volume of what is being built up, I think the probabilities are that over $100,000,000 is going to be expended in this little area (pointing to the map]. If that continues, we have to have an outlet to go back down to the south, having to have an outlet to develop that extra production we are going to have to get into that country.
So I think this project is highly desirable at this time. I have said to you that this is all industrial property (pointing on map]. I do not state that it is all built up at the present time, but if we are going to look to the future we should take advantage of the opportunity and buy it now, I mean develop this project now, rather than have plants built up there and later on having to tear them down and build them back up again.
Senator OVERTON. You are now talking about width?
Mr. WOODLIEF. Yes, sir. I think that is highly desirable. I think the county commissioners would help, and Gary pay 33 percent and we pay 26 percent of the taxes of the county. We endorse this whole project as recommended. Again I am speaking from this point over to Pine Avenue.
Senator OVERTON. We thank you very much. Does that complete che hearings on this project?
The Chair understands that there is no other witness to be heard. So we are very much obliged to you gentlemen.
(Thereupon Mr. Woodlief withdrew from the committee table.)
Senator OVERTON. We will now proceed to the consideration of the improvement of the Sacramento River deep water channel, California.
THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE SACRAMENTO RIVER DEEP WATER CHANNEL,
Senator OVERTON. There will be inserted in the record at this point a letter from Senator Downey with respect to the Sacramento River project:
JUNE 12, 1916. Senator John H. OVERTON, The Committee on Commerce,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR OVERTON : I very much regret that other legislative duties make It impossible for me to appear before the Commerce Committee today in support of the Sacramento River deep channel project, included in the pending rivers and harbors bill, H. R. 6407.
For many years the Sacramento deep channel has been the special interest of a large number of communities and a wide range of interests in the Sacramento Valley. Construction of the project would extend the sea routes on the Pacific into the Central Valley of California.
This Central Valley, now being developed under a comprehensive plan, possesses one of the greatest potentials in western America for agricultural expansion, hydroelectric development, and the growth of industry, including important military bases for our national defense along the western sea frontier. While the Sacramento deep channel has always been considered apart from the Central Valley project, it must be obvious that the potentials which support one of these also support the other.
Since the days of the gold rush, now almost a century ago, considerable use has been made by lighter craft of this natural water route into the interior of California; at various times large tonnages have moved down the river from landings 50 to 100 miles north of the city of Sacramento. Unfortunately for the development of deep-water transportation, the Sacramento in its lower reaches meanders through a flat deltaic j lain, naking it necessary, therefore, to correct the natural set-up by constructing an alternate and much shorter route by way of a ship canal from deep water in Suisun Bay. What I am here emphasizing is that the natural drainage lines and the economic potentials bo support the extension of the deep-water route to Sacramento.
I am hopeful, therefore, that your committee will follow the action of the
SHERIDAN DOWNEY. Senator OVERTON. Colonel Feringa, will you explain this project?
STATEMENT OF COL. P. A. FERINGA, DIRECTOR OF CIVIL WORKS,
OFFICE, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY
Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, the report on Sacramento River, Calif., deep water channel, is in response to a resolution adopted October 26, 1933, by the Senate Commerce Committee. It is printed as Senate Document 142, Seventy-ninth Congress.
The Sacramento River rises in northern California, flows south about 375 miles, and empties into Suisun Bay, an arm of San Francisco Bay, at Collinsville, Calif.
The principal tributaries below Red Bluff, mile 245, both from the east, are Feather River 80 miles above Collinsville and American River at mile 60 immediately above the city of Sacramento on the east bank of the river. Below Sacramento the river winds through a net of interconnecting tidal channels between levees and reclaimed islands.
The tidal channels are located here [indicating on map]; this area is a mass of channels.
The existing Federal navigation project for Sacramento River provides for a depth of 10 feet from the mouth to Sacramento, 59 miles, thence 6 feet to Colusa, 85 miles, 5 feet to Chico Landing, 49 miles, and such depth as may be practicable to Red Bluff.
The principal adjacent commercial waterways under Federal improvement are the channels in Suisun Bay and a channel 30 feet deep extending from deep water in Suisun Bay easterly up the San Joaquin River about 41 miles to Stockton, Calif.
During the 10 years 1934–43, commerce on the Sacramento River averaged 756,640 tons annually, and in 1943 amounted to about 832,700 tons. In 1939, the last year of normal prewar traffic, about 746,000 tons of freight moved on Sacramento River in 6,700 vessel trips.
Sacramento is the capital of California. It has commercial affiliations with an area of about 114,000 square miles in north-central California and Nevada, containing a population of over 568,000 in 1940, including 106,000 in Sacramento, and 21,300 in Reno, Nev.; there are about 30 other communities with populations ranging from 1,000 to 10,000.
The principal occupations in this area are farming, including stock raising, processing of agricultural products, manufacturing, and mining.
Local interests desire the provision of a channel 30 feet deep and 150 to 200 feet wide from deep water in Suisun Bay near Collinsville to Washington Lake, an inland water 1.5 miles west of Sacramento; a harbor and turning basin at the lake; and a shallow-draft channel connecting this basin with Sacramento River at Sacramento.
Senator OVERTON. Did you say only 30 feet deep?
Advocates of the improvement believe that it will result in substantial savings in transportation costs; that sufficient tonnage is in immediate prospect to economically justify the work, and that it will stimulate industrial and commercial activities in the region.
The reporting officers present a plan of improvement which provides for a channel 30 feet deep and 300 feet wide in Sacramento River for 15 miles from Collinsville to the mouth of Cache slough, a west bank tributary, for 3.0 miles up Cache slough, and for 0.5 mile beyond; thence a land cut channel 30 feet deep, 200 feet wide where straight and 300 feet wide on bends, along the west side of the east Yolo bypass levee to about mile 40 and northeasterly about 2.5 miles to Washington Lake; a harbor and turning basin 30 feet deep, 1,000 feet wide and 1,200 feet long in Washington Lake; and a barge channel 1.5 miles long, 11 feet deep and 120 feet wide from the harbor to Sacramento River with a lock 60 by 425 feet, a drawbridge for railway and highway traffic in conjunction with the lock, and facilities for the passage of fish.
The Chief of Engineers sent his proposed report, the reports of the district and division engineers and of the Board of Engineers to the Governor of the State of California and to the Secretary of the Interior. The Chief of Engineers concurs in general in their views and is of the opinion that it would be proper for the United States to make provision to check any possiblility of salt-water intrusion.
I should have stated that there has been some thought of the possibility of salt-water intrusion. The Corps of Engineers recognized that possibility and proposed that the cost of remedial works should be borne by the State of California. In accordance with the requirements of existing low, the proposed report was sent to the Governor of California and he replied, "No." He expressed the view that the costs should be borne by the Federal Government as has been done in other instances. The Chief of Engineers concurs with the Governor of California that definite provision should be made to prevent salt-water intrusion, and if such intrusion occurs, remedial works will be installed by the Federal Government. I will come back to that later.
The Chief of Engineers concurs in general in the Governor's view, and is of the opinion that it would be proper for the United States to bear the cost of works to prevent any detrimental salinity conditions resulting from the construction of the ship canal.
After due consideration of these reports and of the views of the Director of Public Works of the State of California and the Secretary of the Interior, the Chief of Engineers recommends modification of the existing navigation project for Sacramento River, Calif., to provide for construction of a ship channel 30 feet deep and 200 to 300 feet wide from deep water in Suisun Bay to Washington Lake, including such works as may be necessary to compensate for or to alleviate any detrimental salinity conditions resulting from the ship channel.
I would like to underline those words including such works as may be necessary to compensate for or to alleviate any detrimental salinity conditions."
The recommendation also provides for a basin of equal depth, 1,000 feet wide and 1,200 feet long, at Washington Lake; and a connecting channel 11 feet deep and 120 feet wide, with lock and drawbridge, thence to Sacramento River; in general accordance with the plans of the district engineer at an estimated cost to the United States of $10,742,000 for new work and $66,000 annually for operation and maintenance in addition to the amount now required, plus an additional amount for salinity control works when found necessary at an estimated maximum cost of $2,000,000.
The improvement is recommended, provided that no work shall be undertaken until responsible local agencies agree to furnish without cost to the United States all necessary lands, easements, rights-ofway and spoil disposal areas for the initial work and subsequent maintenance when and as required and to make all necessary utility changes, and until they give assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will (a) construct, operate, and maintain at the Washington Lake Basin an adequate public terminal with necessary utilities and rail and highway connections open to all on equal terms, (6) hold and save the United States free from any damages which may arise from construction, operation, and maintenance of the improvement.
The cost to the United States for navigation works is $10,742,000, and the outside cost to prevent any salt-water intrusion would be $2,000,000, that is, positive control by means of a lock and dam. We do not believe that is necessary, but we include the cost of a lock and dam to be on the safe side.
Senator OVERTON. What is the objection to salt-water intrusion?
Colonel FERINGA. May I answer that later? I can answer it now, if you prefer.
Senator OVERTON. What does it affect, agriculture?
Senator OVERTON. They use the water in the Sacramento area to irrigate, do they?
Colonel FERINGA. Yes, sir; in part. They also get water for that purpose from local sources, I think wells and channels along this general area. But some water would be taken out of the river.
Senator OVERTON. If the water is confined to the river and is not used for drinking purposes, salinity of the water would not cause any damage, would it?
Colonel FERINGA. The farmers feel they will have to draw water from the river and put it on the land. This water might adversely affect their crops.