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BRIDGE ACROSS THE POTOMAC RIVER BETWEEN OLD

TOWN, MD., AND GREEN SPRING, W. VA.

May 29, 1935.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. COLE of Maryland, from the Committee on Interstate and

Foreign Commerce, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 7395)

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 7395) authorizing M. R. Carpenter, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Potomac River between Old Town, Md., and Green Spring, W. Va., having considered the same report thereon with a recommendation that it pass with the following amendments:

Page 1, line 6, strike out the commas immediately after the words "be" and "hereby".

Page 3, line 22, strike out the word "centum" and insert in lieu thereof the word "cent”.

The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the letter attached.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

April 15, 1935. Respectfully returned to the Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.

So far as the interests committed to this Department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill H. R. 7395, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, authorizing M. R. Carpenter, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Potomac River between Old Town, Md., and Green Spring, W. Va.

Geo. H. DERN, Secretary of War.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

Washington, D. C., April 22, 1935. Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. RAYBURN: Careful consideration has been given to the bill H. R. 7395, transmitted with your letter of April 11 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the Department might desire to communicate.

H. Repts., 74-1, vol. 2-74

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This bill would authorize M. R. Carpenter, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a toll bridge and approaches thereto across the Potomac River between Old Town, Md., and Green Spring, W. V&. The bill contains the usual committee provision for private toll-bridge bills with respect to the bridge being taken over at any time by the interested States, or by public agencies or political subdivisions thereof, together with the usual limitation on the amount of damages or compensation which shall be allowed in case it is 80 taken over by condemnation after 5 years following the completion thereof. A bridge across the Potomac River at the point proposed would not be a large and expensive structure and, therefore, should not be difficult to finance as & public enterprise if there is a real need for a bridge at that point. Furthermore, the States of Maryland and West Virginia have just recently acquired several private toll bridges across the Potomac River west of Washington, and it is not believed that any new private toll bridge should be authorized across this stream. The Department, therefore, recommends against favorable action on the bill. Sincerely,

R. G. TUGWELL,

Acting Secretary.

L. V. THOMPSON,
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY,

Romney, W. Va., May 1, 1935. COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: Mr. M. R. Carpenter, of Hancock, Md., has asked me to write you in regard to the local condition at Green Spring, W. Va., in regard to crossing the North Branch of the Potomac River at this point.

The only means of crossing the river is at a ford which connects Green Spring, W. Va., and Oldtown, Md. This means of crossing the river is hardly satisfactory, even in the summertime, when the river is low, and during the winter there are very few times when the ford can be crossed and the only means of crossing the river is a small skiff for foot passengers only.

I have been prosecuting attorney of Hampshire County for a number of years and we have tried on one or two occasions to join with the road commissioners of Maryland to build a bridge across the north branch of the Potomac at this point. The people of the two towns are very much interested in having some means of crossing the river, and this is especially true for the people of Green Spring, because just across on the Maryland side there is a good concrete road leading into the city of Cumberland, which would mean a good deal to the people from the West Virginia side.

They have attempted in every possible known way to get the States and counties to build this bridge, but due to the financial condition of the counties, we have never been able to meet their requests.

I understand that Mr. Carpenter proposes to build a private bridge, on private property, at his own expense, and of course charge toll to reimburse him for his expenses. I certainly can see no objection to this enterprise, since the same would not interfere in any way with the present ford and could be used by the people until a public bridge is constructed.

I believe such an arrangement would be helpful to the community and that the people generally would appreciate the private owned bridge until a free public bridge could be erected.

Any consideration the committee might give to this matter I am sure will be appreciated by the people in the vicinity on the West Virginia side and also on the Maryland side. As a matter of convenience I believe the bridge would be of more convenience for the people of West Virginia, but as a matter of financial interest, it would mean more to the people of Maryland, since it would give the people in the vicinity of Green Spring an excellent outlet to Cumberland, Md. Yours very truly,

L. V. THOMPSON,

Prosecuting Attorney. O

BRIDGE ACROSS THE MONONGAHELA RIVER BETWEEN

DONORA AND MONESSEN

MAY 29, 1935.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. WOLFENDEN, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign

Commerce, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 7591)

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 7591) granting the consent of Congress to the cities of Donora and Monessen, Pa., municipal corporations, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Monongahela River between the two cities, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass with the following amendments:

Page 1, line 4, strike out “municipal corporations of”.
Page 1, line 7, after the word “cities” insert a comma.
Page 2, line 7, after the word “management" insert a comma.
Amend the title so as to read:

A bill granting the consent of Congress to the cities of Donora and Monessen, Pennsylvania, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Monongahela River between the two cities.

The bill has the approval of the War and Agriculture Departments, as will appear by the letters attached.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., April 27, 1935. Respectfully returned to the Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.

So far as the interests committed to this Department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill H. R. 7591, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, granting the consent of Congress to the cities of Donora and Monessen, Pennsylvania municipal corporations, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Monongahela River between the two cities.

Geo. H. DERN, Secretary of War.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

Washington, D. C., May 2, 1985. Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. RAYBURN: Careful consideration has been given to the bill, H. R. 7591, transmitted with your letter of April 23 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the Department might desire to communicate.

This bill would authorize the cities of Donora and Monessen, State of Pennsylvania, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge and approaches thereto across the Monongahela River between such cities. Provision is contained in the bill that if tolls should be charged for the use of such bridge, the rates of such tolls shall be such as will meet annual maintenance, repair, and operation costs, and provide a sinking fund sufficient to amortize the cost of the construction of the bridge and its approaches within a period of not to exceed 20 years from the completion thereof. If tolls should thereafter be charged for the use of such bridge, they would be limited to such rates as will provide sufficient funds only for annual repair, maintenance, and operation costs. The bill is without objection so far as this Department is concerned. Sincerely,

M. L. WILSON, Acting Secretary.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D. C., April 24, 1995. Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: In connection with H. R. 7591, a bill to grant the consent of Congress to construct a toll bridge across the Monongahela River between the cities of Donora and Monessen, Pa., I submit the following which is a copy of report of the legislative committee of the cities of Donora and Monessen, concerning this project.

This report answers all the questions in connection with a letter received from the clerk of the committee. Sincerely yours,

Chas. I. FADDIS.

REPORT OF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, PROPOSED DONORA-MONESSEN BRIDGE

PROJECT

POPULATION
Donora.—About 14,000.
Monessen.—About 21,000.
Within a radius of 15 miles of Donora, about 100,000.

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PRESENT FACILITIES

Monessen-Donora vehicular traffic must travel via Route No. 907, sometimes known as the “Monessen-Webster Road." This distance is about 4 miles. Drivers have the option of traveling on Route No. 88, through Lock No. 4, and across the Monessen-Charleroi toll bridge. This distance is about 8 miles.

CONDITION OF ROADS

The most direct route, i. e., the Monessen-Webster Road, is 16 feet wide, rough, road bed in bad condition, and flanked on one side by a cliff from which rocks and debris fall, oftentimes blocking the entire road. This road is dangerous in every respect. To widen, repair, and make the road safer would cost about $300,000. The Pennsylvania Department of Highways, in spite of insistent demands, has given no encouragement or assurance that the road will be repaired.

TRAFFIC

Traffic between the two communities is heavy. Having made a survey about December 1, 1934, it is safe to say that at least 2,700 cars, trucks, and busses travel the Monessen-Webster Road daily. From August 21, 1932, to May 14, 1933, the automobile accidents on the Monessen-Webster Road resulted in 23 people being hurt, 3 killed, and property damage amounting to approximately $3,500.

RECOMMENDATION

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The construction of a bridge across the Monongahela River with the ends of the bridge bordering the outskirts of Donora and Monessen, is, in the opinion of the committee, the only solution to the problem for the following reasons:

1. It would shorten the traveling distance between the two communities.

2. It would provide a safe and direct route for all traffic going up and down the Monongahela Valley.

3. Repairing the Monessen-Webster Road would be a waste of the taxpayer's money, for the road will, because of topographical conditions, always be hazardous and dangerous.

4. Taking into consideration all the factors concerning vehicular traffic in the Monongahela Valley, the construction of a bridge as indicated above, is the safest, most expedient, and in the long run, the cheapest solution to the whole problem. Respectfully submitted,

Chairman. First. A report to the committee shows that the financial condition of Donora and Monessen is such that it is impossible for the two communities to construct a bridge.

Second. After making a careful survey the committee estimated that 80 percent of the traffic entering and leaving Monessen would cross the bridge, which, in addition to other traffic, would amount to at least 2,000 vehicles a day.

Third. The proposed toll is as follows: Passenger cars.

$0. 10 Y-ton trucks

. 15 All other trucks...

. 25 Busses...

. 25 Fourth. The toll on other toll bridges is the same as the proposed toll mentioned above.

Fifth. No grade crossings would be eliminated by the proposed bridge, but the Monessen-Webster road is as dangerous as any grade crossing in this section.

Sixth. Postal service between the two communities would be improved because the distance would be shortened by 50 percent.

Seventh. The construction of the bridge, because of its permanency and usefulness, coupled with the fact that Monongahela Valley has had no major projects, would be a boon in every respect.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D. C., April 26, 1935. Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

Washington, D. C. MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: I am writing to you concerning H. R. 7591: A bill granting the consent of Congress to the cities of Donora and Monessen, Pa., municipal corporations, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Monongahela River between the two cities, which was introduced by Hon. Charles I. Faddis, and referred to your committee.

The city of Monessen, which is one of the largest in the district I represent, is directly across the river from Donora, which is located in Congressman Faddis's district.

The need for this proposed bridge is manifest to all who are at all familiar with conditions at the places mentioned. At present it is necessary for vehicular traffic between the two cities to travel via the Monessen-Webster Road, a distance, of about 4 miles, or by route no. 88, through Lock No. 4, and across the Monessen-Charleroi toll bridge. This distance is about 8 miles.

The most direct road between the two cites (Monessen-Webster) is in a dangerous condition, and owing to the topography of the country it cannot be made safe, without the expenditure of a very large sum of money-approximately $300,000.

The traffic between the two points is very heavy, and accidents have been numerous resulting in a number of deaths and many injuries, as well as heavy property damage.

It is my view that a bridge is greatly needed at the point above indicated, and I trust your committee may see its way clear to report the bill favorably to the House. Cordially yours,

WM. M. BERLIN, O

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