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5. MISSISSIPPI RIVER FLOOD CONTROL The flood-control project for the alluvial valley of the Mississippi River as authorized by the act approved 15 May 1928, and subsequently amended, was described on pages 10 and 11 of part I, volume I of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1953. The total authorization for the project at the end of the fiscal year was $1,292,748,500, of which $849,771,400 had been appropriated and $846,092,400 expended.

Construction. During the year the following six major items of construction were placed in useful operation.

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Table 14. Work Placed In Useful Operation During Fiscal Year 1954


Date started

Date placed in useful operation

Nature of project work

Atchafalaya Basin, La.

Des Arc, Ark..
Greenwood, Miss

1953 April 1954.. Tiger Island levee and floodwall.
1952 June 1954. Bayou Boeuf Lock.
1953 June 1954. Wax Lake west drainage

1953 February 1954.- Local protection.
1952 September 1953. Lee and Wilson Sts. pumping

1951 January 1954. Outlet works and closure section.
1948 April 1954. I. C. R. R. relocation.
1951 March 1954. Miss. and Skuna Valley R. R.

1951 September 1953 - Relocation of Highway No. 7.
1952 July 1953. Dumaine Street floodwall.
1953 September 1953. Jonestown cutoff.

Grenada Dam, Miss...

New Orleans, La...
Yazoo City, Miss.---

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In addition, 31 miles of main line levees, 58 miles of secondary levees, and 23 miles of revetment were constructed.

During the year, work on the following features of 4 projects was initiated:

Table 15. Work Commenced During Fiscal Year 1954


Date started

Scheduled completion


Nature of project work

Atchafalaya Basin, La- June 1954. April 1955... Bayou Yokely Pumping

January 1954.-- October 1955.---Wax Lake East Drain-

age Structure. Morganza Floodway, August 1953.--- June 1955. Highway 30—SurfacLa.

ing. St. Francis Basin, Ark_ February 1954.- After 1961.--- Madison-Marianna

Floodway. Tensas Basin, Ark. August 1953... June 1955... Reach 1, Boeuf River.

and La.

Condition of over-all project. At the end

At the end of the fiscal year the project as a whole from Cairo, Ill., to the Gulf of Mexico was in very satisfactory condition, although some 34 percent of the work remains to be accomplished. A total of 1,277 miles of main-line levees and of 886 miles of secondary levees have been constructed. Reservoirs at Wappapello, Arkabutla, Sardis Enid, and Grenada have been completed. The floodways at Bonnet Carre, Morganza, West Atchafalaya and the Atchafalaya River will permit diversion of over 1,750,000 cubic feet per second of flood flow and leave 1,250,000 cubic feet per second to pass New Orleans. Conservative estimates place the annual damage prevented by these completed works at $217,000,000, and the total damages prevented since the adoption of the project at more than $5 billion. This amounts to approximately $5 of savings to every dollar of project funds so far appropriated.

Prevention of diversion of Old River. A study conducted by the Mississippi River Commission in 1951 concluded that the Mississippi River, if left alone, would adopt the channel of the Atchafalaya River, a much shorter route to the Gulf of Mexico. A report completed by the Commission in 1954, and concurred in by the Chief of Engineers, recommends that the existing project for the lower Mississippi River be amended to provide for the control of flows from the Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya by means of mechanically operated control structures on the right bank of the Mississippi. The estimated cost of the work is $47,000,000 (exclusive of a navigation lock which will be reported on later). At the close of the fiscal year, this report bearing House Document No. 478, 83rd Congress, was under consideration by the Congress.


The 1950 Niagara Water Treaty with Canada permits additional diversions of water for greatly increased power developments in the United States and Canada at the falls, and also expresses the primary obligation of the two Governments to preserve and enhance the scenic beauty of Niagara Falls and River. Pursuant to this obligation, a project was developed and approved by the two Governments for remedial works necessary to produce an unbroken crestline at the falls. The work consists of a control structure extending about 1,550 feet from the Canadian shore to a point about 1 mile above the Horseshoe Falls, and for excavations and fills on both flanks of the Horseshoe Falls, at an estimated total cost of $17,500,000 to be divided equally between the two Governments. In 1954, with an appro


priation of $1,500,000, the Corps of Engineers, as the designated construction agency for the Government of the United States, initiated its portion of the work consisting of excavation and fills generally on the United States side of the international boundary. The Ontario Hydroelectric Power Commission is performing the work in Canada, consisting of the control structures and certain excavation on the Canadian side of the boundary.


Work done by contract. The Corps of Engineers for many years has consistently adhered to its policy of having construction work done by contractors in all cases except when the best interests of the United States require hired labor operations. This past year was no exception to the policy. In fact, 94 percent of all construction work was performed by contract and only 6 percent by Government plant and hired labor. In recent years the amount of construction by hired labor has remained at this low percentage. A larger percentage of the maintenance work has been performed by hired labor. The hired labor work on construction projects has been limited to such types of operations as dredging in exposed harbor entrances by Government-owned hopper dredge, the construction of erosion control and levee revetment works, and grouting operations. The nature of such work does not readily lend itself for advertising and performance by contract.

Accident prevention. The attention which the Corps of Engineers has paid over the years to the prevention of accidents at all its construction and maintenance operations, whether by hired labor or contract, has paid sizable dividends in the improved welfare of construction workers, decreased loss of time on works, decreased costs and increased efficiency. Chart II shows the continued improvement in the disabling injury frequency rate on civil-works projects for Government and contractors' employees and the rate for the construction industry in general.

Fire prevention. The reduction in Corps of Engineers fire damage to an amount less than one-fifth of the average for the preceding years, as shown on chart III, reflects emphasis on fire prevention through improved planning and design of structures, equipment, and operation. Also, credit must be given to an intensified program of over-all fire prevention and protection which includes indoctrination of personnel in preventive measures and the provision of more adequate fire-fighting equipment.


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FY '50

FY '51

FY'5 2

FY '53

F Y '54




NOTE: The rate for the construction industry for the year 1964 is not available.

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