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project adopted in 1880 was to remove these obstructions as far up as Connor's Bridge, 53 miles above its mouth, and get all depth possible without dredging. The river was navigable for 34 miles of this distance for vessels of very light draught.
There has been appropriated for the improvement of this river $11,000, and with this amount 41 miles of river were improved by contract work, which has been far from satisfactory.
The upper 7 miles of river worked over is now nearly as much obstructed as it was before work was commenced.
Total expended to June 30, 1884, $6,786.02.
During the past fiscal year the Government plant with hired labor was sent to continue this work, and did effective work between Lapier's Bridge and the mouth. The upper 12 miles of the river has not been touched, and it seems useless to undertake to carry the improvement any further up stream, as there does not seem to be any increase of commerce, and the obstructions form nearly as fast as they are removed. The original estimated cost of the improvement was $10,700, of which $9,000 have been appropriated and $9,000 expended.
Lumber and saw-logs are the principal products carried on the river. Further appropriations can be used in removing obstructions in the lower part of the river as they may form, but no recommendation for appropriation is made.
The river is not susceptible of permanent improvement. July 1, 1824, amount available ...
$213 98 Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1834.
2, 213 98 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884....
2,213 98 Amount (estimated) reqnired for completion of existing project....
1,700 00 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal yearending June 30,1887
1,700 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
harbor acts of1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 2.)
3. Tchefuncte River, Louisiana.--This river is navigable for steamers drawing 5 feet to Old Landing, about 10 or 12 miles above its mouth, and then for lighter draught schooners to Covington, about 2 miles farther up on the Bogue Falia. The bar at the mouth of the river had a depth of 41 feet on it at the lowest stage of the water. The project for the improvement of the river, made in 1880, contemplated the removal of overhanging trees, logs, &c., in the channel and the dredging of the bar at its mouth.
The obstructions, such as overhanging trees, logs in bed, &c., were removed, but the bar at the mouth was not dredged, as it would be likely to re-form. To prevent this, or retard its re-formation, the officer in charge in 1884 recommended the building of a breakwater extending into the lake for 2,500 feet, and then dredging a channel through the bar.
With the two appropriations of $1,500 each made in 1881 and 1882, the obstructions below Covington were removed. Part of the unexpended balance was used for the construction of a working plant for improving the bar at the mouth and part for the construction of tbe breakwater, extending 820 feet into the lake. The original estimated cost of im. proving the river was $5,460, but this did not include the building of any breakwater across the bar. The project as modified in 1884 is estimated to cost $20,400. This has not yet received the sanction of Congress.
At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1885, $3,000 had been expended on this improvement, at which time the navigation had been improved for schooners to Covington in consequence of removal of spags and overhanging trees, and it is thought that the breakwater has retarded the drift of sand on the bar at the river's mouth. For the year ending June 30, 1887, $19,000 can be expended in completing the work of improvement, and, if appropriated, it is proposed to extend the breakwater, dredge the bar, and remove any other obstructions that may have re-formed in the river since it was cleaned out.
The benefit to commerce is local. It is not known that there has been any increase to commerce in consequence of improvements thus far made. Should the improvements be made as contemplated, the mouth of the river would then become an excellent harbor of refuge for small vessels navigating the lake.
The report of 1884 gives commercial statistics of this river at $16,500, consisting of brick, sand, charcoal, wool, cotton, lumber, hides, beef, sugar, and molasses. July 1, 1884, amount available
$1,352 65 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884.....
1, 352 65 Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project
19, 000 00 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1887 19,000 00 Sabmitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
barbor acts of 1866 and 1867.. (See Appendix S 3.)
4. Tickfau River, Louisiana.—The natural channel was much obstructed by snags and overhanging trees. The original project was adopted in 1881, the object being to obtain a channel of navigable width and depth for a distance of 26 miles up-stream. The amount expended to the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883, is $2,004.64. The river was then navigable for 184 miles for vessels drawing 4 feet.
The amount expended during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1884, is $1,955.14, for part payment of plant for Amite, Tickfaw, and Tchefuncte rivers, and for work resulting in the removal of all obstructions for a distance of 20 miles from the mouth, 184 miles of which has been previously worked by contract.
The amount that can be profitably expended during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887, is $6,230, to be used in carrying on the existing project, which will result in increasing the navigable length of the river.
No work was done during the past fiscal year. July 1, 1884, amount available....
$38 72 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884...
5 00 July 1, 1885, amount available......
33 72 Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project... 6, 230 00 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal yearending June 30, 1887 6, 200 00 Sabmitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
harbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 4.) 5. Bayou Teche, Louisiana.—The upper portion of this bayou from New Iberia to its head is obstructed by logs, trees, and snags. The project for its improvement has in view the removal of these obstructions and the making of slackwater navigation by the means of locks and dams. The total estimate for doing the work required was $135,625.
Before commencing the work of lock construction it was essential that money enough should be available to at least complete one set of locks and dams. This has not yet been appropriated. In the mean time the other necessary portion of the work, viz, that of removing the sunken logs, snags, overhanging trees, &c., by means of Government plant and hired labor, is being done, and is now completed to a point about 81 miles above the town of New Iberia, La.
During the past fiscal year the wreck of a steamer was removed from the bayou by hired labor, and besides this about 87 miles of the stream have been cleared of logs and sunken obstructions. Surveys have also been continued between Charenton and the mouth of the bayon, also tide-gauge readings at various points of the bayou, with a view of completing the data for submitting a plan and estimate for the permanent improvement of the stream. One important element before completing the project is yet lacking, and that is an accurate determination of the low-water discharge of this bayou. This can only be determined at its extreme low-water stage, and will be done as soon as the water in the bayou reaches that stage.
The officer in charge reports that when the natural obstructions in the upper part of the bayou shall have been removed, that the naviga. tion may possibly be so much improved during the greater portion of the year as not to require the construction of locks and dams. In such event further appropriations will probably not be required.
The work thus far done has been of material benefit to navigation, but it is not known that in consequence of the improvement there has been any reduction of freight rates or increased commerce on the bayou.
The railroad touching at numerous points on the bayou, in connection with its steamboats, as feeders from the plantations to the railway stations, offers the short route to market for the products of the bayou, and controls and carries nearly all the business of this section of the country.
During the coming year it is proposed to continue the removal of ob. structions from the stream for which funds are available, watch results, and continue the study of the physical characteristics of the bayou, so that in the event of slackwater navigation becoming necessary full data for a detailed project and estimate can be submitted.
The amount expended during fiscal year ending June 30, 1884, was $1,096.30.
The amount expended during fiscal year ending June 30, 1885, is 83,049.18, and was for surveys, tide-gauge observations, and removing logs, snags, and other obstructions. July 1, 1884, amount available
$14,555 03 Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884.
21, 055 08
3, 049 18
18, 005 90
July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding
liabilities July 1, 1884.. July 1, 1885, amount available
(See Appendix S 5.)
6. Connecting Biyou Teche with Grand Lake at Charenton, Louisiana.The original project was adopted in 1830, the object being to connect Bayon Teche with Grand Lake at Charenton by the construction of a
canal a little over a mile long, 50 feet wide, and 5 feet deep, with a lock at one end, estimated to cost $75,000.
This was modified by further study and examination, and it was found to cost no more to dig a canal 100 feet wide of same depth on which no lock would be necessary. The latter is the more desirable project. The amount expended to date is $2,899.95, which was for examinations, surveys, and engineering and office expenses.
The officer in charge states that the work, if constructed, will be of local benefit only, will save 75 or 80 miles of transportation in logs and rafts, and that no advantage can be derived even by these until the completion of the canal. He therefore suggests that the work be not commenced until the amount necessary for its completion, viz, $75,000, is arailable.
No appropriation has been made by Congress since March 3, 1881. July 1, 1884, amount available....
$22, 432 55 Jals 1. 1825, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884 ....
332 50 July 1, 1885, amount available.....
22, 100 05 Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project....
50,000 00 Sabmitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
barbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 6.) 7. Bayou Black, Louisiana.-An examination of this bayou was provided for by act of June 14, 1880. In his report of 1881 the officer then in charge recommended the dredging of a channel 50 feet wide by 6 feet in depth from Tigerville to Houma, a distance of 24 miles and 4,000 feet, the estimated cost being $47,520. An appropriation of $10,000 was made March 3, 1881. A second appropriation of $10,000 was made August 2, 1882. A line of levels run in 1883–84 showed the bottom of the bayou at Houma to be 54 feet above tide-level, this rise of 5} feet occurring in the last 12 miles counted toward Houma. In the report of an examination of this bayou made in April, 1885, by the officer now in charge, he says: “That there is no channel nor scarcely any water for the 14 or 15 miles of cut yet unopened, the bed of the bayou is filled with mud and obstructions, and that, owing to the softness of the mud, it may be necessary to build a timber revetment for a considerable portion of the route, to prevent the mud from running back into the cut.”
The dredge-boat began work May 7, 1883, at Tigerville, and worked almost continuously until April 21, 1885, when it was stopped by the officer in charge on account of the smallness of the unexpended appropriation.
The original estimate for completing this improvement was $47,520. Of this amount nearly $25,000 has been expended, of which about $4,500 was used in part payment for the building of a dredge-boat. This would leave $20,000 expended in actual dredging of about 10 miles of bayou, and between 14 and 15 miles yet to be dredged. The average quantity of material to be removed in each mile of cutting is estimated to be nearly double what it was in the preceding 10 miles already opened, and therefore is estimated to cost nearly twice as much, or $4,000 per mile.
As there are yet about 14 miles of cut to be made, the estimate for completing this cut should be 14 x 4,000=$56,000.
This, together with the $25,000 expended, would be $81,000, an excess of $33,480 over the original estimate. It is barely possible that this estimate may be too great. In pushing the work to advantage, the engineers in charge of this improvement have never estimated less than $10,000 to be necessary for any one year's work. The act of July 5,1884, appropriated $5,000. Such an amount enables a dredge and crew to work five or six months, then the funds become exhausted, and the balance of the year the dredge is laid up, and is deteriorating for want of use, in charge of a watchman at a considerable expense.
The products of adjacent plantations seem to vary in value, and ag. gregate from $300,000 to $500,000 per year, and consist ordinarily of about 7,000 hogsheads of sugar, 14,000 barrels of molasses, together with corn, rice, and other products. The freight on these at present is expensive, but the improvement of the bayou, by inducing competition, will undoubtedly cause a reduction of freight charges and also an increase of the products. The improvement at best is simply a local one, but as it has been begun by authority of Congress and $25,000 has been expended on it, if the work were now stopped the greater portion of this money would be wasted. It is therefore assumed that the work will be continued to completion; and in this event no less than $10,000 should be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887. July 1, 1864, amount available
$3, 036 93 Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884..
5, 000 00
8, 036 93 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884.
7,609 25 July 1, 1885, amount available....
427 68 Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project
56, 000 00 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal yearending June 30, 1887 10,000 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
harbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 7.)
8. Bayou Courtableau, Louisiana.-Examination was made in 1879. Estimated cost of improvement for bayou between Port Barre and Atch. afalaya was $40,000.
The act of June 14, 1880, appropriated $7,500 to commence improve ment, the project for which was to close some run-out bayous, with a view to confine the water in the Courtableau and cause its current to wash out Little Devil Bar at its mouth; after this was accomplished, then to make slack-water navigation, by means of locks and movable dams, to Port Barre and above.
In 1883 this estimate was increased by $38,500, and provided for a masonry lock instead of a timber lock.
In 1882 some of the run-out bayous were closed by dams, and one dam was built on the Big Fordoche; also one in the Little Fordoche. These cut the bar down 3 feet in two days. Sickness and high water materially interfered with properly pushing the work. In 1884 it was reported that the Little Fordoche Dam had been cut by swampers and Little Devil Bar had shoaled 4 feet in vertical height.
In consequence of great floods in the Atcbafalaya country, the other bayous running from the Courtableau have increased in size and will cost more to close than the original estimate.
The bayous must all be closed before any good results can be expected on Little Devil Bar and before any work should be attempted on the locks and dams.
The estimate for closing these bayous is $16,000.