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July 1, 1884, amount available i Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884
$2,687 81 4,000 00
6, 687 81 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884...
2,795 71 July 1, 1855, amount available.....
3,832 10 (Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project.. 12, 107 90 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1887 12,000 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
harbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 8.)
9. Bayou Terrebonne, Louisiana.—The natural low-water channel was much obstructed by shoals and sunken logs. The original project was adopted in 1880, the object being to obtain a depth of 4 feet with navi. gable width from Houma down to Gulf. The bayou is navigable for vessels of 5 feet draught as far as the improvement has been carried. Above that it is navigable to Houma, a distance of about 10 miles, for vessels of very light draught. No work has been done during past fiscal year. Freight rates have been reported considerably cheapened by the improvement.
The appropriation asked for the next fiscal year will be applied to the continuation of the work towards Houna, and it is estimated will complete it to that point. July 1, 1884, amount available....
$4 92 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884
4 92 (Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project. 13,000 00 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1887 13,000 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
barbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 9.) 10. Bayou La Fourche, Louisiana.--The natural channel was much obstructed by snags, overhanging trees, shoals, and wrecks. The original project, adopted in 1879, had for its object the removal of these obstructions. The amount expended on this work up to end of fiscal year ending June 30, 1884, was $24,998.24.
The amount expended during fiscal year ending June 30, 1885, was $3,756.21, for care of property, gauge-readings, and continuing improvement. Much relief has been given to commerce by removal of snags, &c. No permanent relief for the difficulties of low water over numerous shoals can be had save by some rather costly improvement, such as that by movable dams and locks. The recent survey of the bayou and the continued gauge readings look to the collection of data for such project. July 1, 1884, amount available.....
$0 76 Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884.
5, 000 00
5, 000 76 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884....
3, 756 21 July 1, 1885, amount available .....
1, 244 55 (See Appendix S 10.) 11. Calcasieu River, Louisiana.—The project made for the improve ment in 1880 was to improve the river above the town of Lake Charles
to Philip's Bluft by removing logs, snags, &c., at an estimated cost of $10,080, and then to dredge the bar at foot of Calcasieu Lake, at an estimated cost of $15,000 additional, making a total of $25,080.
The act of March, 1881, appropriated $3,000 for improving this river from Philip's Bluff to its mouth. The act of August, 1882, appropriated $7,000 for improving Calcasieu River (no locality mentioned), and that of July, 1884, appropriated $6,500 more, without mentioning ang locality.
Subsequent information was obtained showing that it was of far more importance to Government and all concerned to have the river improved below Lake Charles than above it, because the obstructions below interfered seriously with navigation, while those above did not. These obstructions below were a bar where the river enters Calcasieu Lake and another much more serious one where the lake and Cal. casieu Pass join, and, finally, the outer bar at the junction of the pass with the Gulf of Mexico. This second bar, that at the junction of the pass and lake, has been twice dredged through under appropriations for improving Calcasieu Pass, but has again refilled. The esti. mated cost to cut a channel through this bar is $15,000, but it has not yet been decided that any money appropriated for Calcasieu River can be applied to removing this bar at the foot of Calcasieu Lake.
Until the appropriations are made available for dredging a channel through this bar it is useless to commence the work, and pending legislation by Congress as to whether this money can be used on this bar, or other money becomes available, no work can be done. No part of this money has been spent as yet, except a small auiount for the examinations and surveys made. July 1, 1834, amount available
$9, 791 09 Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884.
16,291 09 July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding Jiabilities July 1, 1884..
35 63 July 1, 1885, amount available...
... 16,255 46 (See Appendix S 11.)
12. Calcasieu Pass, Louisiana.-In 1874 a cut was dredged through the bar at the junction of the pass and Calcasieu Lake; this cut was 6,300 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 6 feet deep. This channel, refilled in 1881–82, was redredged by contract work to a depth of 8 feet by 7,500 feet long by 70 feet wide, at a cost of $10,444 Information obtained in the past fiscal year shows this cut to have again refilled to its original condition, about 3 feet of depth.
In making these two dredged channels in 1874 and in 1882 a demand was urgent to get immediate relief, and dredging was undoubtedly the quickest way to produce such results. As the appropriations were small
, the cuts were made on the shortest line across the bar which would require the least amount of excavation. The currents and seas passing from the lake into the pass, which were due generally to the prerailing winds in that particular section, did not, as a rule, follow the line of the cut, but moved diagonally across it, and to this, in a great measure, added to the small numbers of steamers plying through the cut, must be attributed the rapid refilling. It is possible that by changing the direction of any new cut to be made across this bar, so that the axis of the cut shall be in the prolongation of the axis of the upper end of the pass, it may refill less rapidly than those formerly made; but a cut on this line will necessitate the removal of about 95,000 cubic yards of material, as compared with 75,000 on the old line. At all events, with the funds available, $2,925, nothing toward making a channel over the bar can be done, unless the appropriation for the Calcasieu River, viz, $16,255.46, can be applied to this locality, and pending a decision on this point the work is practically tied up. If the Calcasieu River fund can be used for this purpose, then it is probable that a channel can be recut through the bar, and after this question has been decided it will be proper to make a determination of the best line to select for improvement.
It is thought that no improvement on this bar will be permanent. It is useless to make improvements elsewhere on this river until a channel is obtained over this bar. To dredge an effective channel 100 feet wide 8 feet over the bar will cost about $16,500.
The commerce of the pass is about the same as that of the river, and estimated at $528,000 per year. July 1, 1884, amount available
$2,994 25 July 1, 1885, amount expended daring fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884
69 00 July 1, 1885, amount available
2,925 25 (See Appendix S 12.) 13. Sabine Pass, Texas.--Surveys made in 1853–972-73-81-82 showed about 64 feet of water over the bar at mean low tide. Channels were dredged over the bar several times between 1876 and 1881 but refilled, and in 1882 a project was made for the permanent improvement by means of jetties, each about 4 miles long, to extend from the shore well out into the Gulf across the bar. The improvement was estimated to cost $3,177,606.
The river and harbor act of August 2, 1882, appropriated $150,000 for this work. With this and an unexpended balance left over from former appropriations, making an aggregate of about $300,000, contracts were made in December, 1882, and work on this project was continued to November, 1883. With this money a little more than 3 miles of the foundation course of the west jetty was laid and 14 miles of this jetty practically completed. The act of July 5, 1884, appropriated $200,000 more for continuing the work. With this the 'east jetty was commenced, also by contract, and at the end of the year, June 30, 1885, the foundation-course had been laid for a length of 10,200 feet and 8,825 feet of the jetty built up to the level of mean high water. It is being pushed seaward as fast as funds permit.
The amount expended on jetty construction to end of this fiscal year is $396,353.12.
The west jetty is in nearly as good a condition as when work was stopped in November, 1883. In places it has settled into the mud about 15 inches. A part of this depression is probably due to compression of the mattresses, and a still smaller portion (that nearest the top of the water) to the action of the Teredo.
The mattresses are generally covered with mud, and where so protected are worm-proof. All samples pulled up and examined recently show the shell-fish at work, and most of the exposed brush-bundles are fairly well covered with a growth of young oysters. Outside of the jetty, near the shore, the mud is rapidly accumulating, and nearly a mile out from the inner end of the jetty, where there was a depth of 5 to 6 feet of water, it is now at low tide nearly bare.
This mud growth appears to be steady, and adds greatly to the strength of the jetty. The east jetty is acting precisely as the west jetty has done, except that it has not yet been built long enough to indicate subsidence. Outside the mud is accumulating rapidly. The two jetties, so far as built, are already producing effect upon the direction and velocities of the current.
They have not yet produced any materially increased depth of water on the bar, but this could hardly be expected until they are extended further seaward as well as raised in height. The small appropriations made compared to the amounts annually estimated to produce the best results have caused the work to drag along. Jetty work to be successful should be pushed rapidly. Small appropriations compel the contractor to work with a reduced plant, and make the work cost more per cubic yard of material than would be the case could funds be bad as estimated for.
The work is costing less than the original estimates, but would cost still less if larger appropriations were available.
The officer in charge states that if the work is to be continued to completion, then, in an engineering point of view, due regard being had to economy, the best results can be obtained by the expenditure of $1,000,000 per year. With this amount it is possible that the jetties may be carried their full beight to the crest of the bar, and until this is done decided results in channel improvement on the bar cannot reasonably be expected.
The commerce of Sabine Pass depends upon the completion of this work. July 1, 1884, amount available....
$1,966 29 Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884.
200, 000 00
July 1, 1885, amountexpended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884
$94,063 83 July 1, 1885, outstanding liabilities..
49, 032 65
143, 096 48
July 1, 1885, amount available.....
58, 869 41
Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project.... 2,500,000 00 Amount that can be profitably expended fiscal year ending June 30, 1887 1,000,000 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of section 2 of river and
harbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 13.)
14. Sabine River, Louisiana and Texas.-At the commencement of the improvement of the river there was a depth of 31 feet on the bar at its mouth, and also above the town of Orange. Logs, snags, &c., interfered with navigation above this point.
In 1880 a channel 6 feet deep, 70 to 100 feet wide, was dredged through the bar. In 1881 several small cuts to avoid bends obstructed with logs were made, and also a large number of sunken logs and snags removed above Orange. No work has been done since that date to June 30, 1885. Sixteen thousand five hundred dollars have been expended on the improvement of the river.
The dredged channel over the bar is somewhat obstructed by logs, but the depth is sufficient for present demands of navigation and commerce.
No material increase of commerce or navigation has resulted from the improvement made.
This river is not susceptible of permanent improvement. July 1, 1884, amount available
$4, 546 56 July 1, 1885, amount available
4,546 56 (See Appendix S 14.)
15. Neches River, Texas.-Before improvement of this river the bar at its mouth had 3 feet depth of water, and between Yellow Bluff and Bevilport navigation was interfered with by snags and fallen trees.
In 1879 a channel was dredged at the mouth of the river 5 feet deep and from 30 to 60 feet in width. In 1881 obstructions between Yellow Bluff and Bevilport were removed; $20,892.43 were expended in this improvement to June 30, 1884. During the past fiscal year the bar at mouth of river has been again surveyed, and shows at least depth of 31 feet. To again deepen this channel to 5 feet would require the removal of 56,590 cubic yards of material, at an estimated cost of $16,977.
This depth of water on the bar at present seems to be ample to accommodate the limited commerce passing over it. Only one steamer bases it, and that only in doing Government work at Sabine Pass. Sailvessels cannot use the river below Beaumont without tow-boats and there are no tow-boats in this stretch of river.
This river is not susceptible to permanent improvement, and until commerce increases it is not deemed advisable at present to expend more money upon it.
July 1, 1884, amount available ............
Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884.
July 1, 1885, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1884.....
July 1, 1585, amount available....
(See Appendix S 15.)
$5, 107 57 7,000 00
12, 107 57
16. Removing sunken vessels or craft obstructing or endangering navigation.-1. Removal of wrecks in the harbor of New Orleans. After due advertisement a contract was entered into November 13, 1884, for the removal of the wrecks of the steamships Gresham, Ailsa, and General Grant, at a total cost of $27,500. Work was commenced upon the removal of the last named and continued to January, 1885, when it was Suspended on account of high water. At the close of the fiscal year work had not been resumed. 2. Removal of the wreck of the steamer Jan M. Chambers in Bayou Teche. The public notice required by a having been given and no action taken by the owners, authority as granted to the officer in charge to proceed with the removal by red labor, using for the purpose the United States snagging plant at Work in the bayou. At last report the removal was nearly completed. See Appendix S 16.)
EXAMINATIONS AND SURVEYS FOR IMPROVEMENT TO COMPLY WITH REQUIREMENTS OF THE RIVER AND HARBOR ACT OF JULY 5,
The following localities were examined by the local engineer then in Large, Capt. Thomas Turtle, and not recommended for improvement: 1. Homochitto River, Mississippi.-(See Appendix S 17.) 2. Buffalo River, Mississippi.-(See Appendix S 18.)
Bayou Plaquemine, Louisiana.-(See Appendix S 19.)
Reports on the above examinations were transmitted to Congress, printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 71, Forty-eighth Congress, second sion.
And it appearing, after preliminary examination by the local engi ter, that the localities were worthy of improvement by the General