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fact a tunnel was drilled under James Peak. I think one of the purposes was for a railroad at that time, the so-called Moffat Railroad. That never materialized, but the Denver & Rio Grande Railway finally took over that railroad and now runs one of its lines through that tunnel.
There was always a need there for many many years, ever since I was a lad there. As a budding newspaperman at one time I remember I beat the drums for an east-west highway, rail transportation, or a highway system that would take care of the traffic between those two places.
Whatever they have said here I am sure has been said in the right way and should be persuasive with this committee.
Senator GORE. Thank you, Senator Watkins.
Governor JOHNSON. I hope to hear Mr. Corleisson, representing the Utah Highway Department.
Senator GORE. He will be called next.
The committee apreciates your appearance and the appearance of your colleagues who are interested in this project. Governor JOHNSON. Thank you.
Senator GORE. The committee will next hear Mr. H. J. Corleisson, chairman, Utah Road Commission.
Senator WATKINS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to introduce Mr. Corleisson as the chairman of the State highway commission, a resident of my own county and the county seat where I lived and practiced law for many years and also was a judge of the court. He is one of our very fine citizens, independent of his activities as State highway chairman. I am sure he will have something interesting for you.
Senator GORE. Thank you for that good introduction.
STATEMENT OF H. J. CORLEISSON, CHAIRMAN, UTAH ROAD
Mr. CORLEISSON. Mr. Chairman, gentlemen of the committee, there is very little, perhaps, that I could say because the case of the Interstate Highway proposed link between Salt Lake City and Denver has been so ably presented by Governor Johnson and the congressional delegations of both Utah and Colorado. However, perhaps I could reiterate or add to some of the statements made to stress the need for such a highway.
I have a prepared statement that, with your permission, I will read, and then I would like to elaborate on it somewhat.
It is a well- known fact that one of the basic justifications for the selection of the Interstate System and the decision for its construction to such high design standards is the strategic role that this system would play in national defense and, as a corollary, in civilian defense.
One glance at the map of the Interstate System shows that through the Rocky Mountains, one of the major national barriers to east-west transportation, there exists at the present time only three routes—one from Butte to Billings Mont., one from Salt Lake to Cheyenne, Wyo.,
and the other from Barstow to Albuquerque, N. Mex.—through this area, the very nature of which, in case of national emergency, would make the selection of suitable alternate routes with the high volumes and heavy loads extremely difficult to find.
At the present time there is only one, and that is an indirect route between these two largest cities in the intermountain area—Denver and Salt Lake. It is a well-known fact that it does not require enemy action to close that portion of the route through Wyoming designated as U. S. 30, between Salt Lake and Rock Springs, subject to severe storms and extremely low winter temperatures.
Not too many years ago both railroad and highway facilities were closed in this area by severe storms. Only last week highway transportation was severely handicapped by blizzards.
It appears only logical that at least one more connecting link in this highly important system should be developed through the largest area in the United States not traversed by such a route. Defense in depth of any attack on the west coast or through Mexico and Canada would revolve around these two cities.
Any major evacuation of civilians on the west coast, especially from a northerly and central area, would from necessity of facilities pass through these two points. The present interstate route between Denver and Salt Lake is 545 miles by a circuitous route. Two alternates are available for consideration for an additional connecting link, one 521 miles in length and the other 557 miles in length.
We in Utah do not particularly propose any specific route. We feel that it should be determined by engineering standards and economies involved.
The basic need for the interstate standards of highways is for the present and potential traffic. The potential traffic through this particular area in question is extremely—is an extreme-much more than it is now or could possibly have been projected in the immediate past.
The development of the Colorado Plateau, which extends far into Utah, has necessitated Utah spending many hundreds of thousands of dollars in the development of the trunk line roads because of the uranium access roads. These uranium access roads that were mentioned a while ago are only to the mines and to the buying stations and the impact on our secondary system in that area on our roads has been such that it has been necessary for us to construct such roads at much higher standards.
The reason for the designation of the present Interstate System in a circuitous route is easily discernible in that much testimony was presented as to going around mountains instead of through them. But the development of heavy construction machinery and the availability of funds in the last few years has changed the picture considerably.
I heartily endorse the attitude of one gentleman who testified just a minute ago that the Bureau of Public Roads should be required to review the designation of the present Interstate System with the thought in mind that economic and defense needs are changed considerably since the designation.
Senator GORE. Mr. Commissioner, could you give us an estimate of the present traffic on the primary system between Denver and Salt Lake City ?
Mr. CORLEISSEN. Last year we had an average of 1,750 cars per day, particularly on U. S. 40.
Senator GORE. At what point?
Mr. CORLEISSEN. That was at Heber City, just immediately east of Heber City, which would mean that they were going all the way through to the Strawberry Basin or to Colorado,
Senator GORE. Would you be in a position to advise the committee as to how this would compare with the through traffic on other routes presently designated "interstate"?
Mr. CORLEISSEN. Would you state that again, Senator?
Senator GORE. Would you be able to advise us how this amount of traffic would compare with
the amount of through traffic on interstate routes in other parts of the country?
Mr. CORLEISSEN. In that particular part, as I recall it, there are approximately 2,400 cars a day at Echo Junction, U. S. 36-S, on the present system. That is where that ends, too, as far as going into northern Utah, as against 1,750 on U. S. 40. Because it is more direct I believe that this designation of interstate route if built up to the standard, in the event a direct line between Salt Lake City and Denver were to be constructed at the interstate standards, that it would surpass the present designated highways. Is that what you have in mind?
Senator GORE. Yes.
Governor JOHNSON. At the present time our highways go over the top of the mountains and still we have 1,750 cars a day. If we had a tunnel and a water grade I am sure that Mr. Corleisson would be correct in his estimate that we would greatly surpass Highway 30 in the amount of traffic. Highway 40, that he is talking about, crosses not 1 but 2 high passes-Rabbit Ear Pass and Berthoud Pass, both of them very high passes. Still we had that large amount of traffic on Highway 40.
Senator Gore. Commissioner Corleisson, you have made a fine appearance and the committee appreciates your contribution.
Do you have a question, Senator Case?
Senator WATKINS. I have an observation with respect to the program across the area just mentioned. There is now pending before the Congress--and we hope the bill will be passed at this session--a proposal for the development of areas in Colorado and in Utah by reason of reclamation and the power development, which will make this area much more necessary from the standpoint of defense and also will bring in many thousands of people to live. It will make it possible, for instance, in Utah alone, to double the population of that State and furnish opportunities, jobs, water supply, power, and everything that is needed in a program of that type.
If that development goes through, and it is the last water resource we have and one of the last that Colorado has, Wyoming and New Mexico
Senator GORE. One of the last remaining large ones in the country, is it not?
Senator WATKINS. That is right. If that measure is passed in the Congress this session there will be immediate need for the transportation of large quantities of material into the area where these dams and big reservoirs will be built, and an immediate increase in population will take place.
Water that is taken out to be used for irrigation and other purposes over the next 10 or 15 years will increase the need for highways tremendously. Most of those supplies will come either from the East or the West and great quantities of them will have to be transported by trucks.
Senator GORE. Thank you, Senator Watkins.
The following letters will be made a part of the record: A letter to Senator Thye dated February 28, 1955, from Keith W. Vogt, secretarytreasurer, Minnesota Telephone Association, Inc., St. Paul, Minn.
A letter to the Committee on Public Works dated April 8, 1955, from Gus Norwood, executive secretary, Northwest Public Power Association, Inc., Vancouver, Wash.
A statement of Mr. S. M. Barr, vice president of plant and engineering, the Western Union, which was submitted to the subcommittee as an attachment to a letter dated April 12, 1955, signed by K. W. Heberton, vice president of the Western Union Telegraph Co., Washington, D. C. (The letters are as follows:)
MINNESOTA TELEPHONE AssOCIATION, INC.,
St. Paul 2, Minn., February 28, 1955. Hon. EDWARD J. THYE, United States Senator from Minnesota,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR THYE: It is our understanding that this week S. 3184 comes up for hearing before the Senate committee which is considering legislation under the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1954. In fact S. 3181 is the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1954 which deals with relief of costs to utilities in connection with Federal-aid highway improvement projects and the necessary relocation of utility distribution lines.
In 1952 bills were introduced in the 82d Congress at the request of publicly owned utilities, which would have provided for reimbursement of utilities for costs of relocation of facilities caused by Federal-aid highway projects. During the 83d Congress privately owned utilities joined the publicly owned utilities in seeking reimbursement of these relocation costs. In order to obtain an estimate of the amount of the costs being borne by utilities a study was made in 1953 in 12 States under the auspices of the National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners and the results of this study submitted to the Congress. This information, while helpful, was not believed to be adequate and, in an act to amend and supplement the Federal Aid Road Act (Public Law 350 approved May 6, 1954) the Congress directed the Secretary of Commerce to make a more complete study of the problems posed by necessary relocation and reconstruction of public utilities services resulting from improvements authorized under the Federal Aid Highway Act.
Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks directed the Bureau of Public Roads to make this study. The Commissioner of Public Roads called a meeting on August 20, 1954, of representatives of the various affected utilities and requested their cooperation in obtaining data as to costs incurred by the utilities as a result of certain highway projects. All utilities agreed to assist and to form a committee in each of the 48 States and the District of Columbia to compile the data to be furnished on the questionnaire forms prepared by the Bureau of Public Roads. Representatives of all classes of utilities present at the meeting on August 20, 1954, met and formed a National Steering Committee to arrange for the gathering of this data.
The survey for the State of Minnesota was sent to Secretary of Commerce Weeks on November 2, 1954.
We urgently make the following points:
1. As you are aware, the relocation of utility plant and facilities to accommodate construction and improvement of Federal-aid highways has presented a serious problem to all utilities for the past several years.
2. With the anticipated expansion of the Federal-aid program, it is expected that this problem will become more acute in the immediate future years.
3. Secretary of Commerce Weeks was required by Public Law 350 to make his report by February 1, 1955.
4. During October 1954, 185 sets of questionnaires were sent to Minnesota independent telephone companies. Northwestern Bell made its own separate survey which synchronized with our study.
5. Some telephone companies had as many as five road moves during the period of time under survey.
6. In Minnesota, 69 independent telephone companies had an aggregate roadmoving cost of $130,360.
It is absolutely necessary that all telephone companies be given favorable consideration for a fair recovery of these road-move costs which come along as a result of Federal-aid highway improvement programs.
The constant attrition on telephone net earnings caused by constantly increasing operating costs, primarily through wages and taxes, makes it necessary that real and prompt relief be made to all telephone companies, including the Bell companies, if they are to be operated properly in a solvent condition to meet public convenience and necessity.
We urge you to do everything possible on S. 3184 to accomplish this objective. Your efforts and your results will be made known throughout the great State of Minnesota. Respectfully yours,
KEITH W. VOGT, Secretary-Treasurer.
NORTHWEST PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Vancouver, Wash., April 8, 1955. To: Committee on Public Works. Subject: Reimbursement for moving electric lines incident to highway relocation.
GENTLEMEN : The Northwest Public Power Association composed of 97 electric systems serving 1,750,000 people in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana favors legislation providing for reimbursement for moving utility facilities incident to highway relocation,
The association's resolution of November 20, 1953, reads, “to urge that where any electric pole line must be relocated incident to highway construction or relocation, the highway construction agency be required to pay all utility relocation costs."
Sound utility practice and regulation warrants a fair rate of return upon net utility plant investment.
Any artificial inflation of the rate base is repugnant to the welfare of utility consumers. When a utility must move its facilities incident to highway relocation, it should be fully reimbursed so the utility will be made whole. If the utility is not reimbursed, then the rate base is artificially inflated to the detri. ment of the consumers.
For public and cooperative systems where rates are based on direct costs there is a similarly direct impact upon the ultimate consumer of electricity. He in effect pays a highway tax as part of his electric bill unless the utility is fully reimbursed for moving utility facilities.
We also endorse the principles in the Collier-Burns Highway Act of 1947 of California whereby (1) a highway is regarded as a utility, (2) highway right-ofway is regarded as a multiple-purpose right-of-way available for all utilities, and (3) full reimbursement is provided for moving utilities incident to highway relocation. Sincerely,
NORTHWEST PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION.