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WATERWAY FROM NORFOLK, VA., TO BEAUFORT INLET,
THE ACTING SECRETARY OF WAR,
WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORTS OF
FEBRUARY 23, 1904.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered
to be printed, with accompanying illustration.
Washington, February 19, 1904.
ROBERT SHAW OLIVER,
Acting Secretary of War.
Washington, February 18, 1904.
North Carolina, provided for by the river and harbor act approved June 13, 1902, as follows:
Waterway from Norfolk, Virginia, to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, with a view to the construction of a channel not less than sixteen feet in depth, upon the most advantageous route between the points named: Provided, That the examination and survey shall be made by a board of engineer officers detailed by the Secretary of War, and any report made shall include the probable cost of any private waterway that it may be to the interest of the United States to acquire in connection with the proposed improvement: Provided further, That the total expense of the examination and of any survey which may be made shall not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars.
The Board of Engineers, as originally constituted by detail of the Secretary of War under this authority of law, consisted of Col. Peter C. Hains, Lieut. Col. Charles J. Allen, and Maj. James B. Quinn, of the Corps of Engineers. Upon the promotion of Colonel Hains to the rank of brigadier-general, the vacancy on this Board was filled by the appointment of Capt. E. Eveleth Winslow, Corps of Engineers, in charge of river and harbor works in the vicinity of Norfolk.
Owing to the nature of the country, and on account of various works of improvement heretofore carried on by the General Government and private parties, there were numerous alternative locations subject to consideration by the Board in selecting the most advantageous route between the points named," as required by the law.
As a result of its investigations the routes selected by the Board in the different divisions of the waterway are as follows: Via Cooper Creek, Rose Bay, Adams Creek, and Beaufort Inlet, covering a total distance of 194.1 miles between Norfolk, Va., and Beaufort Inlet. The amount ($5,000) allotted by the act for this examination and survey was not sufficient to permit of a definite location of the exact lines of the proposed channel way. The Board specifically states that the selected route has been defined in general terms only, and that before the definite location of the different parts of the route can be made further detailed surveys will be necessary.
The estimated cost of a 16-foot channel by the route indicated is fixed by the Board at $10,000,000 in round numbers, with $150,000 annually for maintenance of the completed waterway. This estimate of first cost includes excavation, retaining walls, right of way, bridges, and one tidal lock, but does not include the purchase price of any canal rights, for the reason that the route selected does not follow the line of any existing private canal.
In concluding its report of August 31, 1903, the Board expresses the opinion that the selected route is a perfectly practicable one, and that a waterway can be constructed along it for the amount of the estimate named -$10,000,000-provided the appropriations are of sufficient size and are made with sufficient regularity to allow the work to be carried on constantly and systematically. After carefully considering all available data as to its present and prospective commerce, the Board gives the further opinion that the estimated cost of the project under discussion is not out of proportion to the extent of such commerce, added to the importance of the completed waterway as a factor in the scheme for coast defense on the Atlantic seaboard.
These reports have been referred for consideration by the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, as provided in sections 3 and 14 of the act of June 13, 1902, and attention is invited to this Board's report of February 9, 1904, herewith. After reviewing at length the reports of the special Board, the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors expresses the opinion that it is not now advisable to undertake the construction of a waterway from Norfolk to Beaufort Inlet with a channel not less than 16 feet in depth, the Board believes that a channel of less than 16 feet depth would be of great advantage to the commercial traffic and military interests involved, and recommends that a new inquiry be initiated by Congress with a view to ascertaining the best route, and the cost of channels 10 and 12 feet deep, respectively, and of suitable width, between Norfolk, Va., and Beaufort, N. C., with a view to determining the advisability of undertaking the creation of a channel of either of the depths mentioned.
I concur in the view of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors that it is not advisable for the United States to expend $10,000,000 in constructing a channel 16 feet deep from Norfolk, Va., to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. MACKENZIE, Brig. Gen., Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army. Hon. WM. H. TAFT,
Secretary of War.
REPORT OF A BOARD OF ENGINEERS ON PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION
FOR WATERWAY FROM NORFOLK, VA., TO BEAUFORT INLET, NORTH CAROLINA
ENGINEER OFFICE, UNITED STATES ARMY,
Norfolk, Va., September 22, 1902. GENERAL: The Board of Engineers, constituted by paragraph 1, Special Orders, No. 19, Headquarters, Corps of Engineers, United States Army, Washington, D. C., July 5, 1902, has the honor to submit the following report of the preliminary examination of the waterway from Norfolk, Va., to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina.
The order constituting the Board is as follows: SPECIAL ORDERS,
HEADQUARTERS, CORPS OF ENGINEERS,
UNITED STATES ARMY, No. 19.
Washington, July 5,1902.
(Extract.) 1. By authority of the Secretary of War, and in accordance with the provisions of the river and harbor act of June 13, 1902, a Board of officers of the Corps of Engineers, to consist of Col. Peter C. Hains, Lieut. Col. Charles J. Allen, Maj. James B. Quinn, will assemble at Norfolk, Va., upon the call of the senior member, to make an examination and survey of the waterway from Norfolk, Va., to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, with a view to the construction of a channel not less than 16 feet in depth, upon the most advantageous route between the points named, and to submit a report thereon, which report shall include the probable cost of any private waterway that it may be to the interest of the United States to acquire in connection with the proposed improvement.
The Board is authorized to visit such points as it deems necessary for the proper performance of its duties.
By command of Brig. Gen. Gillespie.
Chas. S. BROMWELL, Captain, Corps of Engineers.
a Printed on page 80, herewith.