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INSPECTION OF THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE SOUTH PASS OF THE

MISSISSIPPI RIVER.
Inspecting officer, Maj. James B. Quinn, Corps of Engineers.

The inspecting officer in his annual report hereto appended, reports but little construction work having been done at the Head of the Passes and in South Pass during the year.

At the mouth of South Pass eight new wing dams were built, and twenty of the older ones repaired.

A legal channel was maintained during the year at the head of South Pass, and “through the pass itself," but during a period of 32 days, from May 20 to June 20, both dates inclusive, such channel did not obtain through the jetties" at the mouth of South Pass. During this period, however, there was a navigable depth of 28,1 feet.

Over an area containing 14 square miles, lying immediately beyond the sea ends of the jetties, there was an average shoaling of 1.59 feet during the year. July 1, 1891, balance unexpended

$10,000.00 June 30, 1892, amount expended during fiscal year..

9, 200.90 July 1, 1892, balance unexpended

799. 10 Amount appropriated by act of August 11, 1888.

10,000.00 Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1893.

10, 799. 10 (See Appendix R.) IMPROVEMENT OF CERTAIN STREAMS IN LOUISIANA, AND OF HARBOR

AT SABINE PASS, SABINE RIVER, AND NECHES RIVER, TEXAS. Officer in charge, Maj. James B. Quinn, Corps of Engineers; Divi. sion Engineer, Col. C. B. Comstock, Corps of Engineers.

1. Chefuncte (Tchefuncte) River and Boque Falia, Louisiana.-Previous to improvement these streams were obstructed by snags, logs, and overhanging trees. The bar at the mouth of the river had a depth of water of about 41 feet at the lowest stage.

The project for the improvement of the river was adopted in 1880, and contemplated the removal of obstructions in the channel and the dredging of the bar at its mouth, and was modified in 1884 so as to provide for the building of a breakwater across the bar.

With the first two appropriations of $1,500 each, made in 1881 and 1882, the obstructions were removed below Covington, and part of the unexpended balance was used for constructing $20 feet of the breakwater, but the bar at the mouth was not dredged, as it would be likely to re-form.

To prevent this or retard its reformation, the officer in charge in 1884 recommended building a breakwater extending 2,500 feet into the lake and then dredging a channel through the bar.

The original estimated cost of the improvement was $5,460, but this did not provide for building the breakwater.

Under the appropriation of $2,500 made in 1886, channels 5 feet in depth and 30 to 60 feet wide were cut through the bars on the Bogue Falia between Old Landing and Covington, giving better navigation for schooners to and from Covington.

The amount expended to June 30, 1891, was $5,500. At that date the river was navigable for steamers drawing 5 feet to Old Landing, about 12 miles above its mouth, and then for the lighter-draft schooners to Covington, about 2 miles farther up on the Bogue Falia. The river and bayou were somewhat obstructed with snag, logs, etc. The bar at the mouth of the river has a depth of about 5 feet at the lowest stage of the water.

In October, 1891, the work of removing the most dangerous obstructions in the channel was commenced, under the appropriatiou of $1,000 made September 19, 1890, with hired labor, using the Government snagging plant, which had shortly before finished work on the Tickfaw River.

The river was cleared of logs, snags, and impending trees from Madisonville to Old Landing, and from the latter place to Covington, on the Bogue Falia, as far as the funds available would permit, materially lessening the dangers of navigation. Operations were discontinued November 30, 1891, and the plant was laid up at Madisonville. The amount expended on this work during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, was $789.26. July 1, 1891, balance unexpended....

$1,000.00 June 30, 1892, amount expended during fiscal year

789. 26 July 1, 1892, balance unexpended

210.74 Amount appropriated by act approved July 13, 1892.

1,000.00 Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1893.

1, 210.74 (See Appendix S 1.)

2. Tickfaw River and its tributaries, Louisiana.-When the project for improvement was adopted the Tickfaw River and its navigable branches were obstructed by snags, sunken logs, and trees.

Congress authorized an examination of this river in 1879. A project was submitted in 1881 to clean out the river and its principal tributaries, the Natalbany, Blood, and Ponchatoula rivers, by removing the obstructions, at an estimated cost of $10,230.

To June 30, 1891, the appropriations made by Congress in 1881, 1882, 1886, and 1888, aggregating $7,000, had been expended. Twenty miles of the Tickfaw, and the Natalbany to Springfield, the head of navigation, had been improved. Work was also done on the Ponchatoula as far as it was thought advisable, and the Blood River had been cleaned out as far as navigable.

Under the appropriation of $1,000 made September 19, 1890, work of removing the obstructions that had re-formed since 1889, was commenced September 14, 1891, with hired labor and the use of the Government snagging plant which had but recently finished work on the Amite River. Operations were discontinued in October of that year.

Snags, overhanging trees, and logs were removed from the Tick faw, Natalbany, and Blood rivers, the latter being cleared to the head of navigation. The extent of channels improved on the three rivers was about 39 miles, and the sum of $777.96 was expended on this work during the year ending June 30, 1892.

The improvement is not permanent, as obstructions will continue to form in all these streams, but an annual appropriation of $1,000 will keep them in good order.

Although the improvement is not of a permanent or conspicuous character, the little which has been accomplished has resulted in a very material increase in the commerce of the river. Most of the shipments are made direct to New Orleans. July 1, 1891, balance unexpended

$1,000.00 June 30, 1892, amount expended during fiscal year.

777.96 July 1, 1892, balance unexpended....,

222.04 Amount appropriated by act approved July 13, 1892.

1,000.00 Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1893....

1, 222. 04 (See Appendix S 2.)

3. Amite River and Bayou Manchac, Louisiana.—Before improvement was commenced the Amite River and Bayou Manchac, its principal tributary, were navigable by the ordinary river steamboat below and for a short distance above their point of junction, but the navigation was very much impeded and endangered by snags, stumps, impending trees, etc.

In 1880 a project was adopted for the improvement of the Amite River, providing for a low-water channel 5 feet in depth as far up stream as appropriations would permit, the main part of the work to be done above the mouth of the Bayou Manchac. An effort was made to do the work by contract, but the results were unsatisfactory, and in 1883 the original project was modified so as to permit the use of the Government plant and hired labor, the improvement to be made below the mouth of the Bayou Manchac.

Up to the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1891, there had been expended on these streams the sum of $22,677.86. At that date vessels drawing 5 feet of water could navigate the bayou from its mouth to Wards Creek, on the Bayou Manchac, and the river was navigable for vessels of like draft from the mouth to its junction with the Bayou Manchac, but navigation on both streams was somewhat hainpered by obstructions which required removal.

The work of improvement was continued from July 1 to August 29, 1891, under the appropriation of September 19, 1890, with the Government plant and hired labor. Snags, logs, and impending trees were removed from the bayou between Hope Villa and its mouth and from the river between its mouth and the junction with Bayou Manchac. The extent of channel improved was about 13 miles, resulting in giving much relief to navigation.

The amount expended on this work during the year just closed was $950.29.

Owing to the caving of the banks of these streams the permanent improvement is hardly possible, and about $2,500 will be required annually to keep them free of obstructions. July 1, 1891, balance unexpended

$1, 122. 14 June 30, 1892, amount expended during fiscal year..

950. 29 July 1, 1892, balance unexpended Amount appropriated by act approved July 13, 1892

2,500.00 Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1893.

2, 671.85 (See Appendix S 3.)

4. Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana. Prior to 1879 the navigation of the Bayou Lafourche was very much obstructed by snags, logs, raft heaps, impending trees, and wrecks.

In 1879 a project was approved for the removal of these obstructions, and work under this project was carried on until 1885.

In 1888 Congress appropriated $50,000 for the improvement of the bayou, on the plan of Lieutenant Crosby, Corps of Engineers, dated June 11, 1886, and provided for dredging for the immediate relief of low-water navigation.

Lieutenant Crosby's project was for a lock at the head of the bayou, connecting it with the Mississippi River, and subsequent dredging of the bayou channel to a width of 75 feet, with a depth of 5 feet at mean low water of the Gulf. The estimated cost was $150,000, with an annual expenditure of $8,000 for operation and maintenance.

Under the provision of this act dredging was commenced at the head

171.85

of the bayou, and has been continued since at intervals. The sum of $57,283.44 has been expended on the improvement of this stream to June 30, 1891, with considerable benefit to the low-water navigation.

As soon as the stage of water permitted the work of improving navi. gation was resumed August 5, 1891, and after dredging a channel for 31 miles, and removing stumps and wrecks, flatboat navigation was rendered practicable during low water for a distance of 32 miles. Dredging was discontinued January 26, 1892, on account of high water.

The amount expended on this work during the year ending June 30, 1892, was $16,060.36.

Dredging is a very unsatisfactory method of improvement, as much of the work has to be gone over again after the subsidence of the flood in the Mississippi River. If the lock was constructed, whatever dredg. ing was thereafter done would be practically permanent and the certainty and safety of the navigation of the bayou assured. July 1, 1891, balance unexpended....

$72, 716.56 June 30, 1892, amount expended during fiscal year.

16, 060.36 July 1, 1892, balance unexpended

56, 656. 20 July 1, 1892, outstanding liabilities.

175.00 July 1, 1892, balance available

56, 481. 20 Amount appropriated by act approved July 13, 1892

50,000.00 Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1893.

106, 481. 20 Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project 350,000.00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of sections 2 of river and

harbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 4.)

5. Bayou Terrebonne, Louisiana.-When work was commenced, in 1880, Bayou Terrebonne was little better than a drainage ditch, being about 11 feet wide when dredging began.

The project called for the dredging of a channel 4 feet deep at mean low water of the Gulf to Houma. The cost of the improvement of this bayou was estimated at $38,800. The completion of the work to Houma as projected cost $35,808, enabling planters to ship their merchandise to Houma or else to New Orleans by connecting bayous and canals. July 1, 1891, balance unexpended..

$2,992 July 1, 1892, balance unexpended.

(See Appendix S 5.)

6. Bayou Plaquemine, Louisiana.-The work of securing the mouth of this bayou from further caving is under the charge of Capt. John Millis, Corps of Engineers, whose annual report thereon is submitted as Appendix T 1. A summary of the work done under his direction is given below, page 223.

Previous to the closing of the mouth of Bayou Plaquemine by a dam, in 1867 or 1868, the largest steamboat passed through it into Grand Lake and the numerous water routes connected with it.

In 1885 a project was proposed for reëstablishing this water route by building a lock at the head of the bayou and dredging out the channel below. In 1888 $100,000 was appropriated for improving the bayou and protecting the bank at its mouth from caving; $75,000 of this sum was allotted to bank protection at the mouth: the remainder has been devoted to dredging out the bayou, so as to give a channel 60 feet wide and 6 feet deep at mean low water level of the Gulf.

This dredging progressed until, at the end of June, 1891, it had nearly

2,992

reached the railroad bridge. The cut was about 5 miles long and 30 feet wide, and $16,981.31 had been expended on this work at that time.

During the following fiscal year the dredging was continued until the bridge was reached, and since the draw in this bridge had not been completed the dredge turned back and widened the cut to 60 feet for a distance of about one-half mile from the bridge. The amount expended on this work during the year ending June 30, 1892, was $5,816.41.

The proposed channel is incomplete and, until the lock at the head of the bayou is built, of but little service to navigation and liable to deteriorate.

In 1890 $100,000 was appropriated for continuing the improvement. Of this sum $60,000 was allotted for bank protection at the mouth. A project for the expenditure of the remainder by commencing work upon the lock was presented, but as the lock proposed by a Board of Engineer officers was estimated to cost $700,000, the $42,169.28 available July 1, 1892, has been held for increase by further appropriation by Congress.

The money statement following is for the entire work on Bayou Plaquemine, the amounts for securing the mouth of the bayou from further caving (page 223) being included: July 1, 1891, balance unexpended....

$132, 063. 43 June 30, 1892, amount expended during fiscal year.

58, 776. 34 July 1, 1892, balance unexpended.....

73, 287.09 Amount appropriated by act approved July 13, 1892

150,000.00 Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1893...

223, 287.09 Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project...... 1,358, 250.00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of sections 2 of river and

harbor acts of 1866 and 1867. (See Appendix S 6.)

7. Bayou Courtableau, Louisiana.-At the time of the adoption of the present project the back water from the Atchafalaya River formed a large sand deposit known as Little Devil Bar, at the mouth of the Courtableau.

The approved project of 1880 contemplated the closing of some runout bayous in order to confine the water in the Courtableau and cause its current to wash out the bar at its mouth; after this was accomplished, then to construct a timber lock and dam to give slack-water navigation to Washington, La. In 1883 the estimate was increased to $78,500, and provided for a masonry lock.

Up to June 30, 1891, the sum of $28,374.87 had been expended in closing runout bayous, with the effect of partially removing the bar.

In 1890 $2,200 was appropriated. With this money work was commenced September 8, 1891, and continued until November 20 of that year, using the Government plant and hired labor. During this time the dams at Bayous Cane, Mamzelle, and Big Fordoche were all repaired with piles and sheet piles, brush aprons being placed above and below them, and all were left in good condition. The sum of $2,406.83 has been expended on this improvement during the year ending June 30, 1892.

Little Devil Bar has washed ont considerably under the influence of the dams so as to give a navigable depth at a stage of water in the Atchafalaya River 7 feet below the level at which navigation was interrupted in the summer of 1891, but it is considered doubtful if, with all the runout bayous closed, a channel navigable at low water can be

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