Imágenes de páginas

Gentlemen were speaking of the Delaware River. It is true they have a 60-mile channel 30 feet deep, a pretty nice channel, of ample width. But they have to dredge it each year; it will not hold. This work in the East River is permanent. It is a removal of things which do not come back.

Mr. KETTNER. The only work you think that it is absolutely necessary in the interest of both commerce and the Navy would be this $777,000 appropriation that you speak of?

Col. BLACK. At this point [indicating Corlears Hook Reef] is a reef which also figures in our estimates, a reef opposite the navy yard. Mr. TREADWAY. You said that this estimate of $777,000 was made several years ago?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. And in the meantime we have appropriated money to do away with Coenties Reef?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. And, consequently, there is a come and go margin in that $777,000?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. But, in view of the additional cost to which you have referred, such as increased labor, the liability law, etc., how much difference, do you take it, there would be in your estimate of $777,000 if we were bringing that estimate up to date?

Col. BLACK. I think if I were bringing that estimate up to date I would put pretty nearly the same I have now. One reason why I always hold my estimates low, at the risk of going back to Congress, is this: When the contractor has commenced to figure on a new piece of work, the first thing he does is to take the engineer's estimate, and if the engineer's estimate is up in the air, he will bid accordingly. So, even at the risk of having to come back-fortunately I have not done it-all my works are being completed inside of the estimate, I take the risk of coming back partly for the reason that if I put my estimates high the contractor will bid high.

Mr. TREADWAY. As I understand you, $250,000 will be expended on Coenties Reef?

Col. BLACK. No, sir; I have $248,000 available, belonging to the United States, of which I expect to spend $150,000, or maybe $170,000.

Mr. TREADWAY. In other words, you would increase the estimate to-day for that work if you had it to do over again $150,000?

Col. BLACK. About that; about what would do for this Coenties Reef.

Mr. TREADWAY. I would like to get that clear in my mind. What project is this $777,000 item under?

Col. BLACK. The general project for the improvement of East River.

Mr. HULBERT. I have a map here, Mr. Chairman, which has the exact outline of what these rocks are, and perhaps it would be better understood if you would look at this map.

Mr. TREADWAY. I would like to get it in my mind clearly as regards the relations between the project now in process, including this appropriation, and the further appropriation. That, of course, is the old project; that has been adopted?

Col. BLACK. Which one?

Mr. TREADWAY. This $777,000?

Col. BLACK. No, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. But the Coenties Reef has?

Col. BLACK. That was last year by a joint resolution, and the reason of that is because they are building a tunnel there, and it would be dangerous to take the reef out after the tunnel has been completed.

Mr. TREADWAY. Yes; but this $777,000 project-where does that project end and where does the so-called East River project of $777,000 begin?

Col. BLACK. The $777,000 item is a part of the $13,000,000 project. Mr. TREADWAY. To what point does your $777,000 estimate run? Col. BLACK. From that slip to the deep water of the bay [indicating]. Mr. TREADWAY. In other words, the adoption of the $777,000 project would give 40 feet to the Brooklyn Navy Yard?

Col. BLACK. Thirty-five feet mean low water.

Mr. TREADWAY. The admiral testified both sides above Governors Island and below, 40 feet. You say 35 feet.

Col. BLACK. I am only taking out 35 feet across these reefs.

Mr. TREADWAY. Other than at the reefs, the highest projections? Col. BLACK. -Exactly.

Mr. TREADWAY. Then you would, by the adoption of the $777,000 project, get clear 35 feet from here to the Brooklyn Navy Yard at mean low water?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. If the wind does not blow it out more than ordinarily?

Col. BLACK. The mean low water is the mean between the spring and the neap-tide low waters.

Mr. TREADWAY. Does the adoption of that portion of the project calling for the appropriation of this $777,000 carry with it the adoption of the entire East River project?

Col. BLACK. Not unless Congress so wills.

Mr. TREADWAY. In other words, are we considering two separate projects? That is what I am trying to get clear. Whether we are mixing in the fact of getting good water to the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the further fact of getting 30 or 35 feet out to Long Island Sound?

Col. BLACK. The original project that I had was to get deep water and good water from the deep water of the upper harbor to the deep water of the Sound.

Mr. TREADWAY. What do you call the "upper harbor”?

Col. BLACK. The upper bay of New York. There are the upper and lower bays [indicating on the map]. The completion of the entire project would get deep water from the ocean on the south to the deep water of the ocean opposite the eastern end of Long Island, and in making estimates of required work the estimates for certain specific points which I named were totalled. This is one of the specific points, one of the items entering into the $13,000,000 project. I had this strong hope that Congress would see its way clear to adopt the project in full, and then allow the money to be expended at the points where it was most needed, but under the circumstances that seems to be considered impracticable.

Mr. TREADWAY. Under your hopes, as expressed, what would you consider the first point needed?

Col. BLACK. Gentlemen, here is Long Island Sound [indicating]; here are the Narrows down there. The distance between here, the entrance to the Sound, and the entrance there, is about 125 miles, roughly, outside. We have fortifications here [indicating]; we have inner fortifications here at Throgs Neck.

Mr. TREADWAY. How far is Throgs Neck from the navy yard? Col. BLACK. About 15 miles, just at the end of East River. Then we have fortifications here, right across there [indicating] at the eastern end of Long Island Sound.

Mr. HULBERT. That is what you refer to as the "race."

Mr. SWITZER. How long would it take to do the work covered by this $777,000 project?

Col. BLACK. Three years.

Mr. TREADWAY. May I finish?

Col. BLACK. There was one other point I have not finished. There is one other reef area, out at Hell Gate, which bars the passage into the Sound, and that is all. The estimated cost of removing that reef area is about $1,841,000.

The CHAIRMAN. Point that out.

Col. BLACK. Right here [indicating on the map]. Going back to the $13,000,000 project, as reported on page 6 of Document 188, Sixty-third Congress, first session, the items of work named in the table at the foot of the page, which are necessary to do for the free movement of the Navy in or out of New York Harbor, at both entrances, are the first item: Work at and near Battery Channel, 1,000 feet wide, $777,223, and the seventh and eighth items for $1,841,000.

Mr. BOOHER. Is that the project we are talking about now?
Col. BLACK. Yes, sir; the seventh and eighth items.
Mr. FREAR. It would help us if you would point to it.

Col. BLACK. These items cover the work of removal of the reef between Wards Island and Hallets Point.

The CHAIRMAN. Colonel, will you point the places out on that map? Col. BLACK. Right there [indicating on map]. If you will take that House document, it is all there. It is these shaded portions right there.

The CHAIRMAN. Where is the navy yard?

Col. BLACK. The navy yard is here, where my stick is pointing.
The CHAIRMAN. You had a map with both?

Col. BLACK. Here it is on this map [indicating on blue print].
Here, where you see the spots of red, is the $777,000 point.

Mr. HULBERT. That is the first one?

Col. BLACK. That is the first one. Coming up the East River there is the navy yard [indicating]; going on out the East River there is the end of Hell Gate, where the $1,000,000 work ought to be done.

The CHAIRMAN. $1,800,000 work?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. HULBERT. Where is the pot rock?

Col. BLACK. Right in this same area I pointed out.

Mr. TAYLOR. I want to ask you one question: The President informs our chairman of the committee that immediate improvement of the East River adjacent to Brooklyn Navy Yard should be taken up.

Point with your stick what you construe his meaning to be on the chart.

Col. BLACK. I am quite sure that he means this down here [indicating], and he may mean this [indicating Corlears Hook Reef] as well. Mr. TAYLOR. Remembering what you have available, if anything, what should this bill contain to cover the idea expressed by the President adjacent to the navy yard?

Col. BLACK. I think he had in mind purely the reefs at the mouth of the river.

Mr. BURGESS. That is between Governors Island and the yard?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir. If you should want to include an item of this kind, you simply say for the item such and such page, such and such document, to provide a through channel 35 feet, work at or near channel 1,000 feet wide.

Mr. TREADWAY. That brings us right back to the question previously asked, which I do not still understand: Do you construe that item as a possible item, irrespective of the adoption of the entire East River project?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir; it can be put in, in either way Congress desires.

Mr. TREADWAY. And you consider that the item that you have just read is the one to which the President refers in his communication to Mr. Sparkman?

Col. BLACK. That is my belief.

Mr. TREADWAY. You have given us a very interesting description of certain features of the so-called preparedness or national defense proposition. Let me ask you whether or not, under our jurisdictionI mean this committee having to do with commercial navigation, this one item to which you have referred, called for $777,000, is not the item directly applicable to navigation in connection with various subdivisions?

Col. BLACK. It is. One of the United Fruit steamers struck on Coenties Reef awhile ago.

Mr. TREADWAY. We ought not to consider Coenties Reef.

Col. BLACK. That is in this item.

Mr. TREADWAY. What, in addition to the depth of 35 feet at Coenties Reef, will remain to be done of this $777,000 project, when that project is finished?

Col. BLACK. About $700,000 worth of work will be required.

Mr. TREADWAY. What proportion of the entire project is the Coenties Reef project-I mean this one item?

Col. BLACK. Perhaps one-eighth; I am not quite sure. It is very hard to get at it in that way. Coenties Reef is a deep reef, and you can cut it off in deep cuts. These others are shallow cuts.

The CHAIRMAN. It is considerably more than one-eighth, because it is $250,000 out of nearly $800,000.

Mr. SMALL. I understood the colonel to say the matter was made difficult and indefinite on account of labor conditions and other conditions.

Col. BLACK. I have allowed that margin to get through on.

The CHAIRMAN. In answer to Mr. Treadway's suggestion, of course it is very easy to adopt that particular work and not adopt the whole project. We did that when we took on the Coenties Reef, by using appropriate language.

Col. BLACK. And if you are alluding, in your adoption, to this document, the place and the work to be done is absolutely fixed on the maps given in this document.

The CHAIRMAN. The language can be framed to cover that.

Mr. TREADWAY. I understand him to say so far as the $13,000,000 project is concerned, the one section calling for this appropriation of $777,000 or thereabout, is the one section having to do with the item of commercial interest of New York.

Col. BLACK. Not the one section; it all has to do with that, but all of it is very important commercial matter to New York.

Mr. TREADWAY. The exigencies which we are meeting hereabout and which our colleague has presented to this committee, looking toward certain features of preparedness, would not apply to mercantile projects other than from the factor of preparedness? I am trying to differentiate in my mind between what is important in this project for commerce and what is important for preparedness.

Col. BLACK. For commerce the whole project is important; for preparedness the two ends of it, the Hell Gate and the Governors Island end.

Mr. SMALL. May I make a statement here, and follow it by question, with the hope of clarifying the situation a little? The President has asked that we include in this bill the improvement of the East River adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. SMALL. You have stated, in answer to a question, that you interpreted that language to mean that part of the improvement leading from the Upper Bay through the channel between Governors Island and the Battery, and which includes Coenties Reef, at an estimated cost of $777,000?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. SMALL. Now, you have found it difficult to estimate how much. the pending appropriation for the removal of the Coenties Reef would reduce that original estimate?

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir.

Mr. SMALL. But you would bring it down to $700,000?

Col. BLACK. I think so.

Mr. SMALL. Now, if this committee should undertake to include that in this bill, how much of that $700,000 would you require-how much could you economically spend for the next fiscal year, or until the next river and harbor bill, which must be passed at the short session in December?

Col. BLACK. I could not expend in that time over $200,000.

Mr. SMALL. Then, further, you have also stated that while this was an entire project from the upper bay to the end of the East River at Hell Gate, that it had been divided and that this part, leading from the upper bay to the navy yard could be adopted as a part without adopting as a whole.

Col. BLACK. Yes, sir; that can be done.

Mr. SMALL. So that if the committee should adopt this part of the project it would only require an appropriation in this bill of $200,000. Col. BLACK. That is all the appropriation, but if you want to get the work done inside the figures, you would have to give me authority to make a continuing contract for the whole of it.

28623-16- -3

« AnteriorContinuar »