Group Title: House document / 55th Congress, 1st session ; Document no. 88.
Title: Survey of Tampa Bay, Florida. Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting, with a letter from the chief of engineers, report of a survey of Tampa Bay, Florida
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 Material Information
Title: Survey of Tampa Bay, Florida. Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting, with a letter from the chief of engineers, report of a survey of Tampa Bay, Florida
Series Title: House document 55th Congress, 1st session
Physical Description: 6 p. : fold. map ;
Language: English
Publisher: U.S. G.P.O.
Place of Publication: Washington
Publication Date: 1897
 Subjects
Subject: Tampa Bay (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Hillsborough -- Tampa Bay
 Notes
General Note: July 19, 1897. Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered to be printed.
Funding: House document (United States. Congress. House)
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Bibliographic ID: UF00004571
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAA5790
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55TH CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DOCUMENT
1st Session. No. 88.





SURVEY OF TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA.



LETTER
FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR,
TRANSMITTING,
WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORT OF
SURVEY OF TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA.


JULY 19, 1897.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered
to be printed.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, D. 0., July 16, 1897.
SIR: I have the honor to inclose, herewith, a letter from the Acting
Chief of Engineers, dated July 16,1897, together with a copy of a report
from Lieut. Col. W. H. H. Benyaurd, Corps of Engineers, dated June
30, 1897, of a survey made by him in compliance with the provisions of
the river and harbor act of June 3, 1896, of Tampa Bay, Florida.
Very respectfully,
R. A. ALGER,
Secretary of War.
The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.



OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
UNITED STATES ARMY,
"Washington, D. C., July 16, 1897.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the accompanying copy of report,
dated June 30, 1897, with map, by Lieut. Col. W. H. H. Benyaurd,
Corps of Engineers, upon the results of a survey of Tampa Bay, Florida,
from Port Tampa to the mouth of the bay, made to comply with the
provisions of the river and harbor act of June 3, 1896.
The project submitted provides for obtaining a channel, by mehns of
dredging, 24 feet deep at mean low water, 500 feet wide on the bar at
the entrance to Tampa Bay, and 300 feet wide in the bay itself. The
proposed work will, it is estimated, cost $336,000. Colonel Benyaurd
states that this estimate of cost is based upon the assumption that a







2 TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA.

contract will be authorized for the completion of the work under the
continuous-contract system.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. MACKENZIE,
Acting Chief of Engineers.
Hon. R. A. ALGER,
Secretary of War.


SURVEY OF TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA, FROM PORT TAMPA TO THE MOUTH
OF THE BAY.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., June 30, 1897.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report on a sur-
vey of Tampa Bay, Florida, made in compliance with the river and
harbor act of June 3, 1896:
The preliminary examination of the bay was made in October, 1894,
and the report thereon will be found in the Report of the Chief of Engi-
neers, United States Army, for 1895, page 1570 et seq. It is there
shown that the commerce of Tampa Bay had assumed cons'iderable
proportions, that an increase of the depth of the channel to 24 feet
from the entrance to Port Tampa would be of very great advantage to
the commercial interests involved, and that it appeared from the infor-
mation then available that the improvement desired could be effected
and maintained at a reasonable expense. All of which is confirmed by
the recent survey and the attending investigations, and, in my opinion,
this improvement is eminently worthy of being undertaken.
The surveying party and outfit were the same as on the survey of
Biscayne Bay. Actual field work began in-December, 1896, and was
finished in March, 1897, The survey has been plotted on four sheets
to a scale of iooo. On a fifth sheet these have been combined and
supplemented by the charts of the United States Coast Survey so that
the entire bay is shown to a scale of 5--o-o. These maps show that in
five localities the channel has a depth of less than 24 feet. These
shoals aggregate in length 31,500 feet. The average depth over them
varies from 23 feet on the shoal at the entrance to 19.7 feet for a width
of 300 feet on Lower Shoal, Old Tampa Bay. The borings indicate
that nothing more difficult to dredge than sand and broken shells will
be encountered.
Experience in this locality seems to indicate that there will be little
difficulty in maintaining the dredged channels. The channels dredged
through the two shoals at the entrance to Old Tampa Bay to a depth
of 20 feet, where 15 feet formerly existed, were completed more than
four years ago and they seem to have maintained themselves very
well. The maximum velocity of the current in the bay, under normal
conditions, does not exceed about 2 feet per second. This seems to
have very little effect upon the bottom, so that a comparison of early
surveys with the recent one shows a remarkably stable condition of
affairs.
The mean range of the tide varies from 1.54 feet at Egmont Key at
the entrance to the bay to 1.95 feet at Port Tampa. High water at
Port Tampa is, on an average, two hours and fifteen minutes later than
at Egmont Key.
The gentle slope of the fore shore along the Gulf Coast has the effect
of so reducing the height of the storm waves as they approach the land







TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA. 3

that they do not appear to break until they arrive at a depth of 2
fathoms and less. The shoal at the entrance to Tampa Bay has a
depth in excess of 21 feet. From the evidence of experienced pilots
and that of Mr. O. N. Bie, who has iad local charge of this survey
and has had much experience along this coast, having entered this bay
during one of the most violent storms known, actual breakers do not
exist in that depth of water. From this it would appear that the bot-
tom there is not subject to disturbance due to wave action, therefore
a dredged channel through this shoal can confidently be expected to be
reasonably permanent without the aid of jetties. In the bay past
experience has shown that training walls are not required to maintain
the channel. A certain amount of dredging may be required from
time to time to maintain these channels, as actual results can not be
predicted with certainty, but it is believed that the amount of dredg-
ing required for this purpose will be very slight.
Upon the assumption that a contract will be authorized for the com-
pletion of this work under the continuous-contract system, it is believed
that the dredging can be done for 30 cents per cubic yard for that por-
tion of the work on the outer bar and 20 cents per cubic yard for the
work in the bay, the following estimate for a channel 24 feet deep at
mean low water, 500 feet wide on the bar at the entrance, and 300 feet
wide in the bay, has been prepared:
130,000 cubic yards, at 30 cents .......................................... $39, 000
1,235,000 cubic yards, at 20 cents .-----.. ..---..----.......---.....-- ..-- 247, 000
Engineering and contingencies, about 15" per cent of total cost............. 50, 000

Total .............................................................. 336, 000
As before stated, it is my opinion that this improvement is worthy of
being undertaken, and is earnestly recommended.
The following papers accompany this report:
Report of J. W. Sackett, assistant engineer.
Copy of report of Mr. O. N. Bie.
Copy of letter of H. E. Jacobs, auditor Plant System of Railways.
Copy of commercial statistics accompanying letter of Mr. Jacobs.
Five tracings in a separate package, being sheets A,* B,* C,* and D,*
and a general map of the bay.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. H. BENYAURD,
Lieut. Col., Corps of Engineers.
Brig. Gen. JOHN M. WILSON,
Chief of Engineers, U. S. A.



REPORT OF MR. J. W. SACKETT, ASSISTANT ENGINEER.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., June 26, 1897.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the survey of Tampa
Bay, Florida, made during the months of December, 1896, and January, February,
and March, 1897:
The field party was in local charge of Mr. O. N. Bie and the personnel was practi-
cally the same as in the survey of Biscayne Bay, which immediately preceded this.
The U. S. snag boat Suwanee, having its own motive power, was used for a quarter
boat, etc., as on the preceding survey.
The plan of the survey was based upon the information obtained in the preliminary
Not printed.








4 TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA.

examination of this bay made in October, 1894, to the report on which, found in
Report of Chief of Engineers for 1895, page 1570 et seq., attention is respectfully
invited. Detailed surveys were required of all portions of the channel where depths
less than 24 feet were found. This involved a scheme of triangulation extending
from deep water off the entrance at Egmont Key and the extreme southern end of
the bay to Port Tampa, covering an area of about 175 square miles. Of all the
Coast Survey stations in that vicinity, descriptions of which had been furnished by
the office of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, only two could be identi-
fied, viz, Egmont Key Light-House and station Palm on the north end of Anna
Maria Key. The triangulation was based upon these stations. The progress of the
work of triangulation, as well as the other work of the survey, was much interfered
with by stormy weather and a hazy condition of the atmosphere. For a detailed
account of the survey reference is invited to the report of Mr. Bie.
The survey has been plotted on four sheets to a scale of -uTT and a map of the
entire bay has been made to a scale of -Bgu. Most of the shore line and the sound-
ings in areas not covered by the four sheets before mentioned have been supplied
from Coast Survey chart No. 177.
A tide gauge was established at Egmont Key and referred to a bench mark of the
United States Coast Survey at Egmont Key Light-House. The elevation of the plane
of mean low water used at that place is from determination by the Coast Survey.
Tide gauges were established at a point near Indian Hill, on the east side of the bay,
about 15 miles from Egmont Key, on the wharf at St. Petersburg and at Port Tampa.
From the result of these observations the following information has been deduced:

Stion.. Mean range Mean lunitidal
Station. of tide. interval.

Feet. h. m.
Egmont Key-............................................................. 1.54 XI VI
Indian Hill.............................................................. 1.73 XII XLI
St. Petersburg........... ............................................. 1.84 XIII III
Port Tampa ............................................................. 1.95 XIII XXI

The maximum velocity of the current observed was 1.8 feet per second on the bar,
and 2.08 feet per second, on both ebb and flood, at a point in the channel in the bay
about 11 miles above Egmont Key.
The improvement desired is a 24-foot channel at mean low water from the Gulf of
Mexico to Port Tampa. There appears to be nothing impracticable in the improve-
ment of the channel to that extent. The borings indicate that nothing more difficult
to remove than sand and broken shells will be encountered and previous expe-
rience in this bay and elsewhere in harbors along the Gulf Coast has been such that
a reasonable degree of permanency may be expected in the dredged channel with-
out the aid of deflecting dikes or jetties. The channels dredged through the shoals
at the entrance to Old Tampa Bay to a depth of 20 feet, where 15 feet originally
existed, ha e maintained themselves through a period of four years since the work
was completed. The recent survey shows that a depth of 20 feet exists.through
both cuts. The bar at the entrance to the bay has a depth in excess of 21 feet, hence
it is safe to say that the bottom there is not subjdct to disturbance by wave action,
as waves along that coast rarely if ever attain dimensions sufficient to cause a
disturbance at the bottom in that depth of water.
A comparison between maps of the earliest surveys and the recent survey shows a
remarkably stable condition of the bottom at the entrance. For these reasons it is
believed that a dredged channel across the bar can be maintained with at most only
a slight amount of dredging occasionally.
The channel across the bar should have a width of 500 feet and in the bay 300 feet.
Upon that basis, with an allowance of 1 foot extra depth for back filling," and at
the rate of 30 cents per cubic yard on the bar and 20 cents per cubic yard in the bay,
the following estimate has been prepared:
130,000 cubic yards, at 30 cents..-.-...--- ..-------------......------- .....--- $39, 000
1,235,000 cubic yards, at 20 cents -----------..----.----......--........... 247, 000
Engineering and contingencies, about 15 per cent of total cost............. 50,000

Total-..----....--....----............---...... .... ...-----......--..-----.....--....----. 336, 000
For the reasons shown in the report of the preliminary examination previously
referred to, particularly.in regard to the necessity for a considerable number of the
vessels taking phosphate at Port Tampa to proceed to other ports to complete their








TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA. 5

cargoes, and considering the magnitude of the commerce of the port, which, accord-
ing to the statistics furnished by Mr. H. E. Jacobs, auditor of the Plant Steamship
Line, amounted to $16,280,157 during the year ending December 31, 1896, it is
apparent that this improvement is eminently worthy of being undertaken.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. SACKETT,
Assistant Engineer.
Lieut. Col. W. H. H. BENYAURD,
Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.



REPORT OF MR. O. N. BIE, MASTER U. S. SNAG BOAT SUWANEE.

UNITED STATES DREDGE SUWANEE,
Tampa, Fla., March 10, 1897.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit my report of the survey of Tampa Bay,
Florida.
After completing the survey of Biscayne Bay I proceeded with the U. S. snag boat
Suwanee to Tampa, arriving there December 6. The snag boat was hauled out and
the bottom scraped; an examination of Hillsboro Bay made, and the actual field
work of Tampa Bay survey commenced on December 16, the surveying party con-
sisting of myself, three transitmen, one recorder, and the Suwanee's crew.
Base line.-The distance from station Palm, on the north end of Anna Maria Key,
to Egmont Light-House, as previously determined by the United States Coast and
Geodetic Survey, was used as a base line for a system of triangulation extending to
Port Tampa. At the upper end of this system, between Port Tampa and Gadsdens
Point, a check base line, 10,898.04 feet, was carefully measured and remeasured with
a 100-foot steel tape. A 16-pound pull registered on a spring balance attached to
the end of the tape was used in measuring, and correction for catenary curve com-
puted. In remeasuring, the distance checked within 0.25 foot. The distance as
computed from station Palm and Egmont Light-House base line for thih check base
line and the measured distance were found to agree satisfactorily.
Soundings.-The area of the survey covers the ship channel and adjacent shoals
from Port Tampa to Buoy No. 6, off Piney Point, about 87 square miles, and the north
channel from Mullet Key to the whistling buoy, with adjacent shoals, about 40 square
miles. The intervening distance has over 24 feet depth at mean low water, and no
survey was necessary. About 30,000 soundings were taken.
Borings.-Thirteen borings, ranging in depth from 30 to 33 feet, were taken at
different parts of the channel, and no rock was found. The material along the
channel consists of hard sand, which, in some places, is underlaid at a depth of 28
feet with a mixture of mud and sand. I am satisfied that no rock would be found
along the channel from the bar to Port Tampa at a less depth than 30 feet.
Tidal observations.-Tidal observations were taken at Egmont Wharf, Indian Hill,
St. Petersburg, and Port Tampa. The plane of mean low water established by the
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey was used in making soundings on the,
survey of the bar, but mean low water at the other places was obtained from our
tidal records, which, at Indian Hill and Port Tampa, extended over a period of six
weeks, and at St. Petersburg eight weeks. The mean range of tides deduced from
these observations is: Egmont, 1.54 feet; Indian Hill, 1.73 feet; St. Petersburg, 1.84
feet, and Port Tampa, 1.95 feet. Permanent bench marks were established at these
places.
Current observations.-Current observations were taken during one flood and one
ebb tide with a pole float on the bar and at Piney Point buoy, and direction and
velocity noted every half hour. The maximum velocity observed at Piney Point
buoy was 2.08 feet per second on both ebb and flood and 1.8 feet per second on the bar.
Maps.-Four maps to a scale of nT0 were partly made and forwarded to your
office to be completed.
I am indebted to Capt. Oscar C. Hamlet and officers of the U. S. practice ship Chase
for the use of their steam launch and for tidal observations day and night for about
eight weeks, and also to Mr. H. E. Jacobs; auditor Plant Steamship Line, for accom-
panying statistics.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. N.- BIE, Master.
Lieut. Col. W. H. H. BENYAURD,
Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.







6 TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA.

LETTER OF MR. H.. E. JACOBS, AUDITOR PLANT STEAMSHIP LINE.

PLANT SYSTEM,
Port Tampa, Fla., January 15, 1897.
DEAR SIR: As requested in your letter of the 4th instant, to Mr. John Bradley,
agent, I have prepared commercial statistics for Tampa Bay for the year 1896, as has
been customary in the past.
The tonnage figures are approximately correct with the exception that I have esti-
mated the traffic by the steamer Manatee at 3,000 tons and have also estimated the
fish and oysters after consulting with the freight and express agents in Tampa and
at this point. I have given the phosphate and coal in short tons, 2,000 pounds,
which will conform with the other articles.
I also take pleasure in handing you statement of our phosphate shipments for the
year.
Yours, very truly,
H. E. JACOBS, Auditor.
Mr. 0. N. BIE,
In charge of Survey of Tampa Bay.




COMMERCIAL STATISTICS.

Commerce of Tampa Bay, Fla., year ending December 31, 1896.

[Furnished by the Plant Steamship Line, Port Tampa, Fla.]

Articles. Gross Estimated
tonnage. value.

Fertilizers.................................... ................... 1, 000 $30, 000
Fruits ................................... ................................. 400 20. 000
Grain ..... ............................................................ 1,200 300,000
Flour, meal, and grits..... ....- .... .... .... .... .... ... ..... ........ .......... 7, 200 288,000
Merchandise.................................................................. 45, 015 11,253, 750
Oranges....................................................................... 1,025 76, 902
Phosphate rock...... .......-..... ........ .... ......... ....... ................ 77, 200 689, 290
Phosphate pebble......... ................ ........ ....... ............ 120, 213 1,073,333
Vegetables.................... ............................................ 3,275 163,542
Fish and oysters ........................................................... 3, 000 120,000
Tobacco .................................................................. 1,100 2, 200, 000
Coal ..... .. ... ..................................15,960 63,840
Bananas ........ ...... ................ ........ ........... ... .........---....-- 50 1,500
Total ................. ......... .........-- ................... 276, 638 16, 280,157


Tobacco receipts discontinued May 27, account Government prohibition.
Habana trade trifling. Very heavy decrease in traffic to Cuba.

Arrivals and departures of vessels for the year ending Decentber 31, 1896.

Arrivals. Departures.
Kind of vessel.
SNo. Tons. No. Tons.

Steamers ---.... ........................ ............. 1, 857 534, 944 1, 857 534, 944
ili vessels...87 88, 400 87 88,400
Sailing vessels.--- 30 2,400 30 2,400

Total ....................................... ........... 1,974 625,744 1,974 62544

Estimated number of passengers carried by water..............................--.... 42, 401
Estimated percentage of total trade of neighborhood carried by water............ -per cent.. 70
H. E. JACOBS, Auditor.
PORT TAMPA, FLA., January 15, 1897.

O





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