Group Title: House document / 62d Congress, 2d session ; Document no. 699.
Title: Charlotte Harbor, Fla. Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting with a letter from the chief of engineers, reports of examination and survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., with a view to securing a channel of increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico to Punta Gorda.
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 Material Information
Title: Charlotte Harbor, Fla. Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting with a letter from the chief of engineers, reports of examination and survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., with a view to securing a channel of increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico to Punta Gorda.
Series Title: House document 62d Congress, 2d session
Physical Description: 12 p. : fold. map ;
Language: English
Publisher: U.S. G.P.O.
Place of Publication: Washington
Publication Date: 1912
 Subjects
Subject: Charlotte Harbor (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Charlotte -- Charlotte Harbor
 Notes
General Note: April 16, 1912 -- 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: UF00004574
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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62D CONGRESS, t HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DOCUMENT
Rd Session. No. 699.





CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.



LETTER

FROM


THE SECRETARY OF WAR,
TRANSMITTING,

WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORTS ON
EXAMINATION AND SURVEY OF CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.,
WITH A VIEW TO SECURING A CHANNEL OF INCREASED DEPTH
FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO TO PUNTA GORDA.


APRIL 16, 1912.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered to
be printed, with illustration.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, April 15, 1912.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter from the
Chief of Engineers, United States Army, dated 13th instant, together
with copies of reports from Capt. G. R. Spalding and Capt. J. R.
Slattery, Corps of Engineers, dated February 18, 1911, November 29,
1911, and April 1, 1912, on preliminary examination, supplemental
report thereon, and on survey, respectively, of Charlotte Harbor,
Fla., made in compliance with the provisions of the river and harbor
act approved June 25, 1910.
Very respectfully, H. L. STIMSON,
Secretary of War.
The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, April 13, 1912.
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith, for transmission to Con-
gress; reports dated February 18, 1911, by Capt. G. R. Spalding,
Corps of Engineers, on preliminary examination, and November 29,







2 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.

1911; and April 1, 1912, by Capt J. R. Slattery, Corps of Engineers,
supplementary to the preliminary examination report and on survey,
respectively, of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., with a view to securing a
channel of increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico to Punta Gorda,
called for by the river and harbor act approved June 25, 1910.
Within the main entrance to Charlotte Harbor, known as Boca
Grande, is an anchorage ground with an area of 350 acres having a
mean low-water depth of not less thar 24 feet, where seagoing vessels
generally receive their cargoes from lighters without difficulty. A
least depth of 24 feet is available thence to the Gulf of Mexico, except
upon two shoals, respectively, about 21- and 31 miles seaward of the
entrance.
The United States has previously provided a channel 12 feet deep
and 200 feet wide from Boca Grande to Punta Gorda, but no work has
been done on this channel since 1903.
The district officer presents with favorable recommendation a plan
for dredging through the two shoals mentioned a channel 300 feet
wide and 24 feet deep, at an estimated cost of $40,000 and $4,000
annually for maintenance, if done by one of the Government dredges
available for the work in the Jacksonville engineer district. This
recommendation is concurred in by the division engineer.
These reports have been referred, as required by law, to the Board
of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and attention is invited to its
report herewith, dated April 8, 1912. The board concurs with the
district officer and the division engineer in recommending the im-
provement of the entrance to Charlotte Harbor as proposed, on con-
dition, however, that local interests will contribute one-half the esti-
mated original cost thereof, the board holding that since the interests
concerned in this improvement are almost entirely limited to one
railroad company handling largely one commodity, on which there
will be considerable saving in cost of transfer by the elimination of
lighterage charges, there should be this degree of cooperation on the
part of those interests receiving the benefit.
After due consideration of the above-mentioned reports, I concur
in general with the views of the district officer, the division engineer,
and the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and therefore
in carrying out the instructions of Congress, I report as follows: That
the improvement by the United States of the entrance to Charlotte
Harbor, Fla., is deemed advisable so far as to secure an available
channel depth of 24 feet and a width of 300 feet from the Gulf of
Mexico to Boca Grande, following in general the methods described
in the report of the district officer at an estimated cost of $40,000 for
first construction and $4,000 annually for maintenance, provided local
interests contribute one-half the estimated original cost thereof.
These estimates are based on the supposition that the work will, as
now seems desirable and advantageous, be prosecuted under a first
appropriation of the entire cost to the United States, or $20,000.
The rest of the water route named in the act, i. e., that from
Boca Grande to Punta Gorda, is still under consideration, and report
thereon will be forwarded later.
Very respectfully, W. H. BIXBY,
Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army.
The SECRETARY OF WAR.







CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 3

REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,
ON PLAN AND ESTIMATE OF COST OF IMPROVEMENT.
[Third indorsement.]
THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,
Washington, April 8, 1912.
Respectfully returned to the Chief of Engineers, United States
Army.
A survey of the entrance to Charlotte Harbor having been made
by the district officer, he estimates the cost of obtaining a channel
300 feet wide and 24 feet deep from the 24-foot curve in the Gulf to
deep water in Boca Grande at $40,000 and $4,000 annually for main-
tenance, and expresses the opinion that the locality is worthy of
improvement to this extent. The division engineer concurs in this
opinion.
Having fully considered all information available in this case,
including a number of papers submitted by interested parties, the
board believes that the commerce of the locality is of sufficient
importance to justify the improvement, but in view of the fact that
the interests concerned are almost entirely limited to one railroad
company handling largely one commodity, on which there will be
considerable saving in cost of transfer by the elimination of lighter-
age charges, the board believes that this is a case in which there
should be cooperation on the part of the interests to be benefited.
It therefore believes that it is advisable for the United States to under-
take the improvement of the entrance channel to Charlotte Harbor
with a view to securing a channel 300 feet wide and 24 feet deep at
mean low water at an estimated cost of $40,000 and $4,000 annually
for maintenance, provided local interests will contribute one-half the
estimated original cost, the United States to assume the expense of
subsequent maintenance.
If the improvement be adopted, the full amount to be furnished by
the United States, $20,000, should be provided in one appropriation,
the expenditure of which should be contingent upon contribution of
a similar amount by local interests.
In compliance with law, the board reports that there are no ques-
tions of waterpower involved, and except as proposed above there
are no questions of terminal facilities or other related subjects which
could be coordinated with the improvement proposed in such manner
as to lessen the cost thereof and compensate the Government for
expenditures made in the interests of commerce and navigation.
For the board:
WM. T. ROSSELL,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers,
Senior Member of the Board.


PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA., FROM
THE GULF OF MEXICO TO PUNTA GORDA.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Jacksonville, Fla., February 18, 1911.
SIR: In compliance with department letter dated August 4, 1910,
Ii have the honor to submit the following report on a preliminary







4 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.

examination of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., with a view to securing a
channel of increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico to Punta Gorda.
Under date of November 3, 1899, Maj. (then Capt.) Henry Jervey,
Corps of Engineers, submitted a report on a survey of this waterway,
which may be found printed as House Document No. 76, Fifty-sixth
Congress, first session, and on pages 2049 to 2054, Annual Report of
the Chief of Engineers for 1900.
The following extract from Maj. Jervey's report gives an accurate
idea of conditions as they still exist:
Charlotte Harbor lies about 74 miles south of Tampa Bay, and offers the most south-
erly deep-water harbor on the west coast of the mainland of Florida. The main
entrance to the harbor, known as Boca Grande, enters between Gasparilla Island on
the north and La Costa Island on the south. It is straight and stable in position and
depth, with a depth exceeding 24 feet, except upon two shoals or bars, respectively
about 21 and 3L miles seaward of the entrance, and upon which the least channel
depth is 19 feet at mean low water. The average rise of the tide is nearly 2 feet.
Within the entrance is an anchorage ground with an area of 350 acres and a mean
low-water depth of not less than 24 feet, the depth in 250 acres of the area.being 27
feet and over. In this anchorage seagoing vessels can generally receive their cargoes
from lighters without difficulty.
In his report Maj. Jervey stated that while an increased depth on
the bar would probably be a material benefit to commerce by enabling
deep-draft vessels to load to their full capacity in the anchorage
grounds within the entrance, there is no apparent demand for a
deeper channel from the entrance to Punta Gorda.
Since the time Maj. Jervey's report was filed the 12-foot channel to
Punta Gorda has been completed. No work of improvement or
maintenance has been done on the channel since 1903, and, while it is
not to be presumed that the full 12-foot depth is still available
throughout, no complaints from navigation interests have indicated
the necessity or desirability of maintenance work. This is undoubt-
edly due to the fact that few, if any, boats needing such a commodious
channel navigate it. This channel was constructed primarily to take
care of the movenient of river pebble phosphate by barges to Boca
Grande anchorage. This method of transportation is no longer used.
During this last year the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway
Co. has completed a line of road from the pebble phosphate region,
in the neighborhood of Mulberry, Fla., to Gasparilla Island on Boca
Grande Harbor, and have constructed on Gasparilla Island large
bins for the storage of the dried rock ready for shipment, a wharf
to deep water with modern machinery for the economical and rapid
loading of ships. It is understood that this railroad line is owned
or controlled by the American Agricultural Chemical Co., which
company has large holdings of phosphate lands in the pebble district.
Awaiting the completion of the handling plant on Gasparilla Island,
the phosphate rock from this company now moves to Tampa over the
Seaboard Air Line Railway.
The pebble phosphate movement out of Florida is very large. Of.
the total amount moved, more than one-half goes over the Atlantic
Coast Line Railway to Port Tampa and most of the remainder over
the Seaboard Air Line to Tampa. A large percentage of the latter
movement will be diverted to Boca Grande when the facilities at that
point are completed. It is difficult to estimate the amount which
will be handled at the latter point, but probably it will amount to
100,000 tons with present water facilities, and if the channel is im-
proved to 24 feet, that amount will perhaps be doubled.







CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 5

The United States has already constructed a deep-water channel to
Port Tampa and is now constructing a 24-foot channel to Tampa
largely on account of the phosphate movement. Boca Grande has
at present as good water as Tampa, though it will not have when the
present project at Tampa is completed. With 20 feet of water
Tampa is now shipping about 30,000 tons per month.
It is believed that no field survey is necessary to estimate the cost
of a channel which will take care of future shipments from this port,
as physical conditions have not altered since Maj. Jervey's report,
and the work can be done under his estimate, which has been avail-
able to Congress for several years.
There is at this time very little commerce at Boca Grande and
none which would justify any improvement of the good natural
channel. I am confident, however, that a large tonnage will be
moved out of that channel next year. I am of the opinion, however,
that the improvement of the channel by the United States can well
await the actual development of a growing commerce and for that
reason do not believe that at this time the project is a worthy one
for the United States to undertake.
Very respectfully, GEO. R. SPALDING,
Captain, Corps of Engineers.
The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY
(Through the Division Engineer).
[First indorsement.]
OFFICE OF DIVISION ENGINEER, SOUTHEAST DIVISION,
Savannah, Ga., February 20, 1911.
Respectfully forwarded to the Chief of Engineers, United States
Army.
I agree with the district officer that the further improvement of
Charlotte Harbor is not worthy of consideration at this time.
DAN C. KINGMAN,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers,
Division Engineer.
[Third indorsement.]
THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,
Washington, January 3, 1912.
Respectfully returned to the Chief of Engineers, United States
Army.
Under a' project adopted by the act of September 19, 1890, a
channel 12 feet deep and 200 feet wide was dredged from the wharves
at Punta Gorda to Boca Grande. In the within report the district
officer states that no work of improvement or maintenance has
been done on this channel since 1903, and that while it is not pre-
sumed that the full 12-foot depth is still available throughout, no
complaints from navigation interests have indicated the desirability
or. necessity of maintenance work. The channel was constructed
primarily to take care of the movement of river barges to Boca
Grande anchorage, which method of transportation is no longer
used. The present examination requires consideration of improve-







6 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.

ment of Charlotte Harbor, with a view to securing a channel of
increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico to Punta Gorda. The
district officer concurs in the view expressed in a former report on
this subject, that there is no apparent demand for a deeper channel
from the entrance to Punta Gorda.
The district officer reports that the Charlotte Harbor & Northern
Railroad Co. has completed a line of road from the pebble phos-
phate region in the neighborhood of Mulberry, Fla., to Casparilla
Island, on Boca Grande Harbor, and has constructed on this island
suitable storage and terminal facilities with modern machinery, for
the economical and rapid loading of ships. At the time of the
submission of the within report, the line in question was not yet in
operation, and while it appeared probable that a large commerce
would develop upon completion of the railroad and its terminals,
the district officer expressed the opinion that the improvement of
the channel by the United States can well await the actual develop-
ment of a growing commerce, and for this reason he expressed the
opinion that the project was not worthy to be undertaken by the
United States.
In connection with its consideration of this subject, a committee
of the board visited the locality on March 16, 1911, made an inspec-
tion of the railroad and terminal facilities, and conferred with repre-
sentatives of the road. The board found the work of wharf construc-
tion and loading appliances in an advanced state, and as it seemed
probable that the shipment of phosphate would soon commence it
believed it advisable to hold the question in abeyance with a view
to observing the commercial development of the harbor.
The board now has before it a supplemental report of the district
officer dated November 29, 1911, from which it is learned that the
shipment of phosphate has been in progress since April, 1911. At the
present time only one phosphate company is shipping through Boca
Grande, but the output of this company is atf the rate of about
300,000 tons per year, and it appears that contracts with other com-
panies have been made which will amount to at least 200,000 tons
per year. The depth available through the entrance is now about
19 feet, and it appears that a depth of 24 feet is required to meet the
needs of the character of vessels engaged in the commerce of the port.
The district officer expresses the opinion that the commerce that
would be handled through Boca Grande would fully warrant the
deepening of the channel over the bar to this depth, and he recom-
mends the preparation of plans and estimates of cost. The division
engineer concurs in the views of the district officer.
In view of the existing conditions at this locality as explained
above, the board believes that it is not advisable for the General
Government to undertake any further improvement inside of the
entrance up to Punta Gorda, but that it is advisable for the United
States to undertake the desired improvemenit at the entrance, pro-
vided the cost is not excessive. To determine this question it con-
curs with the district officer and division engineer in recommending
the authorization of plans and estimates.
For the board:
WM. T. ROSSELL,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers,
Senior Member of the Board.







CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 7
[Fourth indorsement.]
WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, February 10, 1912.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
This is a report on preliminary examination of Charlotte Harbor,
Fla., authorized by the river and harbor act of June 25, 1910.
Inviting attention to the report of the Board of Engineers for
Rivers and Harbors in the preceding indorsement, I recommend that
a plan and estimate of cost of improvement of the entrance, as pro-
posed, be authorized.
W. H. BIXBY,
Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army.
[Fifth indorsement.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, February 12, 1912.
Approved as recommended by the Chief of Engineers.
ROBERT SHAW OLIVER,
Assistant Secretary of War.

SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT ON PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA., FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO TO BOCA
GRANDE.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Jacksonville, Fla., November 29, 1911.
SIR: In compliance with department indorsement, dated October
6, 1911, I have the honor to submit the following supplemental report
on a preliminary examination df Charlotte Harbor with a view to
securing a channel of increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico to
Punta Gorda:
On November 22, 1911, I proceeded to Boca Grande over the Char-
lotte Harbor & Northern Railway, meeting en route numerous men
in charge of phosphate mining operations, vegetable growers, buyers
and shippers, naval stores and lumbermen. On the 23d instant,
Mr. Fouts, vice president and general manager of the Charlotte Har-
bor & Northern railway, placed at my disposal the railroad records of
freight traffic handled.
The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad was built primarily to
handle phosphate. South Boca Grande, its terminus, has the best
facilities for loading phosphate on ships in this district. A storage
bin has been provided capable of storing 23,000 tons of phosphate
rock. Cars carrying phosphate empty through a hopper onto a
system of belt conveyors which conveys the phosphate to various
points in the bin or direct to vessels. From the bin the phosphate
can also be drawn directly onto belt conveyors and conveyed to the
vessels. At other points in this district no storage space is provided,
and elevators load ships direct from the cars.
This frequently results in considerable delay, especially in cases
when the date of arrival of the ship is not known in advance. The
large storage capacity provided at South Boca Grande insures a ship
getting its cargo without a moment's delay, the elevator being capa-
ble of loading at the rate of 600 tons per hour, and being habitually
operated at an actual loading rate of about 400 tons per hour, which







8 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.

covers all delays incident to loading. This arrangement would enable
a ship to enter this port, take on a cargo of 3,000 tons of phosphate,
and get away again in less than 12 hours, if sufficient depth existed
over the bar to enable the boat to be independent of the tide. There
is at present, however, a limiting depth of 19 feet on the bar, and
practically all the ships carrying phosphate from this point desire to
load to at least 21 feet, and they are, therefore, compelled to wait for
high water to leave. Boca Grande is 12 hours nearer the Atlantic
Ocean than Port Tampa and Tampa. If given a depth of 24 feet, the
shorter sail and better loading facilities would enable a ship to come
here, get its cargo, and get away in all the way from one to three days'
time less than would be possible if it went to Tampa. The usual
demurrage charge for vessels frequenting this port is $250 per day,
which figure just about covers running expenses and interest on cost
for the class of vessels now using the port. The unwillingness of ves-
sels to be delayed clearly indicates that delays are far from profitable
at this figure. Many of the vessels, in fact, pay for dispatch. The
saving of from one to three days per trip for a vessel would make a
considerable increase in its earning capacity during the course of a
year.
At this time the Pierce Phosphate Co. is the only one shipping
through Boca Grande. At the rate at which this company has been
shipping since April it alone would ship 300,000 tons per year. Con-
tracts have been made with the Florida Mining Co., located at Mul-
berry, Fla., and with the Palmetto Phosphate Co., located at Tiger
Bay, Fla., for shipments via Boca Grande, which will amount to at
l-ast 200,000 tons per year. The two latter companies have hereto-
fore shipped by way of Tampa.: Since April, five or six vessels per
month have loaded phosphate at this port, and the increased amount
of phosphate alone will nearly double the number of vessels loading
at this point.
There are enormous deposits of phosphate along the line of the
Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad belonging to the American
Agriculture Co., Wilson & Toomer, the Palmetto Phosphate Co., and
others which have not as yet been touched. On the day on which I
passed over this line work was just being commenced on opening up
one of these deposits. The engineer in charge of this work stated that
400,000 tons per year would be taken from these new mines, and that
it was their expectation to ship by way of Boca Grande. The freight
rates on phosphate are the same to Tampa and Boca Grande, but the
better facilities for loading at Boca Grande and the time saved by
vessels which loitd there make the phosphate miners expect to get'
better water rates from this point than they now get from Tampa.
There are also extensive phosphate beds along the Peace River, which,
when worked, would naturally ship through Boca Grande. While
there is no immediate prospect of these beds being worked, they will
certainly be worked at some future date.
There are two lumber companies located on the Charlotte Harbor
& Northern Railroad, each of which handles about 500 tons of lumber,
ties, and crates per year. There is quite a demand for crates in the
West Indies. Several shipments of crates have already been made
to Porto Rico by these companies via Boca Grande, and every effort
is being made to develop this business, which representatives of
these companies state can best be handled through Boea Grande.







CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 9

There are also located along this line of railroad 11 companies
producing naval stores amounting to about 15,000 tons per year.
All of this at the present time is shipped by rail to Jacksonville and
Savannah, and thence to New York and other northeastern and
European markets. Whether this would be handled through Boca
Grande is not certain. At present ships desire to take assorted
cargoes of cotton and naval stores and this combination is obtainable
only at Savannah. It would certainly seem to be more economical,
however, to handle the naval stores of this section by water through
Boca Grande, even if a call had to be made at some other port for
cotton.
The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway passes through a sec-
tion of territory well adapted to citrus fruits, tomatoes, beans, and
cabbages, and large quantities of these fruits and vegetables are
produced. Fruits and vegetables in this locality, however, ripen
about two weeks later than those on the east coast of Florida,
and therefore growers miss the highest prices. All this produce is
now shipped by rail to Jacksonville. Freight rates are so high that
producers frequently, instead of making anything on their fruit, are
called upon for freight charges. The result has been that during
the past few years great quantities of fruit and vegetables have
simply rotted on the trees or ground because the freight charges for
delivery to markets were higher than the market value of the prod-
uce. This state of affairs greatly retards the development of this
section of the State. Fruit and vegetable growers are greatly inter-
ested in the deepening of the harbor at Boca Grande, because they
think when this is done a steamship line will be established between
Boca Grande and Mobile or New Orleans, which will enable them to
get their fruits into the markets of the Central West at from 10 to 17
cents per crate less than they do now. This saving, one of the largest
packers and shippers stated, would probably be sufficient to insure
the producers a fair profit on their products and would result in
greatly increasing the acreage under cultivation. The gentleman
referred to does not live at Boca Grande and, so far as can be learned,
is not interested either in the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway
or ii real estate in Boca Grande.
The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway contemplates in the
immediate future constructing coal elevators at South Boca Grande,
with a view- to supplying coal throughout the tributary territory, which
can be done in this way at a much lower rate than at present. This
will enable ships to come to this port loaded with coal and take away
a load of phosphate and lumber. General merchandise can also be
advantageously supplied in this way when regular steamship lines
are available for the purpose.
The raising of cattle is becoming an important industry in this
locality, there being in the county of De Soto about 121,776 head.
There is a ready market for these cattle in Cuba, and the future of
this industry is bright.
The Bull Line of steamers operates six steamers between New York,
Porto Ritco, and Boca Grande, three of 4,600 tons and three of 3,300
tons, drawing when fully loaded about 21 feet. These ships arrive
about once a week, but do not run on regular schedules.
The management of a line of steamers plying between Baltimore
and Galveston has had under consideration making Boca Grande a
port of call, but has decided not to do so until deeper water is avail-
H D--62-2-vol 27----10







10 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.

able. The Mallory Line has also considered calling at this port, but
has stated that they would not do so until deeper water is available
over the bar.
The commerce to be benefited by an improvement of this locality
may be summarized as follows:
Tons.
Phosphate rock..................... ............. .......... ............. 500,000
Lumber, ties, and crates.................................................. 1, 000
Naval stores-...-...----- ....-- .... .. .. ...... .... .............. ........... 15, 000
Fruits and vegetables .................. ... ........ ...................... 3,000
Total............................... .. .. ... ... .. ...... ..... .. 5519,000
An excellent channel of 12 feet already exists from Punta Gorda to
Boca Grande. The cost of obtaining a much deeper channel to this
point would be so great as not to be warranted. A channel affording
a least depth of 61 feet also extends from Boca Grande to Punta
Rassa. From Punta Rassa to Fort Myers a 10-foot channel has been
dredged. These channels would make barge traffic between Punta
Gorda and Fort Myers and Boca Grande possible, and if not throttled
by railroads there would seem to be every reason to expect the deliv-
ery of a considerable amount of freight by this means to Boca Grande,
to be shipped from there by seagoing vessels.
If, as claimed by fruit men, a saving of 10 cents per crate could be
made on fruits and vegetables by shipping through Boca Grande, this
saving would amount to $25,000 per year. The bar at Boca Grande
could be deepened by means of the seagoing dredge Key West for far
less than has been estimated in previous reports. I am of the opinion
that no improvement is warranted between Boca Grande and Punta
Gorda at the present time, but that the commerce that will be handled
through Boca Grande fully warrants deepening the channel over the
bar to a depth of 24 feet, which is the depth desired by those interested
in the improvement.
A complete survey is not necessary in order to prepare plans and
estimates, but borings should be taken in order to obtain more certain
information as to the character of the material to be dredged, as exist-
ing information as to this material is not based on actual examination,
so far as can be learned. It is estimated that it will cost $300 to make
the necessary borings and prepare plans and estimates.
There are no questions of water power or drainage connected with
this matter.
Very respectfully, J. R. SLATTERY,
Captain, Corps of Engineers.
The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY
(Through the Division Engineer).

PLAN AND ESTIMATE OF COST OF IMPROVEMENT OF THE ENTRANCE
TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Jacksonville, Fla., April 1, 1912.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following plan and estimate
of cost of improving the channel across the bar at the entrance to
Charlotte Harbor, Fla., made in compliance with department letter
of February 13, 1912.








CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 11

The funds allotted for the preparation of this plan and estimate
were used in making new soundings in the entrance channel of Char-
lotte Harbor; in taking borings in this channel; and in preparing a
map showing the present condition of the locality. The map is
submitted herewith.
This map show1 that the channel has shifted southward from the
position occupied at the time of the survey made in 1890-91. On
the map are indicated the cuts that wouMd have to be made in order
to obtain a channel 300 feet wide and 24 feet deep from the 24-foot
curve in the Gulf to .the deep water at Boca Grande. All borings
were taken to a least depth of 30 feet. No rock was encountered.
The material to be dredged consists of sand with some shell and mud
mixed with it, and can be readily dredged by an hydraulic seagoing
suction dredge. While it is probable that a channel at this point
would not be absolutely fixed in location, it is believed that the
changes would be very slow and that a channel of the depth and
width specified could be maintained by dredging alone at a reason-
able cost.
The estimated cost of the work is as follows:
For dredging 180,000 cubic yards of soft material, at 20 cents per yard ...... $36, 000
Engineering and contingencies about 11 per cent........................ 4, 000
Total.............. .. ............ .............................. 40, 000
Annual cost of maintenance........ .... .... ..... .......................... 4, 000
In my opinion the locality is worthy of improvement to this
extent.
If the improvement is undertaken it should be done by one of the
Government dredges available in this district, and when once started
it should be pushed through to completion. The entire sum necessary
for the completion of the work should, therefore, be appropriated in
one lump sum.
Very respectfully,
J. R. SLATTERY,
Captain, Corps of Engineers.
The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY
(Through the Division Engineer).
[First indorsement.]
OFFICE OF DIVISION ENGINEER, SOUTHEAST DIVISION,
Savannah, Ga., April 2, 1912.
Respectfully forwarded to the Chief of Engineers, United States
Army.
I agree with the district officer as to the worthiness of the im-
provement under consideration, and I agree, also, with him in the
method which he proposes to adopt for its accomplishment.
DAN C. KINGMAN,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers,
Division Engineer.
[For report of Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, see
p. 3.]

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