66th CONGRESS, 1 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. [ DOCUMENT
1st Session. No. 113.
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
THE SECRETARY OF WAR,
WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORTS ON
PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION AND SURVEY OF CHARLOTTE
HARBOR, FLA., WITH A VIEW TO SECURING A CHANNEL OF IN-
CREASED DEPTH FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO TO THE TOWN OF
JUNE 17, 1919.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered to
be printed, with illustration.
Washington, June 16, 1919.
The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter from the Chief
of Engineers, United States Army, of this date, together with report
of Mr. J. M. Braxton, assistant engineer in charge, dated August 1,
1918, with map, and report of Col. Glen E. Edgerton, Corps of Engi-
neers, dated April 4, 1919, on a preliminary examination and survey,
respectively, of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., made by them in com-
pliance with the provisions of the river and harbor act approved
August 8, 1917.
NEWTON D. BAKER,
Secretary of War.
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 3
for Rivers and Harbors, and therefore report that the further improve-
ment by the United States of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., is deemed advis-
able to the extent of providing a channel 27 feet deep and 300 feet
wide, increased to 500 feet wide at the bend, as proposed by the
district engineer, at a total estimated cost of $100,000. No expend-
itures for maintenance are now contemplated. The full amount of
the estimate should be provided in one appropriation.
W. M. BLACK,
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS
"BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,
May 19, 1919.
To the Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
1. The following is in review of the district engineer's reports
authorized by the river and harbor act of August 8, 1917, on pre-
liminary examination and survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., with a
view to securing a channel of increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico
to the town of Boca Grande.
2. Charlotte Harbor is on the west coast of Florida, 70 miles
south of Tampa Bay. The existing project provides for a channel
300 feet wide and 24 feet deep at mean low water from the Gulf
of Mexico to Boca Grande, the southern terminus of the Charlotte
Harbor & Northern Railway just inside the entrance. Within the
harbor there is an extensive anchorage basin having a depth of 27
feet or more, with 30 feet up to the wharf at South Boca Grande.
The mean range of tide is 1.4 feet. The total amount expended
in securing the 24-foot channel was $31,141.62, of which local inter-
ests contributed $15,562.78. The project was completed in 1913,
since which time the channel has held without expense for main-
3. The commerce reported for 1917 amounted to 274,548 tons,
valued at $1,438,640, of which 273,368 tons, valued at $1,366,840,
was phosphate. This tonnage is less than it has been in recent
years due to war conditions. The Charlotte Harbor & Northern
ailway Co., the principal interest concerned, reports that the nor-
mal shipment of phosphate is now about 500,000 tons and that it
is expected to increase to 700,000 tons in 1920. Phosphate ship-
ments are generally made in vessels drawing 24 to 30 feet, and the
improvement desired to meet the needs of this port is an increase in
depth to 27 feet. "No increase in width is required except in easing
the bend near the inner end of the channel. It is estimated that
such a channel will cost $100,000 and that no expense will be
required for maintenance.
4. The district engineer is of opinion that the locality is worthy
of improvement by the United States in accordance with the above
estimate. The division engineer concurs regarding the advisa-
bility of the improvement, but in view of special benefits con-
ferred to the railroad and phosphate interests, he believes that
local cooperation to the extent of at least one-fourth of the cost
should be required.
H D-66-1-'vol 32-- 11
2 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, June 16, 1919.
From: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
To: The Secretary of War.
Subject: Preliminary examination and survey of Charlotte Harbor,
1. There are submitted herewith for transmission to Congress
report dated August 1, 1918, with map, by Mr. J. M. Braxton, assistant
engineer in charge, and report dated April 4, 1919, by Col. Glen E.
Edgerton, Engineers, on preliminary examination and survey,
respectively, authorized by the river and harbor act approved August
8, 1917, of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., "with a view to securing a channel
of increased depth from the Gulf of Mexico to the town of Boca
2. Charlotte Harbor is situated about 70 miles south of Tampa Bay,
and is one of the best natural harbors on the west coast of Florida.
The original channel depth through the entrance was about 19 feet.
The existing project, adopted by the river and harbor act of July 25,
1912, provides for a channel 300 feet wide and 24 feet deep atmean
low water from the Gulf of Mexico to Boca Grande, the southern
terminus of the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway just inside
the entrance. This project was completed in 1913, and the channel
has since held without expense for maintenance. The cost of the
work was F31,141.62, of which local interests contributed $15,562.78.
The improvement has materially aided in the development of an
important phosphate port, having a normal commerce of about
500,000 tons annually, with prospects of future increase. The au-
thorized depth, however, has been found insufficient for the vessels
engaged in this trade, particularly those plying to European points.
To meet the needs of navigation the district engineer submits a plan
providing for a depth of 27 feet and for widening the channel to 500
feet at the bend, where some difficulty has been experienced. The
cost of this work is estimated at $100,000, and he expresses the
opinion that the locality is worthy of further improvement by the
United States to this extent. The division engineer concurs in this
opinion, subject to the contribution of at least one-fourth the cost by
3. 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 May 19, 1919, concurring in the views
of the district and division engineers regarding the advisability of
the improvement. The board states that when the existing project
was adopted in 1912 the traffic pertained largely to one company and
the future development of the port was more or less problematical.
It was therefore deemed equitable to require liberal local cooperation
in carrying out the work. The harbor has now become an important
phosphate port, however, and is used by a number of interests.
Under the conditions now existing, the board concurs with the
district engineer in the opinion that it is proper for the United States
to undertake the proposed improvement without further cooperation
on the part of local interests.
4. After due consideration of the above-mentioned reports, I con-
cur in the views of the district engineer and the Board of Engineers
4 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
5. Since the shipment of phosphate rock began from this harbor
in 1911, there has been a large increase in commerce, and it appears
that the maximum has probably not yet been reached. When the
existing project was under consideration it was found that a depth
of 24 feet would accommodate the class of vessels desiring to use
the port. Since that time phosphate-carrying vessels have increased
in size, and it is now apparent that a depth of about 27 feet is neces-
sary. In this connection it may be stated that Tampa, also a phos-
phate-shipping port, has a project depth of 27 feet. Charlotte Harbor
is about 90 miles south of Tampa and therefore its use would save a
vessel trip of about 180 miles, an important item at present high
rates of transportation. Up to the present time this harbor has had
the unusual advantage of requiring no expenditure for maintenance.
Whether this condition will still obtain with the deeper channel de-
sired can not be definitely determined, but the district engineer is of
opinion that it will, and his views appear to be justified. In view
of these facts the board concurs with the district and division engi-
neers in believing that it is advisable for the United States to under-
take the further improvement of this harbor to the extent proposed.
When the existing project was adopted in 1912, the traffic was largely
in the hands of one company, and the future development of the port
was more or less problematical. It was therefore deemed equitable
to require- iberal local cooperation in carrying out the work. The
harbor 1 l, now become an important phosphate port, however, and
is used by a number of interests. The work contemplated is at the
ocean entrance through Boca Grande, and in the opinion of the board
it is proper for the United States to undertake this improvement
without further cooperation on the part of local interests. The board
therefore expresses the opinion that it is advisable for the United
States to undertake the further improvement of Charlotte Harbor,
with a view to securing a channel 27 feet deep, as proposed by the
district engineer, at an estimated cost of $100,000. The full amount
of the estimate should be made available in one appropriation.
6. In compliance with law, the board reports that there are no
questions of terminal facilities, water power, or other subjects so re-
lated to the project proposed that they may be coordinated therewith
to lessen the cost and compensate the 'Government for expenditures
made in the interests of navigation.
For the board:
PETER C. HAINS,
Major General, U. S. Army, Retired,
Senior Member of the Board.
PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Jacksonville, Fla., August 1, 1918.
From: The District Engineer.
To: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
-(Through the Division Engineer).
Subject: Preliminary examination of Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
1. In compliance with instructions in letter of September 1, 1917,
report is submitted of a preliminary examination of Charlotte Harbor,
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 5
Fla., authorized by the item of the river and harbor act approved
August 8, 1917, reading as follows:
The Secretary of War is hereby authorized and directed to cause preliminary ex-
amination and surveys to be made at the following-named localities:
Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
2. Charlotte Harbor, Fla., is a large bay on the west coast of Florida,
70 miles south of Tampa Bay. Its entrance is through Boca Grande
Pass. Within the main entrance is Charlotte Harbor proper, which
may be considered to extend from Gasparilla Island to Punta Gorda.
Charlotte Harbor is one of the best natural harbors on the west coast
of Florida. The original channel depth through Boca Grande Pass
was about 19 feet. The present channel at Boca Grande has 24
feet at mean low water and a width of channel of 300 feet. After
passing through the improved channel at Boca Grande, there exists
a wide expanse or anchorage basin, covering about 350 acres and
having a depth of 24 feet at mean low water. Of the 350 acres,
about 250 acres have 27 feet or more and an average depth of 30 feet
up to the dock at South Boca Grande, constructed by the Charlotte
Harbor & Northern Railway Co. Charlotte Harbor is about 5 miles
in width, having two equal arms extending eastward for a distance of
11 miles and northward for 11 miles. Punta Gorda is at the head of
this bay on Peace River, which empties into Charlotte Harbor at its
3. The following table gives reference to previous reports on the
improvement of Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande, and Peace River:
Docu- Numw- Con- s Chief of
Dou- Num- Con- Session. Ce of Page. Remarks.
ment. ber. gress. Engi-
Preliminary examination of .......... ....... .......... .......1880 1100 Unfavorable.
Charlotte Harbor and Peace
Preliminary examination of ........... .................... 1885 1286 Do.
Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
Preliminary examination of ................................. 1887 1258 Do.
Charlotte Harbor, including
San Carlos Bay, Fla.
Preliminary examination of ................... ....... ..... 1888 1102 Favorable.'
Peace River, Fla.
Survey of Charlotte Harbor and .......................... .......... 18912 1646 Do.
Peace Creek, Fla.
Preliminary examination of House 2.. 76 56th..... 1st ...... 1900 2049 Do.4
Boca Grande and Charlotte
Preliminary examination of House... 181 58th..... 2d....... 1904 1714 Unfavorable.
Charlotte Harbor, Fla. (12-
foot channel extension).
Review by Board of Engineers.. Comm.. 1 60th.... 1st...... ................. Do.
Survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla. House 2.. 699 62d...... 2d ....................... Favorable.'
Preliminary examination of ...do2... 121 63d....1st...... ............ Unfavorable.
Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
1 Favorable only for dredging in Charlotte Harbor at an estimated cost of $30,000.
2 With map.
8 Favorable to 23 feet over the bar at an estimated cost of $35,000.
4 Favorable to 25 feet over the bar at an estimated cost of $140,000.
5 Favorable to 24 feet over the bar at an estimated cost of $40,000, provided local interests contribute one-
half of the original cost.
6 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
4. Before improvement by the National Government Boca Grande
Pass had a natural depth of 19 feet or more available at low water
and on July 25, 1912, Congress adopted a project to secure an avail-
able channel depth of 24 feet and width of 300 feet from the gulf to
Boca Grande. This project was completed in 1913, and has main-
tained itself without expense, and there now exists a channel of 24
feet depth having a width of 300 feet from the Gulf of Mexico
through Boca Grande Pass to the wharves at South Boca Grande.
Before the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was built to Punta Gorda
boats drawing 6 feet of water operated regularly between Cedar
Keys, at that time the southern terminus of the Florida Central &
Peninsula Railway, now the Seaboard Air Line Railway, and docked
at Punta Gorda, near the mouth of Peace River. In 1900 the
National Government completed work which provided a channel 12
feet deep and 200 feet wide from Boca Grande to Punta Gorda.
There are no bridges spanning the Boca Grande Pass or the water-
way from Boca Grande Pass to Punta Gorda.
5. The field work on this preliminary examination was conducted
by Mr. W. W. Fineren, junior engineer, and he states as follows in
regard to the desired improvement:
The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway Co. and all phosphate companies who
ship by that route desire a channel 30 feet deep over the bar at mean low water, so
that at all times an available depth of 27 feet will be secured. The Pilots' Associa-
tion desire that the inner end of the channel be widened and "eased off," so that
the larger boats can make the turn with less difficulty and danger of going on the
shoal at the breakers.
The 24-foot channel over the bar is holding its own, and has not shoaled any since
dredging. Immediately inside of the bar channel there is from 24 to 40 feet of water
in the natural channel with ample anchorage inside of the harbor, and deep water up
to the terminal dock. The mean rise and fall of the tide at the bar is nearly 2 feet, and
at Punta Gorda 1.4 feet. There is a tidal currert of about 1.5 miles per hour in the
harbor. The natural channel leads out from the pass considerably south of west,
and then turns somewhat abruptly into the dredged channel leading considerably
west of south. The entrance to the dredged channel is within 1,000 feet of the break-
ers to the north of the channel, and the fact that the bend in the channel occurs at
that point causes pilots of large steamers to fear the breakers. It can not be said,
however, that the channel is difficult to navigate, although a change of direction
of the inner end of the dredged cut would be advantageous to navigation. At times
of high northeast winds the tide goes nearly 3 feet lower than ordinary low water,
and the main channel depth is decreased by that amount. On December 11, 1917,
the tide all along the coast went 3 feet lower than usual, and a large steamer, drawing
22 feet 6 inches was delayed over six hours before the tide rose sufficiently to permit
her to depart. At such times the 24-foot depth is not available.
The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway, in letter to this office of
October 11, 1917, states as follows in regard to the desired improve-
We are, from a great many viewpoints, interested in this project, and in addition to
our own benefit-we are very greatly interested in the territory served by our rail-
road-it in turn would be benefited by this proposed project.
There are about 350,000 to 400,000 tons of phosphate handled through this port
annually, which will undoubtedly be very greatly increased after the war, which, of
course, increases the necessity of improved channel conditions. There is other freight
such as lumber, ties, and naval stores that could be handled through this port.
The principal interest in the improvement of the present channel
through Boca Grande Pass is manifested by the Charlotte Harbor &
Northern Railway Co. This channel is used nearly exclusively for
business originating on the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway,
the terminus of which is South Boca Grande, a town having a popula-
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 7
tion of about 500. In the early reports on the improvement of Boca
Grande Pass statistics were introduced to show that with the pass
improved there might be some shipment of fruit and vegetables to the
central west by boats via Mobile and New Orleans. This business
has not developed and the improvement of this channel must
rest principally upon the necessity of providing a deeper channel for
boats engaged in handling phosphate, the phosphate being brought
by the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway to South Boca Grande.
It is not thought necessary that the channel to fill the requirements
of navigatioin should be increased beyond the width now existing.
The improvement to a depth of 30 feet, so as to provide available
depth of 27 feet at all stages of the tide, may be considered as com-
plying with the request.
6. Boats using Boca Grande Pass during the year 1917 covered a
total of 142 trips, counting arrival and departure as one trip. Of
these steamers 100 were American and 12 foreign. There are no
regular lines entering or leaving the port except so far as certain
boats make repeated calls at this port for the purpose of securing
cargoes of phosphate and lumber.
7. Commerce passing through Boca Grande Pass is as follows:
American.. .. ........................................................ 130
Foreign........................... ............................. 12
Total....... .................... ... ......... ...... .... ........... 142
Registered net tonnage.............................. ................ 296,480
The above includes both arrivals and departures. In addition a local steamer made
about a dozen trips in and out of the harbor.
Articles. Amount. short tons value.
Lumber .................................................feet b.m.. 71,906 180 $1,800
Phosphate................. .................................tons.. 273,368 273,368 1,366,810
Refined oils............................................. do... 1,000 11,000 70,000
Total................................................. ....... ...' .. 274, 548 1,438,640
NOTE.-This tonnage is about 14 per cent under that of 1916, due entirely to shortage of vessels.
At the beginning of the present war phosphate shipments at South
Boca Grande terminals had reached nearly 500,000 tons per year,
which greatly exceeded tonnage that was thought probable if the
channel was improved to the 24 feet depth. The war has interfered
seriously with the shipment of phosphates from the State of Florida
to foreign markets, but it is anticipated that at the conclusion of the
war there will be an increased demand for phosphates and that the
shipment from South Boca Grande will be much greater than ever
before. Phosphate is shipped from South Boca Grande in the dry
state. From the dry phosphate phosphoric acid is extracted, and"
this in turn is used in the preparation of fertilizer. The demand for
phosphoric acid as a fertilizer will be very great after the war, as the
farming lands will require additional fertilizer, the use of fertilizer
having been much restricted by the inability of the warring countries
to secure it.
8 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
The following companies, etc., are interested in the improvement
of Boca Grande Pass:
The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway Co., Arcadia, Fla.
The Export Phosphate Co., Bartow, Fla.
The American Agricultural & Chemical Co., Pierce, Fla.
The Prairie Pebble Phosphate Co., Mulberry, Fla.
The Boca Grande Pilots' Association, South Boca Grande, Fla.
8. In regard to the work required to give a channel 27 feet deep
and 300 feet wide through Boca Grande Pass, excavation will be
required for about 2 feet for a distance of about 9,000 feet. Previous
surveys taken at this locality have shown that no rock will be en-
countered to a depth of 30 feet. A recent survey made of the locality
indicated that the 24-foot depth of channel with width of 300 feet,
as completed under present project, has shoaled but little.
9. There are forwarded herewith two letters 1 received from the
Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway expressing the desire of that*
company for the improvement of the channel. No other communi-
cations have been received.
10. In regard to terminal facilities the following extract is taken
from the report of Mr. W. W. Fineren, junior engineer:
At South Boca Grande the C. H. & N. Ry. has installed the finest loading apparatus
for phosphate that can be found in the State. This consists of a storage shed containing
23,000 tons of phosphate when filled. A belt conveyor runs from the hopper into
which the cars dump through the storage shed and out to the end of the loading dock, so
that the phosphate can be dumped into the shed or the boat at will, and when a supply
is not coming from the cars it can be drawn, without interruption, from the storage
supply in the shed. Under this arrangement a maximum of 600 tons per hour can be
loaded into a vessel, but counting all incidental delays due to various causes an aver-
age of 400 tons per hour is usually reached and boats loaded in from six to eight hours
with all that they can carry over the bar drawing 24 feet. It is possible for a large
steamer of 3,000 tons capacity to enter the harbor, load and clear within 12 hours,
which is a factor of extreme importance in shipping.
11. There are no questions of water power, drainage, reclamation,
or flood protection involved in the improvement of the proposed
12. There is forwarded herewith a map of "Preliminary Examina-
tion, Charlotte Harbor, Florida," one sheet, dated January 11, .1918.
13. In the Board of Engineers' report of January 3, 1912, on the
improvement of this waterway, it was stated:
At the present time only one phosphate company is shipping through Boca Grande,
but the output of this company is at the rate of about 300,000 tons per year, and it
appears that contracts with other companies have been made which will amount to at
least 200,000 per year. The depth available through the entrance is now about 19
feet, and it appears that the depth of 24 feet is required to meet the need of the char-
acter of vessels engaged in the commerce of the port.
The phosphate shipments from this port at the beginning of the
present war had reached 500,000 tons or more per year. There are
numerous deposits of phosphates along the line of the Charlotte
Harbor & Northern Railway, and at the conclusion of the war it
is thought that the shipments out of this port will be greatly increased
over those existing previous to the war. The Board of Engineers' re-
port of 1912 stated that-
Depth of 24 feet is required to meet the needs of the character of vessels engaged in
the commerce of the port.
i One printed.
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 9
The letter from the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway Co. of
April 19, 1917, gives list of vessels that were delayed in port by the lack
of water in the channel. Examination of this list indicates that there
had been some delay to the vessels caused by insufficiency of depth
of channel, but no delay due to insufficiency of width. Phosphate
shipments are made in vessels drawing 24 to 30 feet full capacity.
In House Document 1345, Sixty-fourth Congress, first session, on
page 40, is giveA a list of vessels engaged in phosphate and lumber
business of the ports of Tampa and Port Tampa in 1914. About
one-twentieth of this commerce was lumber. From this list it appears
that two cargoes were carried in vessels of 24 feet full capacity draft,
33 with' full capacity draft of 25 and 26 feet, 11 with full capacity of
27 and 28 feet, and 6 with full capacity of 29 and 30 feet. If boats
drawing when. fully loaded approximately 27 feet could secure their
entire cargo at this point it would be economical for these boats to go
direct to the European ports without making other stops for the
remaining portion of their cargo. This would no doubt effect a
decided reduction in freight rates, as there is material expense
covered by boat charges, delays, etc., incident to every stop required
in the shipment. Nearly all phosphate from Florida ports is shipped
to European points and to the North Atlantic ports. South Boca
Grande, with depth of 27 feet of water, would mean a deep-water
port 90 miles south of Tampa, and the phosphate vessels would save
180 miles travel on each trip. In the phosphate business the saving
of 180 miles of travel by boats going from the Gulf into the Atlantic
would represent a large saving during the year in freight rates and
would stimulate shipments from this port. The amount of increase
in the shipments of phosphate from this port due to the increased
depth of channel can not be stated with any degree of accuracy, but
it is known that the shipments increased 500 per cent when the
channel was increased from 17 to 24 feet. Whether the increase in
shipments due to an increase to 27 feet would be as great is hardly,
probable, but a decided increase can be anticipated. The tendency
for the shipment of freight to European ports in heavier-draft boats
is very marked, and to increase the depth of this channel in anticipa-
tion of the demands that will be made upon the channel seems highly
desirable. Whereas it can not be stated that further increase in
depth" of the channel is an absolute necessity as a financial under-
taking, the recommendation of this office is that the improvement is
worthy of being undertaken by the Government.
14. The improvement under the present project is subject to the
provision that the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway contribute
one-half of the estimated cost of the improvement and that the
United States should furnish the remaining half and maintain the
channel. The work has been completed at a less cost than the original
estimate for same. Since the completion of the work in 1913 the
channel has maintained itself, and the United States has been at no
expense for maintenance. The commerce of the port has increased
more rapidly than was anticipated, and a further increase of depth
in the channel it is believed will still further increase the commerce.
The Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway management have expressed
the opinion that in contributing its portion of the expense of creating
a channel of 24 feet it has fulfilled its obligation to the Government,
and due to the fact that the Government has not expended all of the
10 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
funds that it was anticipated the Government would have to expend
in securing and maintaining the 24-foot channel, it is not unreason-
able to ask that the Government bear all the expense incident to
increasing the channel depth to 27 feet. Local cooperation for the
further increase of this channel is considered desirable, but it is not
believed that insistence thereon should be made by the Government.
The general benefit that would accrue to the country at large by the
further improvement of this channel it is thought would justify the
Government improving the channel without further insistence upon
J. M. BRAXTON,
OFFICE DIVISION ENGINEER SOUTHEAST DIVISION,
Savannah, Ga., January 29, 1919.
To the Chief of Engineers, United States Army:
1. In the above report on preliminary examination of Charlotte
Harbor, Fla., the views and recommendations of the district engineer
are concurred in except with reference to sharing in the expense of
the improvement on the part of local interests. Should the addi-
tional improvement be undertaken by the United States it is believed
that local interests should be called upon to contribute at least one-
third of its cost since the benefits to be derived from the proposed
improvement are to that extent of a local rather than of a general
2. With the above condition it is believed that this locality is
worthy of improvement by the United States to the extent indicated
in the above preliminary report, and it is recommended that after
the close of the war with Germany a survey report on this locality,
including plan of improvement and estimate of cost, be authorized.
THos. H. REES,
Brigadier General, United States Army, Division Engineer.
BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,
February 11, 1919.
To the Chief of Engineers, United States Army:
1. For reasons stated herein the board concurs with the District
and Division Engineers in recommending such survey as may be
necessary to determine the cost of a channel 27 feet deep at mean
low water, 300 feet wide with suitable easing at bends, and the extent
of local cooperation, if any, that can be secured. In view of the ces-
sation of hostilities, it is recommended that this investigation be now
For the Board:
SPETER C. HAINS,
Major General, United States Army, Retired,
Senior Member of the Board.
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 11
*SURVEY OF CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Jacksonville, Fla., April 4, 1919.
From: The District Engineer.
To: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army
(Through the Division Engineer).
Subject: Survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
1. In compliance'with instructions in letter from the Chief of Engi-
neers this subject, dated March 1, 1919, I submit the following report
of a survey of Charlotte Harbor, with a view to providing a channel
27 feet deep at mean low water and 300 feet'wide with suitable easing
of bends, from the Gulf of Mexico to South Boca Grande, with esti-
mates of cost of these improvements.
2. The information obtained from earlier surveys and the pre-
liminary examination'is sufficient in completeness and accuracy for
present purposes without an entirely new survey. Based upon such
data, a plan and estimate of the cost of improvement and maintenance
have' been prepared.
3. It is proposed to secure the required width and depth by dredg-
ing to a depth of 27 feet in the present dredged channel, and extend-
ing the two existing cuts the distances necessary to reach a natural
depth of 27 feet. The present channel width of 300 feet is to be main-
tained in deepening and extending the cuts. The extensioni of the
northern cut to the northward will follow the line of the present
natural channel, which forms an angle of about 24 degrees with that
of the dredged channel now existing. It is proposed to widen the
channel at the bend by dredging on the convex side to give a maxi-
mum width of channel of 500 feet at the bend, decreasing to the
normal width of 300 feet in a distance of 1,500 feet on either side of
the bend. The estimates for this improvement are as follows:
Dredging 360,000 cubic yards of sand, at 25 cents............................. $90, 000
Engineering and contingencies (approximately 11 per cent).............. 10,000
Total............... ................................................ 100,000
4. No expenditures for the maintenance of the new channel are con-
templated. The present dredged channel, 24 feet in depth, was com-
pleted in 1913 and has maintained itself without noticeable deteriora-
tion, to date.
5. Information has been received from the Charlotte Harbor &
Northern Railroad Co. that the annual phosphate shipments from
Charlotte Harbor now amount to approximately 500,000 tons and
that this annual tonnage is expected to reach 700,000 during the
calendar year 1920. Copy of letter from Charlotte Harbor & North-
ern Railway is inclosed. The present and prospective commercial
developments fully warrant the improvements under consideration.
6. In view of the contention of the Charlotte Harbor & Northern
Railway Co. that they should not be called upon for financial assistance
in the extension of the project, as the original work had been com-
pleted at a cost considerably below the estimate, no further effort has
been made to secure local cooperation. The improvements contem-
plated are worthy of completion by Government funds.
12 CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA.
7. The work should be prosecuted continuously until completed.
It should be completed in about 14 months from the time of begining
work. The entire appropriation of $100,000 should be made at
GLEN E. EDGERTON,
Colonel of Engineers, United States Army.
OFFICE DIVISION ENGINEER, SOUTHEAST DIVISION,
Savannah, Ga., April 5, 1919.
To the CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY:
1. The original project for a channel 24 feet deep, at an estimated
cost of $40,000, local interests contributing one-half thereof, was
completed for $31,141.62, and a balance of $4,437.22, contributed
funds, was refunded. The fact that the original work was completed
at a cost considerably below the estimate does not appear to be a
valid argument for waiving local cooperation, and inasmuch as the
work is largely for the benefit of the phosphate and railroad interests
it is believed that local cooperation to the extent of at least one-
fourth of the cost should be required.
2. With the above proviso, I am of the opinion that Charlotte
Harbor, Fla., is worthy of further improvement by the United States
to the extent and in the manner recommended by the district
THOS. H. REES,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers, Division Engineer.
[For report of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors on
survey, see p. 3.]
LETTER OF THE CHARLOTTE HARBOR & NORTHERN RAILWAY.
ARCADIA, FLA., April 19, 1918.
DEAR SIR: Your letter April 3. I inclose herewith statement showing names of
vessels delayed at South Boca Grande.
The Bull Line steamers have been doing the bulk of the business here since the
European war began in 1914. The traffic has been confined principally to coast-
wise business where light-draft vessels are used. The Bull Line steamers as a rule
do not draw over 22 feet and can go out on the first of the flood tide. It is necessary
for them to wait for the first of the flood tide for the reason that the elbow in the
channel makes it dangerous for the vessels to go around it at ebb tide. Vessels
longer than 500 feet must wait for full tide before trying to pass around the elbow.
For these reasons a 600-foot channel is desirable.
You will note from the statement that the Luckenbach ships all draw very close
to 24 feet and the cargoes are small. If the channel had been 600 feet wide and 27
feet deep these vessels could have taken a great deal more cargo. If the port is given
a wider channel and deeper water, there is no doubt but what larger vessels would
call after the war here for European cargoes. We have had quite a number of vessels
take only part of cargo at this port and finish at other ports on account of their inability
to load to full capacity due to insufficient width.
T. W. PARSONS,
Second Vice President and General Manager.
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLA. 13
Waited for Regis-
Date. Name of vessel. Draft. Waited for Cargo tered
1913 Ft. in. Hrs. min.
June 5 Evelyn.............. ......... ........ 23 6 4 45 2,848 1,185
July 21 Hans B ..... .................... ... 22 6 5 30 3 200 2,712
July 24 Jacob Luckenbach............... .............. 23 3 1 20 3,456 1,744
Sept. 17 Georgia.... ................................ 21 3 6 00 2,498 2,022
Sept. 30 Ereaga ... ........................... 21 6 15 15 2,925 1,602
Sept. 3 Howth Head............. ... .............. 20 0 6 00 3,000 2,807
Sept. 2 Kinross................. ......... ........ 22 8 6 00 3,250 2,652
Dec. 13 J. L. Luckenbach............................ 24 0 12 00 3,372 3,192
Jan. 18 Alfred Noble............................... 24 3 ............ 3 000 3 377
Jan. 30 D. N. Luckenbach............................ 23 8 4 30 3,665 851
Apr. 22 Nessian (Br.)................ .. ........... 21 3 15 30 4075 1,744
Apr. 2 D. N. Luckenbach .......................... 23 7 2 30 3,819 1 851
May 15 Jacob Luckenbach............................ 24 0 4 30 3,600 1 744
July 8 D.N. Luckenbach .......... ............... 23 10 ............ 3,704 1,851
Aug. 15 Jacob Luckenbach.......................... 24 1 14 00 3,635 1 186
Oct. 18 D. N. Luckenbach............ ............... 24 0 ............ 3,711 1851
Oct. 27 Evelyn........................ .......... 23 2 ............ 2,770 2359
Nov. 27 D. N. Luckenbach ......................... 237 ............ 3766 1, 572
Dec. 28 Hornby Castle.................. ........... 24 0 6 00 3,221 .......
Nov. 23 M. C. Holm.... ........................... 19 9 5 00 3000 ..........
Apr. 3 City of Washington.... ..................... 23 10 39 45 3,409 1,744
July 29 Rathlin Head ....... 20 6 9 00 3 000 4,368
Aug. 7 Mar Adriatico ............................... 12 0 12 00 3 250 1,783
Oct. 10 Ribston................................... 22 2 19 50 4,716 2,185
Oct. 3 Bloomfleld.... ........................ 25 0 (1) ...
Oct. 30 Themisto .............................. 22 1 5 00 4,823 2,327
Nov. 8 Felix Taussig......................... ........ 23 9 20 50 6,717 4,544
Jan. 31 Lake City ................................. 6 800 409 1,782
Feb. 22 do...... do ............................... 23 0 4 00 3,379 1,782
I Used tug inward. 500,000 gallons creosote.