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the channel and intersecting that portion of the curved reaction breakwater then in place about its middle point (see Fig. 2). It thus acted as a submerged mat or retaining wall to prevent further scour, and as the breakwater subsequently rose, by the deposition of rock, to a plane three feet above the surface a perfect cul de sac was formed for the accumulation of sand. The Harbor Company was strenuously urged to remove the obstructing jetty, the existence of which was not suspected, as soon as discovered, but as it had made no provision for this unexpected work either financially or in the contract it was not removed. In consequence a shoal formed reaching to within six and one-half feet of the surface.

THE GOODYEAR CONTRACT AND SUSPENSION OF WORK, MAY, 1897. This so discouraged the Harbor Company that it was willing to enter into a contract, dated September 12, 1896, with Col. C. P. Goodyear, of Georgia, to complete the entire work and furnish the capital as per an amended agreement dated March 11, 1897. Under these contracts Col. Goodyear exploded 23,350 pounds of dynamite on the old Government jetty and channel between December 18, 1896, and May, 1897, by which he blasted out about 500 feet of the old jetty, thus opening a small breach through which the currents could partially escape seaward, but, being unable to secure the payments, which he had every reason to expect, for work done elsewhere, from the Government, he was obliged to surrender this contract, and since that date, May, 1897, absolutely nothing has been done to create a channel. In fact, so discouraged were the residents of southwestern Texas, as well as the company, that it was decided to request the Government to appoint a Board of Engineers to appraise the work done with a view to its reconveyance to its jurisdiction. Such a Board was appointed by the Honorable Secretary of War June 22, 1897, and submitted its report November 22 of the same year, or only about six months after the work of blasting was suspended, yet it reveals some interesting features to which attention is briefly directed.

REPORT OF THE BOARD U. S. ENGINEERS OF 1897.-It states that between October 30 and November 18 there was "only part of one day that satisfactory soundings could be taken on account of the roughness of the water," and that this examination gave a depth of eight and one-half feet. The map accompanying this report,

1 Vide, p. 3, Doc. 137, H. R., 55th Cong., 2d Session.

however, shows a channel having a least depth of nine and onequarter to nine and one-half feet across the bar, which is believed to be a greater depth than had ever existed on the bar in this its most unfavorable position. The Report, moreover, states:

"The works built and partially built for the purpose of deepening the channel across this bar have produced no greater depths than were found before these works were constructed."'1

And again:

"There does not seem any probability that the jetty (meaning breakwater), as now constructed, will of itself secure and maintain any considerable increase of depth in a navigable channel of proper width."2

It may seem phenomenal, therefore, that where the eight and onehalf feet depth was shown in the chart of November, 1897, there were over twenty-two feet in January, 1899, or an increase of thirteen and one-half feet in a period of as many months, a result which is unprecedented in the annals of harbor improvements, and this without dredging or other assistance, save that derived from the half-completed breakwater reacting upon the partially controlled currents escaping through the breach in the old jetty. On the other hand, the Report states (page 14):

"Since the building of the jetty the position of the channel seems to have become more constant, and, as shown in the following table, the width across the bar to have lessened."

The table referred to shows that between February, 1895, or prior to the beginning of the breakwater, and November, 1897, after work was suspended, the bar had been reduced in width as follows: At the twelve-foot contours the distance across from inside to outside was reduced 550 feet, at the fifteen-foot contours 900 feet, and at the twentyfoot contours by 1600 feet. It is added that "the outside slope has changed but little; . . . . the change has been in the advance of the inner contours." Thus showing that the bar had not advanced seaward, but was eroded on its inner scarp, which is a great desideratum in this class of work. Now, the twelve-foot contours are cut through and but a few hundred feet separate the fifteen-foot contours, if indeed they have not disappeared altogether since the last survey, while there were depths on the bar, under the control of the breakwater,

1 Vide, p. 16, supra.

Vide, p. 15, supra.

reaching to twenty-three feet in January last, and which are probably greater to-day.

The Report also states that the Harbor Company has expended on the breakwater about $250,000, which, with the cost of previous work and other expenses, amounted to about $525,000; and the President of the Harbor Company, Mr. Thomas H. Franklin, of San Antonio, in his report to the Board, dated as early as September 7, 1896, says, inter alia,' in summing up:

"Fifth. Sufficient work has already been done at the pass by the company to demonstrate the entire feasibility of obtaining the necessary depth of water by the expenditure of a practically small additional amount, and the Government has therefore had the problem of deep water solved for it at this port."

That this view seems to be accepted in part by the Board of Engineers would appear from its closing remarks, to wit:

"The Aransas Pass Harbor Company, instead of carrying out the Government plan, adopted one entirely in conflict with it."

And further:


"This Board believes that with a careful study of the problem a plan of improvement can be devised that will give for a reasonable cost quite a good entrance in which a channel of navigable width with twentyfoot depth at mean low water can be maintained by the aid of inexpensive dredging. Such a plan would doubtless remove a small part of the curved breakwater and utilize the balance. It would cost less than the approved (?) Government plan, but it would not be so good." And the Report closes with these words:

"In consideration of all these facts, the Board is of the opinion that the value to the Government of the works of the Aransas Pass Harbor Company for the improvement of Aransas Pass, Texas, is nothing."

THE ARANSAS PASS HARBOR COMPANY SURRENDERS ITS PROPERTY.—In view of this finding of the Board and the urgent desire of the citizens of southwestern Texas to have the work proceed, the Harbor Company generously concluded to transfer all the work on the breakwater to the Government, as a condition precedent to the early prosecution of the work. This was accordingly done on the 27th day of March of this year.

ESTIMATE OF BOARD OF 1898 AND ACTION OF CONGRESS THEREON. -In the meantime, however, the subject was referred back to a Board 1 Vide, p. 26.

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