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SENATE

718T CONGRESS

2d Session

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REPORT No. 941

BRIDGE ACROSS LAKE SABINE, AT PORT ARTHUR, TEX.

June 17, 1930.--Ordered to be printed

Mr. Dale, from the Committee on Commerce, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 11966)

The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 11966) to extend the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across Lake Sabine at or near Port Arthur, Tex., having considered the same, report favorably thereon, and recommend that the bill do pass without amendment.

The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the annexed House Report No. 1482, which is made a part of this report.

(House Report No. 1482, Seventy-first Congress, second session

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 11966) to extend the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across the Lake Sabine at or near Port Arthur, Tex., having considered and amended the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.

Amend the bill as follows:

Line 8, after the figures “1928,” strike out the word “and” and insert the word "heretofore" in lieu thereof.

Line 9, after the word “hereby” insert the word “further”.

The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the letters attached.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, May 6, 1930. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.

So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill, H. R. 11966, Seventy-first Congress, second session, to extend the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across Lake Sabine at or near Port Arthur, Tex.

F. TRUBEE DAVISON,

Acting Secretary of War. SR-71-2-VOL 2-69

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

Washington, D. C., May 9, 1930 Hon. James S. PARKER, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. PARKER: Careful consideration has been given to the bill, H. R. 11966, transmitted with your letter of April 29 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate

This bill would extend for one and three years, respectively, from May 18, 1930, the times for commencing and completing the construction of the bridge across Lake Sabine, between a point at or near Port Arthur, Tex., and a point opposite in Cameron Parish, La., authorized to be built by H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, by the act of Congress approved May 18, 1928, and heretofore extended by act of Congress approved March 2, 1929 When the original bill to authorize the construction of this bridge was pending. the department interposed no objection thereto. However, almost two years have elapsed since the original authorization was granted for Mr. McKee to construct this bridge, and it is not believed that he should be granted a further extension of time to the possible exclusion of others when he apparently is unable to take advantage of the rights already conferred upon him by Congress. The department therefore would recommend against favorable action on the bill. Sincerely,

R. W. DUNLAP, Acting Secretary. The acts referred to in the bill are as follows:

(Public-No. 432—70th CONGRESS)

IS. 42531

AN ACT Authorizing H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, tu luct, maintain,

and operate a bridge across Lake Sabine at or near Port Arthur, Texas Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, in order to promote interstate commerce improve the postal service, and provide for military and other purposes, H. L McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, be, and is hereby, authorized to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge and approaches thereto, across Lake Sabine, at a point suitable to the interests of navigation, between a point at or near Port Arthur, Texas, and a point opposite in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, in accordance with the provisions of the act entitled “An act to regulate the construction of bridges over navigable waters," approved March 23, 1906, and subject to the conditions and limitations contained in this act.

SEC. 2. There is hereby conferred upon H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal repre. sentatives, and assigns, all such rights and powers to enter upon lands and to acquire, condemn, occupy, possess, and use real estate and other property needed for the location, construction, operation, and maintenance of such bridge and its approaches as are possessed by railroad corporations for railroad purposes or by bridge corporations for bridge purposes in the State in which such real estate or other property is situated, upon making just compensation therefor, to be ascertained and paid according to the laws of such State, and the proceedings therefor shall be the same as in the condemnation or expropriation of property for public purposes in such State: Provided, That no part of the present pleasure pier on the east side of the Sabine-Neches Canal belonging to the city of Port Arthur and/or leased to the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and Shipping shall be condemned, nor shall the same be acquired or occupied by the said H. L. McKee. his heirs, legal representatives, or assigns, except upon terms and conditions to be stipulated by said city of Port Arthur and the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and Shipping.

SEC. 3. The said H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, is hereby authorized to fix and charge tolls for transit over such bridge, and the rates of toll so fixed shall be the legal rates until changed by the Secretary of War under the authority contained in the act of March 23, 1906.

Sec. 4. After the completion of such bridge, as determined by the Secretary of War, either the State of Texas, the State of Louisiana, any public agency or political subdivision of either of such States, within or adjoining which any part of such bridge is located, or any two or more of them jointly, may at any time acquire and take over all right, title, and interest in such bridge and its approaches, and any interest in real property necessary therefor, by purchase or by condemnation or expropriation, in accordance with the laws of either of such States governing the acquisition of private property for public purposes by condemnation or expropriation. If at any time after the expiration of ten years after the completion of such bridge, the same is acquired by condemnation or expropriation, the amount of damages or compensation to be allowed shall not include good will, going value, or prospective revenues or profits, but shall be limited to the sum of (1) the actual cost of constructing such bridge and its approaches, less a reasonable deduction for actual depreciation in value; (2) the actual cost of acquiring such interests in real property; (3) actual financing and promotion costs, not to exceed 10 per centum of the sum of the cost of constructing the bridge and its approaches and acquiring such interests in real property; and (4) actual expenditures for necessary improvements.

Sec. 5. If such bridge and its approaches shall at any time be taken over or acquired by the States or public agencies or political subdivisions thereof, or by either of them, as provided in section 4 of this act, and if tolls are thereafter charged for the use thereof, the rates of toll shall be so adjusted as to provide a fund sufficient to pay for the reasonable cost of maintaining, repairing, and operating the bridge and its approaches under economical management, and to provide a sinking fund sufficient to amortize the amount paid therefor, including reasonable interest and financing cost, as soon as possible under reasonable charges, but within a period of not to exceed fifteen years from the date of acquiring the same. After a sinking fund sufficient for such amortization shall have been so provided, such bridge shall thereafter be maintained and operated free of tolls, or rates of toll shall thereafter be so adjusted as to provide a fund of not to exceed the amount necessary for the proper maintenance, repair, and operation of the bridge and its approaches under economical management, An accurate record of the amount paid for acquiring the bridge and its approaches, the actual expenditures for maintaining, repairing, and operating the same and of the daily tolls collected, shall be kept and shall be available for the information of all persons interested.

SEC. 6. The said H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, shall within ninety days after the completion of such bridge, file with the Secretary of War and with the highway departments of the States of Texas and Louisiana, a sworn itemized statement showing the actual original cost of constructing the bridge and its approaches, the actual cost of acquiring any interest in real property necessary therefor, and the actual financing and promotion costs. The Secretary of War may, and upon request of the highway department of either of such States shall, at any time within three years after the completion of such bridge, investigate such costs and determine the accuracy and the reasonableness of the costs alleged in the statement of cost so filed, and shall make a finding of the actual and reasonable costs of constructing, financing, and promoting such bridge; for the purpose of such investigation the said H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, shall make available all of his records in connection with the construction, financing, and promotion thereof. The findings of the Secretary of War as to the reasonable costs of the construction, financing, and promotion of the bridge shall be conclusive for the purposes mentioned in section 4 of this act, subject only to review in a court of equity for fraud or gross mistake.

Sec. 7. The right to sell, assign, transfer, and mortgage all the rights, powers, and privileges conferred by this act is hereby granted to H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, and any corporation to which or any person to whom such rights, powers, and privileges may be sold, assigned, or transferred, or who shall acquire the same by mortgage foreclosure or otherwise, is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise the same as fully as though conferred herein directly upon such corporation or person.

Sec. 8. There is hereby granted to H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, a right of way not to exceed one hundred feet in width across the spoil bank of the ship canal at such location, to be approved by the Chief of Engineers, as will provide a highway connection or connections between the bridge authorized by this act and any bridge or bridges that are or may hereafter be constructed across the ship canal, the United States to retain such free use of the right of way as does not interfere with the bridge approach: Provided, That no toll shall be charged for use of the approach to be built on United States property. The duration of such right of way shall terminate with the termination of the franchise granted by this act for the construction of the bridge and shall attach to and become a part of such bridge, and shall pass with the same in any transfer thereof.

Sec. 9. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this act is hereby expressly reserved. Approved May 18, 1928.

(PUBLIC-No. 973—70TH CONGRESS)

(H. R. 64231

AN ACT To extend the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across Lake

Sabine at or near Port Arthur, Texas

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across Lake Sabine, between a point at or near Port Arthur, Texas, and a point opposite in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, authorized to be built by H. L. McKee, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, by the act of Congress approved May 18, 1928, are hereby extended one and three years, respectively, from May 18, 1929.

SEC. 2. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this act is hereby expressly reserved. Approved, March 2, 1929.

Hon. John C. Box, who introduced this bill, has submitted the following in formation with respect thereto:

HOUSE OF REJRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D. C., May 2, 1930. Mr. WILLARD W. GATCHELL, Assistant Clerk, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee,

Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. GATCHELL: In reply to your favor of April 29 asking for a statement of the reasons why Mr. À. L. McKee, or his assigns, has not gone further with the construction of the proposed bridge or causeway across Sabine Lake, the time for the construction of which is to be extended if my bill H. R. 11966, is enacted, it is because of difficulties which have arisen in procuring the grant by the State of Texas for a site for the bridgehead and other rights which the State should grant. At a recent session of the Texas Legislature a bill was enacted, and approved by the governor, making such a grant as I have heretofore outlined in my letter to Hon. E. E. Denison of your committee under date of April 23.

There may be other reasons entering into the situation, but I know this one has been existing, and it alone would probably have prevented the beginning of work.

As indicated, I have already written Mr. Denison, chairman of the subcommittee in charge of such bills as this, explaining this situation. I hope this explanation will be sufficient. But in the meantime I have written Mr. McKee to furnish me any other information on this point which will be of service to the committee. Very truly yours,

John C. Box.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D. C., May 6, 1930 Mr. WillARD W. GATCHELL, Assistant Clerk Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee,

Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. GATCHELL: In compliance with the suggestion of Hon. E. E. Denison, chairman of your subcommittee on bridges and causeways, I am inclosing herewith affidavit of Mr. H. L. Mckee to the fact that Mr. E. M. Elliot, of Indiana, has no interest and that it is not contemplated that he will have any interest in the franchise granted for the construction of the bridge or causeway across Sabine Lake connecting Texas and Louisiana shores.

Mr. McKee advises that his work has not gone forward because the War Department requires, first, an act of Congress authorizing the construction, and second, the sanction or ratification of both States; that the State of Louisiana has granted him the necessary rights but that one cause and another has until very recently prevented the State of Texas from granting such rights but that this has been done only very recently. You will readily see that under these circumstances Mr. McKee could not go forward with his work. I sincerely hope that this further extension can now be granted. Very truly yours,

JOHN C. Box

STATE OF TEXAS,

County of Jefferson, 88: Before me the undersigned authority, a notary public in and for Jefferson County, Tex., on this day personally appeared H. L. McKee, known to me, who having been by me duly sworn upon oath, deposes and says:

That Mr. E. M. Elliot, of Indiana, has no interest in the franchise granting authority to construct a bridge across Sabine Lake to H. L. McKee, and that it is not contemplated that he will have any interest in it by purchase or other form of transfer.

H. L. McKEE. Sworn to and subscribed before me, this the 3d day of May, A. D. 1930.

HELOISE CRESWELL, Notary Public in and for Jefferson County, Tex.

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