Alton #3 06/13/76
... Whose figures are correct? Continued from previous page REGISTER PHOTO BY FRANK 5 FOI.WELL increase in river traffic M to create new constraint! at 600-foot locki all the way upstream part Iowa and into Minnesota. This mi|ht crww "juitfficaHbri" for other capacity-expansion projects, the DOT warm It calls this the "ratchet -effect^- -- The The DOT said other major* constraints constraints on river traffic are the ll tton of the Mississippi and Illinois at Cairo, 111. Because the center spans of many of these bridges are 500 feet wide or lees, some barge tows have to be re-made In order to past through. Removal of the bridge-caused bottlenecks, Corps officials officials acknowledge, could cost hundreds of millions of additional dollars. And replacing of small upstream locks to handle a greater volume of traffic generated by a bigger Lock 26 could send the price tag Into the billions of dollars. Actually, there are two river locks at Alton. A 360-foot long auxiliary lock, according to Corps records, Is seldom used by the barge Industry because It requires the tows to be broken up into" even smaller segments. —The smaller lock harr utilization rate of about 35 per cent, records Indicate. Indicate. Studies show that this could be increased to 75 per cent by directing certain tows, especially the smaller ones, to use the auxiliary Jock or face waiting in a long-queue for the main facility, Switch Boats Under one method-being considered for increasing traffic through Lock 26, the Corps would arrange for switch remove the unpowered barge segments from the chamber. This would cost about $560,000 a year, an expense to te borne by the government, and would provide some $6.5 million a year in benefits to the industry in the form of decreased delays and increased tonnage processed. processed. __ Despite its studies indicating that Lock 26 could handle significantly more traffic than at present, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co. noted in its report to the Corps that any improvement improvement in operations "will only delay — perhaps for a few years - the date at which replacement Lock 26 must be in operation to avoid intolerable traffic congestion delays at the facility." But opponents of a new Lock 26 — ^principally the railroads and environmentalists environmentalists — argue that the Corps has over-estimated the growth of traffic on the river. There is some strong evidence to support this contention. In its bulky evaluation report on Lock 26, the Corps stated, that coal traffic — at 8.3 million tons in 1070 — would increase to 11.1 million tons by 1980 and to almost 14 million tons by 1990. In fact, coal traffic through Lock 26 has declined in recent years, as upper- Midwest utility firms switch to low-sulphur low-sulphur Western coal hauled eastward by trains. Corps records indicate that coal traffic traffic through the lock here was at 5.8 Worker its** M^nlttiFy lock wal, with dais hi background. million tons In 1974. Federal Power Commission officials In Washington expect the trend toward me of Western coal will continue in the upper-Midwest, upper-Midwest, with less coal being hauled upstream from the mines in Kentucky and southern Illinois. Fuel OU Corps records also show that 6.8 million million tons of petroleum products moved centage of the total U.S. corn and soybean soybean crop. And the DOT cautions that any decision on Lock 26 should take into account the possibility that in the .future, ports not served by barges will handle more of the grain bound for overseas. Carroll, of the Pennsylvania Transportation Transportation Institute, says of the Corps' future traffic projections: "We found through Lock 26 in 1973, a decline from I * he «•'»••-«<> be superficial and nM »i«... „.... — !11 - J --the conclusions wrong. We estimate previous years. The Corps, however, estimates that by 1985, there would be 27.8 million tons of petroleum products moving through the facility. Much of this projected projected tonnage was to be residual fuel oil for electric utility plants upstream. But the Federal Energy Administration's Administration's preliminary data indicate that use, of oil by electric utilities by 1985 may be much lower than earlier published published estimates because 6f declining domestic production, quadrupling of prices since the Arab embargo, and because of shifting national priorities for use of a diminishing resource. Grain moving dowstream toward the export elevators at New Orleans makes up about 45 per cent of the tonnage-through tonnage-through Lock 26. The Corps assumes that production of corn and soybeans in Iowa and Illinois — the main production states with direct access to the river - will rise steadily. But the Corps' own board of engineers engineers in Washington has raised doubts about this projection, noting that big future increases in U.S. grain production production are expected in other areas because land In Iowa and Illinois is being used at its maximum. ' USDA Estimates > The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimatexLthat while their production production will continue to increase, Iowa and Illinois will produce a declining per- that 1985 projections are about 2.5 times too high for coal and four times too high for residual fuel oil. These findings imply that the growth of traffic traffic is not likely to be constrained by the capacity of the existing facility for many yearTirTthe future." The The 21 railroads that oppose a new Lock 26, and the Sierra Club and the Izaak Walton League, which have joined them, are supporting a bill by Senator Gaylord Nelson (Dem., Wis.) to require comprehensive environmental and transportation studies before any more money is spent on new locks and dams on the Mississippi. Hearings on the bill are scheduled to begin thjs week. Eugene McCarthy to visit Iowa_ t> Former U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy will visit Des Moines June 22 as part of a three-city campaign swing through Iowa. McCarthy, unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination nomination in 1968, is running for president as an independent. He is scheduled to attend a midmorning midmorning brunch at the YWCA and an evening fund-raising event. Reservations Reservations for either event can be made by calling 262-5925 or 277-8835. Message in bottle: Mom, kids shipwrecked <Z> A«enc* PrMC.-Preue ' -HELSINKI, FINLAND - The Finnish Finnish Coast Guard has picked up a bottle containing a message that purports to be a plea for help sent nearly four years ago by a mother with three children. children. It read: "Help. I am on a small island with my children — 167 degrees east 13 degrees south. My boat sunk near this island. I came here 17th July 1972 Jill Woodall." The note was written on a piece of red paper. On the other side was written: written: "Please rescue us as soon as possible. possible. Mary, Tom, Bill." (The position given is in the Coral Sea near the New Hebrides). The bottle was found near-Vaasa in the Gulf of Botnnia-Jf the note is authentic authentic it is extraordinary .that it had drifted from the other side of the world and through narrow straits to the Finnish Finnish coast.