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To Unite a Hundred Rivers
By Frank A. Briggs
V 0 027ITH the expenditure of coastal canal will cost but a small frac
not more than $4,000,000 tion of the sum already appropriated for the United States govern- the construction of the Panama canal, ment can open up and the project is of almost equal importance
connect not less than and will benefit directly more citizens of
h 8,000 miles of water ways the United States than the big ditch behaving a sufficient depth to successfully tween the two oceans. carry steamboats of the Mississippi In a few words, the project is to conriver class. Since the citizens of this coun- nect the Rio Grande River, at a point try awakened to the fact that light draft not far from the little city of Brownsville navigation, so long neglected by the fed- and near its mouth, with the Mississippi eral government, is the only safe and sure River at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, means to protect themselves from trans- thereby uniting the various navigable portation trusts, and the only way to de- rivers of Texas with the Mississippi velop the resources of sections not trav- river, the Ohio River, the Missouri River ersed by railroads, no project has been and all their tributaries, joining together advanced or presented to the government fully 8,000 miles of streams and canals of such far reaching importance as the in one vast system. To one who underIntercoastal canal now being advocated stands the situation, the proposition is a by the states of Texas and Louisiana. simple one, and as evidence of its feasiAlthough the Texas-Louisiana Inter- bility stands the fact that the Rivers and Copyright, 1907, by the Technical World Company.
Harbor Committee has approved of the the Gulf, and into which numerous naviplan and United States engineers have gable streams empty. These streams are already made surveys and performed a useless from a commercial standpoint expart of the work.
cept for navigation between local points, The Texas coast is peculiar in its for- because of the fact that they have no mation. Skirting the coast are long, connection with a deep water port. Acnarrow islands nearly the entire distance cording to the surveys made by engibetween the Mexican border and a chain neers, a slight amount of dredging at of navigable bayous in Louisiana con- the mouths of these streams and the necting with the Mississippi River. opening of the canal, would make possiThese islands form a succession of bays ble the successful navigation of many which are protected from the swells of hundreds of miles of river in Texas alone
and be of incalculable benefit to the thousands of people living in the rich valleys through which they flow.
The Intercoastal canal, as projected and surveyed, would be between 600 and 700 miles in length, of which distance more than three-quarters is already navigable for vessels drawing not more than three feet,
and a large part of TYPICAL MIDDLE Class MEXICAN HOME IN A SOUTHERN TEXAS Town. which is of a depth
sufficient to Aoat vessels six feet in draft or more. The proposition calls for the connection of the bays skirting the coast by dredging across narrow necks of land separating them and deepening those sections which are now too shallow to be navigated. No great feat of engineering is required – nothing but an appropriation of money and some steady, consistent digging is needed to make the canal a reality, and $4,000,000 will be suf
A Little American Home Near Corpus Christi, Texas. ficient to make this waterway sixty feet wide and nine feet tion of the Texas congressmen called to deep, a channel for commerce in times its feasibility and commercial imporof peace and a refuge for light draft tor- tance. Again in 1890 it was brought up pedo boats in time of war.
and in 1900 those interested in it sucThe Texas-Louisiana Intercoastal ceeded in getting the attention of the canal is not a new project by any means. congressional committee. Unfortunately Back as early as 1874 the canal was ad for the project, the Spanish-American vocated by Texas citizens and the atten- war took the attention of both people