« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
Second. No part of the income from said bonds shall be expended in the erection or leasing of buildings.
Third. No profit shall be put on any books of tangible apparatus for the instruction of the blind manufactured or furnished by the trustees of said American Printing House for the Blind, located in Louisville, Kentucky; and the price put upon each article so manufactured or furnished shall only be its actual cost.
Fourth. The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States shall have the authority to withhold the income arising from said bonds thus set apart for the education of the blind of the United States whenever he shall receive satisfactory proof that the trustees of said American Printing House for the Blind, located in Louisville, Kentucky, are not using the income from these bonds for the benefit of the blind in the public institutions for the education of the Blind of the United States.
Fifth. Before any money be paid to the treasurer of the American Printing House for the Blind by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, the treasurer of the American Printing House for the Blind shall execute a bond, with two approved sureties, to the amount of twenty thousand dollars, conditioned that the interest so received shall be expended according to this law and ail amendments thereto, which shall be held by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and shall be renewed every two years.
Sixth. The superintendents of the various public institutions for the education of the blind in the United States shall each, ex officio, be a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Printing House for the Blind, located in the city of Louisville, Kentucky.
SEC. 4. That the trustees of said American Printing House for the Blind shall annually make to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States a report of the items of their expenditure of the income of said bonds during the year preceding their report, and shall annually furnish him with a voucher from each public institution for the education of the blind, showing that the amount of books and tangible apparatus due has been received.
SEC. 5. That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.
(United States Statutes at Large, 45th Cong., 1879, session III, ch. 186, p. 467.)
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
That for the purpose of enabling the American Printing House for the Blind more adequately to provide books and apparatus for the education of the blind, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated annually to it, in addition to the permanent appropriation of $10,000 made in the Act entitled "An Act to promote the education of the blind", approved March 3, 1879, as amended, the sum of [$65,000] $115,000, which sum shall be exper ded in accordance with the requirements of said Act to promote the education of the blind.
H. Repts., 75-1, vol. 2-12
BRIDGE ACROSS THE STRAITS OF MACKINAC AT OR NEAR ST. IGNACE, MICH.
MAY 5, 1937.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. SADOWSKI, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, submitted the following
[To accompany S. 1104]
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (S. 1104) granting the consent of Congress to the Mackinac Straits Bridge Authority to construct, maintain, and operate a toll bridge or series of bridges, causeways, and approaches thereto, across the Straits of Mackinac at or near a point between St. Ignace, Mich., and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass. The bill has the approval of the Agriculture and War Departments, as will appear by the letters attached.
WAR DEPARTMENT, February 1, 1937. Respectfully returned to the chairman, Committee on Commerce, United States Senate.
So far as the interests committed to this Department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill (S. 1104, 75th Cong., 1st sess.) granting the consent of Congress to the Mackinac Straits Bridge Authority to construct, maintain, and operate a toll bridge or series of bridges, causeways, and approaches thereto, across the Straits of Mackinac at or near a point between St. Ignace, Mich., and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. HARRY H. WOODRING, Secretary of War.
Hon. ROYAL S. COPELAND,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Chairman, Committee on Commerce,
United States Senate.
DEAR SENATOR: Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of January 27, transmitting a copy of a bill (S. 1104) with request that the committee be furnished with such suggestions touching its merits and the propriety of its passage as the Department might deem appropriate.
This bill would authorize the Mackinac Straits Bridge Authority, in accordance with Public Act No. 35 of the 1934 extra session of the Michigan State Legislature, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge, or series of bridges, causeways, and approaches thereto, across the Straits of Mackinac, at or near a point between St. Ignace, Mich., and the lower peninsula of Michigan. The bridge authority would be authorized to charge tolls for the use of such bridge or bridges, causeways, and approaches thereto, in order to provide funds for meeting annual maintenance, repair, and operation costs, and for creating a sinking fund for amortizing the cost of constructing the bridges, causeways, and approaches, including interest and financing cost. The rates of toll would be required to be so adjusted as to provide a sinking fund sufficient to amortize such cost of construction within a period of not to exceed 30 years from the date of completion, and thereafter the tolls either would have to be eliminated entirely or else the rates would have to be so adjusted as to provide a fund sufficient only for proper maintenance, repair, and operation costs.
Similar bills have heretofore been introduced proposing to confer like authority for the construction and operation of a bridge at the point proposed. In connection with the consideration of said bills, when referred to this Department, information was obtained that the proposed project would extend from a point on the Lower Peninsula east of Cheboygan, across the south channel, Bois Blanc Island, Round Island, and Mackinac Island to St. Ignace, with bridges and causeways across each intervening channel, and would involve about 26 miles of highway, bridge, and causeway construction. We were advised also that railroad tracks would be included in the plans in order that the improvement when completed would be available for use by railroad as well as by highway traffic. No information has come to the Department which would indicate that the present plans differ from those outlined above.
While no investigation has been made by this Department on its own account to determine the feasibility and economic soundness of the proposed undertaking, it is understood that the Michigan State authorities have gone into the matter thoroughly and favor its approval and development. This Department, therefore, will interpose no objection to the bill.
W. R. GREGG, Acting Secretary.
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
Hon. CLARENCE F. LEA,
Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR MR. LEA: H. R. 3413 (S. 1104), known as the Mackinac Straits Bridge bill, is the same bill which was reported out of your respective committee at the last session.
The bill calls for the authorization by Congress to the State of Michigan to construct a bridge across the Straits of Mackinac. That bridge would connect the upper and lower Peninsulas and would be 54 miles in length; 21⁄2 miles of that distance would be causeway or trestle work and the bridge proper would be 234 miles in length. The span through which the lake traffic would pass would be 1,700 feet in length and 150 feet high. That is the height required by the War Department. The War Department engineers have reported on this bill, a copy of which is with your committee.
As the bill now stands there are no Federal funds involved and it is wholly up to the State of Michigan. I wish to say that the present administration in the State is for the bill and a bill appropriating $40,000 to have a complete survey made is now in the legislature and awaiting the passage of this bill. The Michigan State Legislature seems reluctant to appropriate any money unless they get the authorization from Congress to go ahead.
The traffic at the straits is increasing 25 percent a year and it is only a matter of a few years when it will be necessary to have 10 ferries to handle the traffic. Last summer five ferries were used and they failed to keep the traffic moving. The State highway department asked for bids on another ferry, and the lowest bid received was for $1,666,814. Unless something is done to solve the traffic
problem at the straits a serious situation will arise in the next few years. New docks will have to be built to serve the extra ferries and that will run into the millions. One thing is certain. The next few years will call for heavy expendituns for ferries and dock facilities and the question is which shall it be. The cost of the bridge is estimated at $32,000,000 and is a permanent thing. But ferries will have to be replaced from time to time and which only brings on a hazard as the number of ferries are increased. It is generally conceded by all in the State of Michigan that a bridge is the only logical solution to the traffic problem at that point.
It is also a fact that when traveling is made easier and more convenient more traffic will flow. That was proven about 13 years ago when the State of Michigan took over the ferry system at the straits and put it under the department of highways. The purpose was of course to reduce the rate and to expedite service at the straits. The results were electrifying. In less than 2 years time the number of cars crossing the straits had increased from 10,000 to 40,000. And last year the total number from April 15 to December 15 was 202,819. In addition to that there is the railway traffic which amounts to considerable tonnage which at present must be ferried across by boat.
A good example of what a barrier the straits are to commerce is in the freight rates. The farmers of the Upper Peninsula can't dispose of their produce in the Lower Peninsula because the rates are prohibitive. The rate on a ton of hay from Saulte Ste. Marie to Grand Rapids is better than $5 a ton, while the rate to Milwaukee and Chicago is only $3 a ton. That means that the people in that section of Michigan are isolated and cannot even enjoy the benefits of State trade. In addition to ferries crossing at the Straits of Mackinac there are ferries operated by railroads which carry considerable automobile traffic at three other points. Car ferries operate between Frankfort and Manistique, Frankfurt and Menominee, and Ludington and Manitowoc. It is safe to say that were the number of those ferries added to the number at the Straits of Mackinac the number would be greatly increased. And by the way, many people use those ferries at a cost of 7 or 8 dollars a crossing rather than go to the straits and wait several hours for a ferry. It is a common thing to wait 3 and 4 and 5 hours at the straits.
Another situation is arising due to the house trailer. These tourists are becoming rather numerous and a car hauling a trailer cannot back up nor do much turning around on a boat. There isn't enough space. The result is that these people are shunted off to the side until a ferry can accommodate them. Due to the fact that a car with a trailer must drive straight through only a limited number can be taken aboard and of course there is much delay. And, incidentally, when these people once receive that sort of treatment they never come back again. And that brings me to another thought.
There was a time when the northern part of the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula were rich in timber and mining. But that is becoming a thing of the past. Those industries are on their way out and, of course, the people who are left up there must provide themselves with other means of making a livelihood. The tourist business in the State is now estimated as the third largest industry. It is estimated that $300,000,000 are spent in the State by tourists. Now that is Something which cannot be ignored and something to cater to. It is only natural that the people of the State should want to build it into a permanent thing. But if tourists come into our State and must lie alongside of the road for several hours waiting to be ferried across a 5-mile stretch they are not going to come back for more. What is more they are going to go back home and tell others about their disagreeable experience.
The Michigan State Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting last fall took a vote and voted to back the bridge. I am in receipt of letters from people in all walks of life asking me to support the Mackinac Straits Bridge bill. I, too, can see the need for it and shall do what I can to put it across.
About 13 or 14 years ago the State bonded to the extent of $50,000,000 to build roads. At that time a lot of people thought it was extravagant. But the fact is that since that time the State has spent that fifty million and perhaps another fifty million on top of it and we are still short of hard-surfaced highways. And that is what is going to happen to the money spent for the Mackinac Straits Bridge. After a few years go by the people will wonder how they ever got along without it. And it is safe to say that the traffic will double at the straits just as