Whenever complaint shall be made to the Secretary of the Army that by reason of the placing in any navigable waters of the United States of any bridge pier or abutment, the current of such waters has been so deflected from its natural course as to cause by producing caving of banks or otherwise serious damage or danger to property, it shall be his duty to make inquiry, and if it shall be ascertained that the complaint is well founded, he shall cause the owners or persons operating such bridge to repair such damage or prevent such danger to property by such means as he shall indicate and within such time as he may name, and in default thereof the owners or persons operating such bridge shall be liable in any court of competent jurisdiction to the persons injured in a sum double the amount of said injury: Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to affect any rights of action which may have existed prior to August 11, 1888.
33 U.S. Code § 500. Deflection of current; liability to riparian owners
Section was from the River and Harbor Appropriation Act of 1888.
Department of War designated Department of the Army and title of Secretary of War changed to Secretary of the Army by section 205(a) of act July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title II, 61 Stat. 501. Section 205(a) of act July 26, 1947, was repealed by section 53 of act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 641. Section 1 of act Aug. 10, 1956, enacted “Title 10, Armed Forces” which in sections 3010 to 3013 continued Department of the Army under administrative supervision of Secretary of the Army.
Functions, powers, and duties of Secretary of the Army and other offices and officers of Department of the Army under sections 491 to 494 and 495 to 498 of this title to extent that they relate generally to location and clearances of bridges and causeways in navigable waters of United States transferred to and vested in Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89–670, § 6(g)(6)(B), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 931. Pub. L. 97–449 amended sections 491 to 494 and 495 to 498 of this title to reflect transfer made by section 6(g)(6)(B) of Pub. L. 89–670, and repealed section 6(g)(6)(B).