Aerial view of Long Beach airport runways - Long Beach CA
In 1940-41, the Works Projects Administration (WPA) made a major upgrade to the Long Beach Airport, then known as Daugherty Field, which had been constructed in 1923. WPA relief workers improved the airport runways, as well as constructing a new terminal building. The project employed roughly 1,000 relief workers. Exactly what runway improvements were done is unknown to us.
“The [improvements] were completed and scheduled for grand opening on December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. Instead, it was repainted in camouflage and used a billet for soldiers and military guns. The terminal formally opened on April 26, 1942.” (Schipske)
The runways, originally laid out in 1923, underwent a major overhaul in the late 2010s, after a safety study showed the airport with a poor record of plane “incursions” due to a confusing layout; this led to closing two runways and upgrading others (Richards 2017).
Gerrie Schipske. Early Aviation in Long Beach. 2009.
Jodi Richards, "Long Beach airport modifies layout to improve airfield safety." Airport Improvement magazine. January-February 2017. https://airportimprovement.com/article/long-beach-airport-modifies-layout-improve-airfield-safety
Brandon Richardson, "Preserving the past: Work begins on Long Beach Airport's Historic Terminal." Long Beach Business Journal, September 20, 2022. https://lbbusinessjournal.com/news/preserving-the-past-work-begins-on-long-beach-airports-historic-terminal-building
Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on October 10, 2022.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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