Oakland Airport (North Field): Water Lines and Drainage – Oakland CA


In 1936, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) installed a fire-fighting water supply system and laid drainage tile under the Oakland Municipal Airport (now the North Field of the Oakland International Airport).

The drainage system covered 3.6 million square feet and included almost 60,000 linear feet of drainage tile and concrete pipe, for a cost of $104,000. The fire protection system involved over 7,000 linear feet of 4 and 6-inch mains, for a cost of $18,000. Both are presumably still in place and functioning (we spotted old hydrants and storm grates that suggest as much).

Earlier, it had been announced that over $200,000 had been approved for the WPA work, but this is evidently reduced in the event.  The Port Commission had asked for money for many more airport project from the Public Works Administration in 1935, but those do not seem to have been funded.

In mid-1941, a new grant was announced from the WPA for $286,000 for drainage at the Naval Reserve (northern) end of the municipal airport, along with a concrete taxi strip, road paving and other work (Tribune, August 31).  That work continued until the WPA was terminated in mid-1942.




Source notes

"Harbor board lists projects," Oakland Tribune, February 21, 1935, p. 7.

"Funds ready for airports," Oakland Tribune, April 1, 1936, p. 7.

"2 projects at airport start," Oakland Tribune, June 17, 1936, p. 5

"Oakland airport gets extra funds," Oakland Tribune, August 31, 1941, p. 34.

Project originally submitted by Richard A Walker on July 8, 2020.

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Location Info

Earhart Road
Oakland, CA 94621

Coordinates: 37.7309 , -122.215

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