- Alcoa, Knoxville, TN
- Site Type:
- Infrastructure and Utilities, Airports
- New Deal Agencies:
- Works Progress Administration (WPA), Work Relief Programs, Civil Works Administration (CWA)
McGhee Tyson Airport was constructed by the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal program. Tennessee Encyclopedia: “Some of Tennessee’s largest WPA projects reflected the arrival of the age of flight. WPA workers … built major airports in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, and at the Tri-Cities.”
“In its brief existence during the winter of 1933-34, the CWA began planning for the development of a major airport between Knoxville and the company town of Alcoa in Blound County. Officials in both Knoxville and Blount County wanted a rural location so the airport could easily expand in the future; the Alcoa Highway (U.S. Highway 129) was constructed, in part, to diminish the time it took a Knoxville resident to reach the airport. Between 1935 and 1937, the land was acquired and WPA labor constructed the airport, which had two runways, one which was 4,200 feet in length and a second 3,200 feet in length. According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel of October 15, 1937, the airport cost a total of $726,000, of which Knoxville provided $100,000 while Maryville and Alcoa each contributed $5,000.
Source noteshttps://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=1534 "Tennessee's New Deal Landscape: A Guidebook," by Carroll Van West (pp. 226-7).
Site originally submitted by Evan Kalish on January 24, 2017.
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