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Hensley Field, containing approximately 281.75 acres, is now being leased by the Government from the city of Dallas, Tex., at $1 per year, with renewable option on lease until June 30, 1949. The field is a recently established station. It is located approximately 12 miles west of Dallas, and provides for the Air Corps activities previously carried on at Love Field. The city of Dallas has dismantled a 110 by 200 by 28 foot hangar at Little Rock Air Depot and has re-erected the structure at its own expense at Hensley Field. The city has also donated for Air Corps purposes the use of a 14-room building located at the field. The field is being used as an airways station in connection with the operation of the Southwestern Military Airways, as well as a training point for the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field. Periodically flights of student officers are sent to Henlsey Field on cross-country training. The station is valuable to the Air Corps and should be developed.
There being urgent need at Hensley Field for the proposed improvements, the War Department favors the passage of this bill.
PATRICK J. HURLEY,
INCREASE FLYING-FIELD AREA OF GOVERNORS ISLAND,
February 26, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. MCSWAIN, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 137]
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 137) authorizing appropriations to increase the flying-field area of Governors Island, N. Y., introduced by Mr. LaGuardia, having considered the same, report thereon with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment:
Line 10, change the period to a colon and add the proviso:
Provided, That no money hereby authorized to be appropriated shall be expended until and unless the State of New York shall grant to the United States the title to the land under the water proposed to be filled in and raised above the surface of the water, and shall cede to the United States concurrent criminal and civil jurisdiction over and upon such area of land.
The purpose of this amendment is to insure to the United States for military purposes the same title to and jurisdiction over the area made available by filling in operations as obtains over the area now constituting Fort Jay (Governors Island).
Fort Jay is a military reservation situated in New York Harbor at the junction of the Hudson and East Rivers. Governors Island, on which the fort is located, came into the possession of the United States by act of the Legislature of the State of New York, passed February 15, 1800. Prior to the American Revolution the island was a perquisite of the colonial governor, who was the representative of the King of England, but after the war it became the property of the Colony and then consequently of the State of New York. Its size at that time was approximately 69 acres. Pursuant to the provisions of the acts of the New York State Legislature approved February 27, 1901, and March 6, 1903, the area was increased by filling operations so that it is now approximately 172 acres.
Under the terms of this bill it will be possible to further increase the area approximately 70 acres, thereby making possible what is known as a 6-way flying field for airplanes. This fill will not interfere with navigation interests, according to the studies already made of the project. There is a very definite and valuable military necessity for the Fort Jay Military Reservation, and this addition to the area will decidedly increase that value, while at the same time conserving navigation needs.
Your committee has given very careful consideration to the project. The chairman has visited the site several times to make a personal study of the situation, and hearings have been held in order to bring out as many facts as possible.
The method provided for increasing the size of the flying field is the most economical plan possible. There is in course of construction in New York City about $400,000,000 worth of subways. It is proposed to use the dirt from the subway excavations to fill in with instead of hauling the dirt out to sea and dumping it. The greatest expense will be in connection with the construction of a wall.
Because this is an opportune time to secure this additional area at Fort Jay, by reason of the fact that the new subway construction will make available an extraordinary amount of filling material, your committee is of the opinion this measure should be adopted now, and it is believed that with the amendment adopted by the committee the interests of the United States are and will be fully protected.
For the information of the House there is made a part of this report a letter from General Ely and a letter from Colonel Barden, the district engineer, as follows:
Hon. W. F. JAMES,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS AREA,
OFFICE OF THE CORPS AREA COMMANDER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR MR. JAMES: On the occasion of your visit here on September 27 you inquired as to whether or not it would be practicable to increase the size of Governors Island, and, if so, where and how much and the probable cost.
In reply I may say that it is entirely practicable from an engineering point of view to enlarge the island, as was done some years ago, by the construction of a riprap mound surmounted by a concrete sea wall and filling the inclosure thus formed.
Any such enlargement, however, would encroach upon the harbor area of New York, and as indicated below, it is believed that no very great enlargement could be had without unreasonable interference with the navigable capacity of that area.
Under the provisions of section 10 of the river and harbor act of March 3, 1899 (laws for the protection and preservation of the navigable waters of the United States), no work of this character could be undertaken without the approval of the plans therefor by the Chief of Engineers and the Secretary of War. If a bill were introduced for enlargement under a special act of Congress, such bill would, in the usual course, be referred to those authorities for report.
In either case the matter would, following the usual procedure, be referred to the district engineer at New York for investigation. In a case of such importance a public hearing would undoubtedly be held, at which all persons, especially navigation interests, would be given an opportunity to be heard. The data thus obtained would be given careful consideration and the report would necessarily be largely influenced thereby.
I have consulted the district engineer, and he has indicated on the accompanying Coast Survey Chart No. 369, the only extension which, based upon present information, he feels could be permitted without unreasonable obstruction to
the navigable capacity of the adjacent portions of the harbor of New York. It will be noted that the enlargement in these directions would encroach on the 1,200-foot authorized Buttermilk Channel between Governors Island and the Brooklyn shore or on the connecting channel south of the island between the anchorage (or main) channel of the upper bay and the Buttermilk Channel. He does not consider that any extension on the west (northwest) side should be authorized. While there are at present shoal areas of limited extent adjacent to that side of the island, he believes that with the increase in the number and size of the large trans-Atlantic steamers, and the increase in both trans-Atlantic and coastwise traffic from year to year, the congestion in this locality, which is at the junction of the Hudson River, Diamond Reef, and Anchorage Channels, will increase, and that not only should no enlargement of the island be permitted at that locality, but that it may be eventually necessary to widen the waterway there by the removal of these shoal areas.
The division engineer of the northeast division concurs in the views of the district engineer.
The enlargement on the south and southeast sides indicated as being apparently unobjectionable from the standpoint of navigation would amount to about 70 acres and would probably cost in the neighborhood of $2,500,000 or about $35,000 per acre.
Very truly yours,
Hon. W. FRANK JAMES,
H. E. ELY, Major General, United States Army.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS AREA,
Member of Congress, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR MR. JAMES: In accordance with our conversation and your verbal request of yesterday, I inclose a copy of a letter to you from General Ely, of October 18, 1928, concerning a possible addition to Governors Island, and submit the following additional information as to the method of making the enlargement, should this be authorized.
The method of construction proposed would be similar to that used in the previous enlargement of the island in 1901 to 1912. The inclosure would be formed by a riprap mound built up to about the elevation of mean low water and topped by a concrete wall to elevation 10.5 feet. A gap would be left in the inclosure to admit of bringing in scows with material for the fill which would be dumped therefrom. Much of this fill would probably have to be rehandled, probably by a pipe-line dredge, to build it up to grade, and some material would have to be pumped in from outside after the gap in the wall was closed. In the former work some fill was handled over the wall from barges by derricks to cars and hauled to place. After the fill was completed approximately to grade a top dressing would be added.
Much of the stone for the riprap base could probably be secured from New York City excavations, particularly if extensive subway construction was in progress at the time the work was done. Material for fill brought in by dump scows might be from city excavations or other sources. It is possible that the most economical and desirable plan of filling would be to use material dredged by seagoing dredges in the improvement of waterways in this vicinity, this material to be dumped adjacent to the inclosure and rehandled therein by pipe-line dredges. The estimate of approximately $2,500,000 was based on the use of the cheapest suitable material for filling that could be secured.
Should the work be authorized, it is believed that a large part of it could advantageously be done by contract or contracts.
I am unable to make even an approximate estimate of the money value of such enlargement should it be made available for commercial or residential purposes. Based on the value of land available for such purposes at an equal distance from the lower end of Manhattan Island this value would evidently be very great. But unless the entire island were disposed of this addition would be comparatively inaccessible and this would undoubtedly affect its value.
Referring to that part of General Ely's letter referring to the provisions of section 10 of the river and harbor act of March 3, 1899, which was based upon a mem
orandum submitted to him by me, I desire to state that upon further consideration it would appear that the provisions of this law would probably not apply to work done by the United States itself. It is, however, evident that the same care should be taken that the needs of navigation should be properly conserved and, in my opinion, the enlargement to the extent of about 70 acres, as indicated on the map, is the maximum that could probably be made without being objectionable from the standpoint of the interests of navigation.
Very truly yours,
W. J. BARDEN, Colonel, Corps of Engineers, Engineer.