Mountain View Voice

News - May 21, 2010

Hangar at top of Eshoo's funding list

$51 million would help bankroll trail, other area projects By Daniel DeBolt

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's list of 2011 federal funding requests includes over $51 million for various Mountain View-related projects, including $10 million to help restore Hangar One.

Eshoo's list also includes $4 million to extend the Stevens Creek Trail over Highway 85 into the Dale-Heatherstone area, $10 million to reconfigure the Highway 237/ Highway 85 interchange, $250,000 to study a grade-separated rail crossing at Rengstorff Avenue, $125,000 for a new cancer care facility at Mountain View's Palo Alto Medical Foundation campus, $250,000 to make the VTA's bus yard in Mountain View completely solar powered, and $80,000 for communication technology improvements at the Mountain View Emergency Operations Center to "increase stability" of its responses to emergencies.

As Eshoo had previously promised, she is requesting funds to help restore Moffett Field's massive Hangar One, the subject of a preservation battle for years that was spurred by the Navy's need to remove its toxic siding. Estimates for putting on a new skin have ranged from $15 million to $40 million, and the $10 million request is expected to help owner NASA Ames find a tenant to re-use and possibly help fund its restoration.

"Hangar One is a Bay Area landmark and a national treasure," Eshoo said in a statement. "It's a tough year for funding and it remains to be seen if the Appropriations Committee will approve my request, but I will continue my efforts until Hangar One is preserved for future generations."

Another significant Moffett Field-related funding request would put $8 million toward cleanup of environmental damage left behind by the U.S. Navy at the former Naval Air Station in order to "support NASA's mission of increasing R&D at the Research Center." NASA Ames has plans for a 75-acre Research Park west of the airfield and south of Moffett's historic district.

Several funding requests have an indirect impact on Mountain View, including $4.5 million for South Bay salt pond restoration and $4.8 million for a pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 in Palo Alto that helps connect Palo Alto's residential neighborhoods to Mountain View businesses near Shoreline Park. Bicyclists have complained about the danger of riding over the nearby San Antonio Road overpass, which lacks bike lanes and sidewalks.

The 129th Air Rescue Wing at Moffett Field could also get $2.3 million for a new building for its pararescue jumper unit. The building would "safegaurd the unit's inventory of high-cost, specialized equipment from exposure to the elements."

Another $2 million appears to be for the relocation of the main gate at Moffett Field at the end of Moffett Boulevard, which has long been a request by NASA Ames in order to open the former Navy base for the development of the NASA Research Park, including additional private businesses and a major university campus. But relocation of the main gate has been opposed by the military, in part because of the military housing located inside the gate. The request description reads: "The relocation of the main gate will meet post-9/11 force protection requirements for the California National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing, located on the former Moffett Field."

Eshoo's staff was not immediately available for comment.

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