News Details

Navy Contractor Begins Stabilization and Assessment of Damaged Hangar

(March 28, 2014) – Work is currently underway on a project to assess a damaged roof section of the North Hangar at the former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin.

In October 2013, an approximate 70 by 50 foot roof section of the North Hangar collapsed, affecting access to a privately owned prototype airship demonstration vehicle stored in the hangar and causing the Department of the Navy to “red-tag” the building, prohibiting entry.

The North Hangar and 84.5 acres of property surrounding it are owned by the Navy, but are being considered by the County of Orange for development of a regional park. Conceptual plans for the park are nearly finalized after community meetings provided input to its design.

“The North Hangar is an iconic, historical landmark in Orange County that could provide the anchor and focal point to a vibrant, new regional park,” Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District, said. “With the damage to this section of roof, however, the County needs to understand the cause and extent of the damage before finalizing the park plans and ultimate transfer from the Navy. Once we have that information, we can decide how to appropriately and responsibly proceed.”

In December 2013, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest awarded a design/build contract to Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. (KBR) of Arlington, Va., for the implementation of a solution to stabilize the roof. Out of an abundance of caution, all work is being performed from the exterior of the structure. Two 180-foot steel towers are being constructed on each side of the hangar; the towers will support the roof trusses via tensioned steel tieback cables.

According to recent information provided by the U.S. Department of Navy, the project is expected to be completed by the end of April. Once engineers determine the structure is safe to enter, the owners of the airship will be permitted to safely remove their equipment. KBR personnel will also access the hangar to perform a forensic analysis to determine the cause of the roof section collapse.

The proposed park site is located within the City of Tustin’s 1,600-acre Tustin Legacy development, bounded by Redhill and Edinger Avenues, Jamboree Road, and Barranca Parkway. The North Hangar, and a companion South Hangar – currently leased by the City of Tustin from the Navy since 2002 – were built in 1942-1943 to serve the U.S. Navy’s World War II blimp fleet. Both hangars are approximately 1,000 feet long, 300 feet wide, and 170 feet high.

OC Parks, the County department responsible for developing the proposed regional park, is collaborating with the City of Tustin to engage a third-party engineering firm. The scope of this work would be to provide independent verification of the Navy’s forensic assessment and comprehensive analysis of the structural integrity of the hangars.

This contract will go to the Tustin City Council and Orange County Board of Supervisors for their consideration before any work is performed.

Contingent upon approval the consultant would review all prior engineering reports, perform a comprehensive analysis of the hangar, recommend any needed repairs and provide a refined cost estimate. This information would supplement the high level project scope and cost estimates already developed for the GDP and would provide a basis for an informed and responsible decision by the County Board regarding the future of the proposed park.