HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a year of extensive restoration work, the tallest section of the USS Missouri has re-opened for tours.
Repair work involved sandblasting nearly 27,000 square feet of steel surface to remove rust on the ship's superstructure,replacing about 17,000 pounds of steel, and repainting the exterior with protective coatings.
"We could see many, many square feet of decking and bulkhead, we could see through them. It got to the point where we considered it unsafe," said Jim Stone, the USS Missouri's chief engineer.
The superstructure is the tallest section of the ship, rising 110 feet above the main deck. A mast extends more than 50 feet above the major structure.
The $3.5 million repair and restoration of the ship's superstructure is the largest and most expensive project done on the battleship since it went into drydock.
The USS Missouri Memorial Association raised the money, primarily through ticket sales.
Association president Michael Carr calls the work "essential preservation work to ensure the USS Missouri is being properly maintained for future generations."
"She's been around for 75 years almost and we want to keep her around for another 75-plus years in better shape than what we have now," Stone said.
The restored navigation bridge includes exhibit text panels in four languages -- English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean -- and an immersive audio experience.
The USS Missouri was the site of Japan's surrender that ended World War II.