Damage to Arizona Memorial is worse than originally thought - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Damage to Arizona Memorial is worse than originally thought

Access to the USS Arizona Memorial has been restricted since early May. (Image: Hawaii News Now) Access to the USS Arizona Memorial has been restricted since early May. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Arizona Memorial will remain closed for an unknown period after engineers found the damage was "more significant than originally anticipated."

Boat transportation to the attraction was initially suspended on May 6 after one of the vessel operators noticed a crack on the exterior of the memorial.

Engineers responded and began short-term repairs.

"The maintenance staff went out promptly to investigate and determined that in the interest of public safety, we were going to shut down operations that day so that we could have experts come in and do a better analysis of what the problem entailed," said Jay Blount, public information officer for the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

After crews completed interim repairs, visitors were allowed to disembark at the memorial last Wednesday. Hours later, however, the cracks appeared again, indicating a more serious structural issue.

"There is a brow or an edge where the visitor ramp meets the memorial, and at that point, there's been some fissures located on the exterior," explained Blount. "After further investigation on the interior, it was determined that the structure is not supporting the loading ramp the way that we need."

The additional cracks is leading to a prolonged closure. 

"The amount of time needed to implement the repairs is unknown, but the NPS will continue to provide information to the public as our team of specialists works together to restore access as soon as possible," memorial staff said in a news release Friday.

Visitors are taken on harbor tours near the memorial, but many are still disappointed.

Rhonda Householder's uncle was one of the 1,177 crewmembers who died on the USS Arizona during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

"We're from Ohio, so we're a little disappointed we can't go out on the memorial," she said. "On the memorial, we wanted to read the names, hopefully see his name, and also to see the oil that's bubbling up from the ship."

Engineers are still figuring out possible long-term solutions. Click here for updates.

Other areas of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center remain open.

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