USS Arizona Memorial reopens after Navy wraps up repair work
PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - The USS Arizona Memorial reopened Friday after repairs were completed after midnight, the National Park Service said.
Public tours began at the memorial's normally scheduled time of 7:30 a.m., but NPS said the Navy will continue to do a visual safety inspection each morning before the first tour.
Last week Wednesday, a propeller wash from the hospital ship U.S.N.S. Mercy damaged the memorial dock, causing tours to the most-visited attraction in the state to be suspended. Most of the repair work to the dock was completed by Wednesday when a floating crane was used to re-position the bridge connecting the floating dock to the memorial, but Navy divers were able to wrap up their underwater work early Friday morning. A blessing was held several hours later.
Safety inspections started during the final stages of repair work and included reviews of how the structure did during a cycle of high and low tidal movements.
NPS Superintendent Paul DePrey said, “The National Park Service deeply appreciates the dedicated efforts of the US Navy and others to get this repair done as quickly and safely as possible.”
"This was a tremendous team effort - both with our military-civilian team and together with our partners at the National Park Service," said Capt. Stan Keeve, Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. "We certainly appreciate the understanding and forbearance of veterans, visitors and kama'aina," Keeve added.
Barring any unforeseen complications, tours are scheduled every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Demand might be high to visit the USS Arizona Memorial on Friday, since no visitors have been able to set foot on it since the accident.
There are 4,350 tickets available per day.
Reservations can be made in advance at 877-444-6777 or www.recreation.gov. Some tickets are released into the reservation system two months in advance, some are released at 7 a.m the prior day, and some are available first-come, first-served on the day of the tour. On a typical summer day, all tickets for the entire day can be distributed by late morning.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command continue to investigate what happened at the USS Arizona Memorial's dock on May 27.
The Navy doesn't have an estimate of the cost of repairs yet.
Navy says propeller wash damaged Arizona Memorial dock
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