US Secretary of Interior visits USS Arizona, says repairs are on track

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Efforts to repair and reopen the USS Arizona Memorial are right on track according the US Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

The iconic memorial has been closed for more than a year due to structural damage with the loading dock. Earlier attempts to fix the cracks and a partially submerged dock we’re unsuccessful.

Repairs to one of Hawaii’s most visited tourist attractions are right on track, according to Secretary Bernhardt.

“We came out here today to make sure that things were on track for the Arizona and I think were in a very good stead.”

Secretary Bernhardt, a congressional delegation and other officials toured the USS Arizona to assess the damage.

The problems were much worse than they thought.

“The damage that was initially discovered turned out to be much more significant and extensive than anybody expected,” Representative Ed Case said. “(The USS Arizona) gets a tremendous amount of use. And you forget that with a facility, in that many years, things go wrong with it. And we were just lucky enough to discover this before anybody was hurt.”

Work has already been going on for a year. Bernhardt said it’s a complicated process.

“The anchors that are being made are custom-made machine parts they are not something you can buy off-the-shelf and throw in the ground. There is a lot of sensitivity in ensuring that important historic objects aren’t damaged in the process. And the ground is very silty and so there is a dynamic with that,” Bernhardt explained.

Mending the monument has been a collaborative effort. And protecting its integrity is key.

“There are historical and archaeological remains, human remains. This is a living memorial. We forget that. This is not just a structure, this is alive, and we always want to preserve that,” Case said.

Repairs are scheduled to be completed this fall.

So far there is no information on how much repairs to the USS Arizona will cost.

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