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National Park Service delays opening of USS Arizona memorial after damage

USS Arizona Memorial Closure AP Photo
Posted at 8:50 PM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 07:06:00-05

PEARL HARBOR, HI — Officials say months of work to repair the floating dock at an iconic World War II memorial won't be finished on schedule.

In a statement Tuesday, the National Park Service said the visitor loading ramp at the USS Arizona memorial, which has been closed for 10 months, wouldn't be opening in March as planned.

"Despite our best efforts and optimism, our previously estimated timeline for restoring access to the USS Arizona Memorial has been delayed," superintendent Jacqueline Ashwell, who oversees the entire World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument, said in a statement. “I am frustrated, as all of us are. I can promise you that every person working on this project is working as hard as they can, and are dedicated to reopening the memorial to the public as soon as we can."

The loading ramp was closed in May 2018 after a vessel operator noticed a crack in the ramp. The fissure reappeared after a short-term fix fell apart in a matter of hours.

Investigators determined the memorial's structure was not supporting the weight of the ramp as designed, creating a safety hazard.

Ashwell said a bid to repair the ramp would be awarded in March with the repairs to be completed "as soon as possible."

No timeline or new reopening date was given.