The National Park Service is expected to reopen the Statue of Liberty to the public by July 4, 2013, according to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. Liberty Island experienced extensive damage due to Hurricane Sandy.
“Hurricane Sandy inflicted major damage on facilities that support the Statue of Liberty – destroying the docks, crippling the energy infrastructure on Ellis Island and wiping out the security screening system – but we are fully committed to reopening this crown jewel as soon as it’s safe for visitors and not a second later,” Secretary Salazar said.
“Lady Liberty was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, but just like New York, she will be back – and stronger than ever,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Being open for the summer tourism season isn’t just important symbolically, it’s a boon to the city’s economy and businesses, as the statue attracts millions of tourists from all over the world to our shores. I thank Secretary Salazar for his extraordinary work – he was uncommonly focused on getting this job done, and the people of New York appreciate it.”
“We worked together to address safety and security concerns to reopen the crown and now he has helped bring this national treasure back after Superstorm Sandy. The Statue of Liberty will stand as a symbol of the whole region rebuilding even better and stronger after the storm,” said Senator Robert Menendez.
The reopening of the monument will also help the New York economy. Approximately 4 million people visited the park in 2011, generating $174 million in economic activity and supporting 2,218 jobs, according to an annual report released by the National Park Service.
However, the economic boost will require an investment from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Lands Highways Program. The program committed $28 million to roads and bridges in federal parks and recreation areas in New York and New Jersey damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Tell us — are you looking forward to Liberty Island reopening?