The National Park Service is aiming to reopen the Statue of Liberty to visitors by July 4 after carrying out months of repairs to Ellis Island, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy last October.
The storm destroyed the docks, crippled the energy infrastructure on the island and wiped out the security screening system.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement that authorities were committed to reopening Lady Liberty as soon as it was safe for visitors, “and not a second later”.
“Based on the tremendous progress we have made, Lady Liberty will be open to the public in time for the July 4th celebration,” he said.
The statue is extremely important for New York’s economy, having attracted 3.7 million visitors in 2011, generating $174 million in economic activity and supporting 2,218 jobs.
Repairs to the docks needed to transport visitors to Liberty Island are being funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Lands Highways Program, as part of $28 million committed to roads and bridges in federal parks and recreation areas in New York and New Jersey damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
– Reprinted from Travel Mole