Lady Liberty to reopen by July 4

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NEW YORK — The National Park Service expects to reopen the Statue of Liberty to visitors by July 4, 2013, after repairing the extensive damage to Liberty Island caused by 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,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

New York economy

Salazar emphasized the importance of reopening the statue to the New York economy. An annual report released last month by the National Park Service showed that 3.7 million people visited the park in 2011, generating $174 million in economic activity and supporting 2,218 jobs.

“Across the country, our national parks are economic engines for local communities, with visitor spending providing a $30 billion benefit to the economy,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

“By moving forward quickly with the repairs at the Statue of Liberty, we are giving a boost to communities here in New York who have been so badly hurt by Hurricane Sandy.” 

Repairs in progress

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.

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