The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island have been closed since Oct. 29 and will remain closed until further notice. The National Park Service expects to know within a month the total cost and time it will take to repair storm damage. Until then, officials can’t even speculate when Liberty and Ellis Islands will be able to reopen to visitors.
Although the statue itself was not damaged by the storm, Liberty Island suffered significant damage to its infrastructure. Bricks were ripped up from pavements and Liberty Island’s dock, where tourists arrive by ferry may need to be rebuilt completely.
From Reuters: “The walkway just got lifted off the pilings and shifted off its support,” Litterst [a National Park Service spokesman] said. “We may be able to repair the dock if it’s still structurally sound, but if not it will have to be replaced, and that’s a longer process.”
The Statue of Liberty had just completed an extensive $30-million renovation project that closed her crown to visitors for a year. Her long-awaited re-opening lasted for just six hours before Sandy crashed into New York Harbor.
Damage to her flood-water soaked mechanical systems had laid the iconic structure dark until last Friday when Lady Liberty was illuminated for the first time since the massive storm thanks to the generosity of two NJ companies –Musco Lighting and Natoli Construction.
From the NYDaily News: The iconic monument will remain aglow with the help of generators and equipment donated by two private companies. The statue’s torch and crown are being illuminated by Natoli Construction, the contractor who had worked on a recent renovation project. Musco Lighting, a company that specializes in lighting stadiums and arenas, has donated the goods to light the monument.
Ellis Island remains in the dark, but thankfully according to museum officials, there is little or no damage to the curatorial and archival collections stored in the Immigration Building.
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee