America

Statue Of Liberty Will Reopen July 4th, Says Parks Service

A sea shell rests on a wall surrounding the Statue of Liberty, in New York in November. Tourists in New York will miss out for a while on one of the hallmarks of a visit to New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty up close. Though the statue itself survived Superstorm Sandy intact, the storm damaged buildings and Liberty Island's power and heating systems. i i

A sea shell rests on a wall surrounding the Statue of Liberty, in New York in November. Tourists in New York will miss out for a while on one of the hallmarks of a visit to New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty up close. Though the statue itself survived Superstorm Sandy intact, the storm damaged buildings and Liberty Island's power and heating systems. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Drew/AP
A sea shell rests on a wall surrounding the Statue of Liberty, in New York in November. Tourists in New York will miss out for a while on one of the hallmarks of a visit to New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty up close. Though the statue itself survived Superstorm Sandy intact, the storm damaged buildings and Liberty Island's power and heating systems.

A sea shell rests on a wall surrounding the Statue of Liberty, in New York in November. Tourists in New York will miss out for a while on one of the hallmarks of a visit to New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty up close. Though the statue itself survived Superstorm Sandy intact, the storm damaged buildings and Liberty Island's power and heating systems.

Richard Drew/AP

The National Park Service is almost finished with extensive repairs at the Statue of Liberty site and they expect to reopen it to the public by July 4th.

The damage was caused by Hurricane Sandy. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement that the hurricane damaged docks, the energy infrastructure on Ellis Island and crippled the security screening system.

"Based on the tremendous progress we have made, Lady Liberty will be open to the public in time for the July 4th celebration," Salazar said in a statement.

The New York Times reports that one issue is still unresolved between the National Park Service and New York Police.

"The park service would prefer to move the screening operation to Ellis Island, where only those tourists who want to visit the statue would be screened," the Times reports. "But the city police want the passengers screened for weapons and explosives before they board the ferries in Battery Park."

The Park Service says opening up the Statue of Liberty will be a big economic boon.

"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," the Park Service said in a press release.

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