Those plans have been put on hold for the time being, said Capt. Terry A. Bragg, executive director of the Battleship North Carolina Memorial.
The entire drydocking process — including obtaining permits, towing and dredging the World War II battleship out of the Cape Fear River berth where it’s been for the past 47 years — would require four to five years and between $8 million and $12 million, Bragg said. The USS North Carolina Battleship Commission, which relies entirely on its own funds (from ticket sales, etc.) for the vessel’s upkeep, would have to approach the General Assembly for that much money, Bragg said — and in current economic conditions, that’s just not going to happen.
The good news, Bragg said, is that it appears that the battleship could be serviced by drydock facilities in Charleston, S.C., as well as in Norfolk, Va., where officials thought the North Carolina would have to be towed. That opens the possibility of competitive bidding, which could eventually reduce the costs of restoring the vessel.
The 37,000-ton vessel has not been entirely out of the water for 56 years.
UPDATE, March 15, 2016: Danielle Wallace, programs director at the battleship, and Kim Sincox, museum services director, explained that the cofferdam expected to be under construction later this year is an alternative to drydock, so the battleship will not be towed. Once the dam is complete in 2017, crews can drain the water around the ship and perform necessary repairs.
Date posted: July 16, 2009
User-contributed question by: