NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Lady Liberty will reopen in time to mark America’s birthday, the Department of the Interior announced on Tuesday.
“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,” Secretary Salazar said. “Based on the tremendous progress we have made, Lady Liberty will be open to the public in time for the July 4th celebration.”
Salazar noted that the Statue of Liberty is an important part of New York’s economy. A National Park Service report released last month showed that 3.7 million people visited Liberty Island in 2011. That translated to $174 million in economic activity and more than 2,200 jobs, according to the report.
“July 4th is the perfect day to reopen a symbol of our nation’s freedom, and speaks volumes about New York’s resilience,” said Sen. Charles Schumer. “Lady Liberty was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, but just like New York, she will be back — and stronger than ever. Being open for the summer tourism season isn’t just important symbolically, it’s a boon to the city’s economy and businesses, as the statue attracts millions of tourists from all over the world to our shores. I thank Secretary Salazar for his extraordinary work — he was uncommonly focused on getting this job done, and the people of New York appreciate it.”