Battleship New Jersey to Undergo $5 Million Dry Docking for Restoration
The iconic Battleship New Jersey, one of the most celebrated naval vessels in American history, is set to undergo a much-needed dry docking for restoration and preservation.
The New Jersey Historical Commission, as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Act signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, has allocated $5 million for the project. The dry docking will mark the first time the Battleship New Jersey has left the water for maintenance in over three decades.
The information came in the way of a press release via the Battleship New Jersey website.
The decision to dry dock the Battleship New Jersey is rooted in the Navy’s guidelines for maintaining inactive warships. According to these guidelines, inactive ships are required to undergo periodic underwater hull maintenance once every 20 years.
The last time the Battleship New Jersey underwent such maintenance was back in 1991, while it was still an active warship. The dry dock process will involve towing the Battleship from the Camden Waterfront to Philadelphia, where it will undergo essential repairs, before being returned to its resting place in Camden.
Governor Phil Murphy expressed his appreciation for the historical significance of the Battleship New Jersey and its role in shaping the state’s prominent history. He stated, “Our Administration understands that New Jersey’s historical sites play a key role in the success of our tourism industry. In the recently signed Fiscal Year 2024 budget, millions of dollars were allocated to the New Jersey Historical Commission in an effort to revitalize these sites, which are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. We look forward to welcoming the Battleship back home once she is returned to her glory.”
Secretary of State Tahesha Way emphasized the state’s dedication to preserving its historical treasures, referring to the Battleship as “a symbol of our nation’s valor” and stressing the importance of ensuring its preservation for future generations.
The dry docking process is set to address three critical tasks: cleaning and repainting the hull to prevent corrosion, repairing corrosion to the 132 “blanks” over the ship’s through-hull openings, and replacing over 1,304 anodes, a vital part of the ship’s cathodic protection system, to prevent degradation of the hull’s metals.
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Local legislators, including NJ State Senators Nilsa Cruz Perez, Troy Singleton, and Jim Beach, expressed their support for the dry docking project, highlighting the Battleship’s status as both a tourist attraction and a tribute to those who served aboard the ship during its nearly 50-year commission by the Navy.
The Battleship New Jersey, docked on the Camden Waterfront, has been a significant fixture in South Jersey, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The ship also serves as an educational tool, offering STEM programming and overnight encampment programs for Camden County’s youth.
The dry docking is scheduled to take place at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard’s Dry Dock Number 3, a site with immense historical importance to the Battleship. The ship was originally built there during World War II from 1940 to 1943 and was reactivated at the same location from 1967 to 1968.
The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, responsible for overseeing the restoration project, is actively working to secure the remaining funding needed for the dry docking. The project is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2023 or the first quarter of 2024.
The restoration and preservation of the Battleship New Jersey will undoubtedly honor its legacy, preserving its grandeur and historical significance for generations to come.
As the ship emerges from dry dock, it will continue to stand tall in the pages of history, offering a unique glimpse into America’s naval heritage and inspiring visitors and future generations alike.
The Wildwood Video Archive will be updating you on the Dry Dock of the Battleship New Jersey plus reach out to them to do a video once it is out of the water.
We visited the Battleship New Jersey back in 2016 and flew the drone over it via our first drone.
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