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Hirono Secures Monthly Updates on Repairs to USS Arizona Memorial

March 28, 2019, 1:01 PM HST (Updated March 28, 2019, 1:01 PM)
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Sen. Mazie K. Hirono secured a commitment from David Bernhardt, Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Interior Department, to provide monthly updates on the status of dock repairs at the USS Arizona Memorial during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. Big Island Now stock photo.

After previously estimating that it could reopen the Memorial by December 2018, the National Park Service pushed back its target date for completing repairs to March 2019. Earlier this month, NPS officials said they could not estimate when they would restore public access to the Memorial.

Hours after Sen. Hirono’s questioning, NPS announced that they awarded a contract to complete repairs to the dock, and estimated the Memorial would re-open this fall.

From Sen. Hirono’s Questioning:

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Sen. Hirono: “I’ve hope you had a chance to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, but there’s ongoing dock repair at the Memorial and there’s no foot access. You can imagine the millions of people who are very disappointed – including the 2,000 or so WWII veterans who plan their visits to Hawaii based on going to this Memorial. The National Park Service has moved the date for the reopening of this dock a number of times. I’d like to get your support for working with our delegation to give us monthly updates on what’s going on, and why we keep having to defer when the dock is going to be reopened.”

Interior Secretary-Nominee David Bernhardt: “Let me tell you a personal fact, my great uncle went down on the USS Arizona. So I can assure you that there is no one in the Department of Interior that’s more interested in having that problem addressed than I am. We will absolutely get you a monthly update.”

Earlier this month, Sen. Hirono led Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation in writing to Acting National Park Service Director Dan Smith to demand monthly updates on efforts to re-open the memorial.

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