Repairs underway on Battleship's hull

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Battleship North Carolina officially started its hull repairs on the starboard bow today.

Today the repair crew maneuvered a solid metal cofferdam onto the hull of the battleship. The cofferdam moves water away so the crew can safely work above water on the ship's aging hull.

Working in sections, this will be the first of five areas of the hull to be replaced.

"We've pursued this course, and it's a much less expensive endeavor to omit dredging and the effects of a permament cofferdam or a partial cofferdam," project designer Joseph Lombardi said.

The repairs to the ship should only take around five months. The ship will stay open during the repair process.

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Do the repairs right so it is back to original condition, I do have one question. Why was the ship allowed to get in this condition anyway. Didn't we have an agreement with the Navy to keep the ship up? I took my youngest son there for the first time a few months ago, and I was appalled at what I saw and the condition she was in. On turret 3 there were holes rusted in the steel big enough to put your head through. On the port side the mess left from what ever work was being done was just nasty. I know times are hard but there are ways to get things done for little money. You have CFCC right downtown, and they have a great welding program who's students could be used to make small repairs under the supervision of their instructors. My father was a Navy Gunner during WW II serving in the Armed Guard, and I consider this an afront to the ones who served by letting the memorial to those who served fall into such a state of disrepair.

I agree with Charles. I was there a couple of summers ago and the ship is in need of repair. In my opion the bigest issue facing the ship is rusting from within. when the ship was first brought to Wilmington they pump thousands of gallons of sea water into her ballast and fuel tanks in order to sink her to the bottom. well over this many years I would think that the tanks are going to rust to point of failure. the ship on the outside is in need of reapir also. there are rusted out spots all over her superstructure. I find most damaging is the practice of just painting over everything. if you look at any of the machine guns or others the paint is very thick. they should at least sand blast them and put a good marine based primer and paint on it. And using local students to do the welding is a Great Idea they would most likely not only provide the labor but materials as well.. I want to see this ship have a long history. If doubt that bad things can happen to ship please look up the USS Olympia she is on the verge of sinking due to her lack of up keep.