FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2013
SCHUMER: STATUE OF LIBERTY STILL CLOSED MORE THAN THREE MONTHS AFTER SUPERSTORM SANDY, WITH NO RE-OPENING DATE YET SET – PUSHES DOI FOR HARD AND FAST TIMETABLE FOR REOPENING OF LADY LIBERTY
Major Tourist Attraction Employs Hundreds of People, Attracts 4 Million Tourists To NYC Each Year, And Is Symbol of the Nation – Is Still Closed More Than 3 Months After Sandy Struck
Schumer Requests Department of Interior Provide Hard and Fast Timeline For Reopening – Will Allow Tourists To Plan Visits and Businesses Dependent on Statue to Make Plans
Schumer: Majestic Lady Liberty Has Been Closed For Too Long
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the Department of Interior (DOI) to expeditiously release a hard and fast timeline of when repairs will be made to the Statue of Liberty, including an estimated re-opening date. Superstorm Sandy severely damaged the Statue of Liberty National Monument, which remains closed more than three months after the storm struck, with no estimated re-opening date. Schumer said that the Department of Interior has done an impressive job repairing it's properties across the region in the wake of the storm, and a hard and fast timeline for reopening the statue would help visitors plan trips to New York City and provide certainty to business dependent on it.
"The Statue of Liberty is still shuttered more than three months after Sandy struck the city and tourists, businesses and all New Yorkers need to know that the end is in sight," said Schumer. "As an enduring symbol of our nation and our city, Lady Liberty cannot be allowed to languish any longer than necessary. The Department of Interior has done a terrific job recovering and rebuilding after the storm, and is working hard on making the necessary repairs to Liberty Island. Providing a hard timeline of their efforts would be a significant step in the right direction in the recovery process."
Superstorm Sandy damaged much of the infrastructure on Liberty Island, including the docks, promenade and the structures surrounding the Statue of Liberty. There was also damage to the electrical systems, wastewater treatment and security screening equipment. As of now, more than three months after the storm, there is still no estimated timeline for reopening. Schumer said that this state of affairs is problematic for New York's tourism industry and is creating additional hardship for the 400 employees who were laid off due to the Statue of Liberty’s closure, including those who work at the concessionaire, those who provide security services for the tourist attraction and those who work for the ferry company that transport visitors to the monument.
In his letter, Schumer wrote:
“Without a firm reopening date for the Statue of Liberty, tourists will be unable to plan visits to this iconic symbol of the nation, businesses will not know when they will be able to once again open their doors, and the employees that have been laid off won't know when they will be able to return to work."