By Andrea Romano
December 07, 2018
USS Arizona Memorial
Credit: Dennis K. Johnson/Getty Images

When the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu closed back in May, no one knew when it would reopen again.

Due to “critical structural and safety [issues]” to the monument’s loading dock and visitor ramp, authorities thought it best to close the memorial, originally built in 1962 over the ship’s wreckage, indefinitely in order to do repairs. Cracks that had developed on the outside walls of the monument also complicated the repair process.

Which is to say that, for a while, no one really thought the memorial would be open anytime soon.

In the meantime, visitors have been able to take a free, narrated boat tour of Pearl Harbor that goes by the sunken ship, as well as other sites including the Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

But now it looks like the memorial has a new potential opening date on the calendar. "The National Park Service has revised its construction timeline and we anticipate project completion by the end of March 2019," the National Park Service website states. “Navy staff have been working days, nights, and weekends to fix the memorial's dock, and we expect to award a construction contract this year.”

Unfortunately, this means that the memorial is not open for Pearl Harbor Day this year, as it has been in the past. In addition, the remaining survivors of the USS Arizona attack who have consistently attended the Pearl Harbor Day memorial service will not be present this year, Fox News reported.

Just over 300 sailors survived the attack on Dec. 7, 1941, and only five are still alive today. Unfortunately, various issues, including health problems, have prevented them from attending. About 1,177 sailors perished in the attack. One survivor, Lou Conter, told Live 5 News that he intends to come back in 2019.

More information and updates on the USS Arizona Memorial repairs can be found on the National Park Service website.