TPWD News Release — March 12, 2013
AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has contracted with Taylor Marine Construction, Inc. to make the first significant structural repairs to the Battleship TEXAS in more than 20 years. Today marks the 99th anniversary of the battleship’s commissioning in 1912.
Based in Beaufort, N.C., Taylor Marine has recent experience with historic battleships, spending almost $2 million in 2011 to replace a portion of the Battleship North Carolina’s steel hull. Repairs on the Battleship TEXAS are scheduled to begin in April.
The $17.5 million repair contract for the Battleship TEXAS will accomplish about half of the structural repair needs of the battleship and is a first step in meeting the long-term goal of placing the USS TEXAS in a dry berth, according to Scott Stover, TPWD’s Infrastructure Division deputy director.
During the repair work, the ship will remain open to the public as conditions allow, and visitors will see plenty of activity at the site, as well as construction equipment and an access barge on the north side of the ship.
The repairs to the ship’s structural foundation will occur deep within the ship in areas rarely seen by the public. When completed in the fall of 2014, the repaired hull will not be evident to most visitors.
If a certain aspect of the ship repair work requires temporarily closing the ship for the safety of visitors, TPWD will post that information as it becomes available. However, Stover says the public should be aware that temporary closings may occur on short notice for the duration of the project.
Funding for the repairs comes from General Obligation Bonds approved by voters and specifically appropriated by the Texas Legislature for Battleship TEXAS repairs.