After being at risk of sinking, having the Soviet-era sub berthed next to it at risk of rolling into it, being thrown to the wind by officials that didn’t know what to do with it, and being the poster child of a company that left a trail of debt and lies, the Queen Mary may finally get a fresh start. The LA Times reports that the city of Long Beach has approved $5 million for critical repairs to the ship.
The repairs are a long time coming. The ship has been neglected for years, as the last leaseholder/operator Eagle Hospitality didn’t keep up with repairs. And with the city finally having to take control over the ship, responsibility for the repairs falls to city officials. From the Long Beach Post:
It is our responsibility to preserve the Queen Mary and ensure this historic landmark is properly cared for,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in the news release. “Now that the city has full oversight and control of the Queen, it’s important we make the critical repairs needed.
Repairs are set to begin in February. One of the most important ones involves the removal of some of the ship’s lifeboats. The 88-year-old ship still has thirteen of its original lifeboats. The weight of the lifeboats has put stress on the ship’s internal support system, resulting in what’s been described as “severe cracks.” The city has contracted with a company called Exbon Development to remove the lifeboats and is looking into possibly preserving them.
Other repairs will involve the much-needed installation of bilge pumps and electrical work. From the LA Times:
The city also plans to install permanent bilge pumps to remove water intrusion in the event of an emergency and make improvements to the bulkhead, emergency generator and the “water intrusion warning system,” according to the city. Other electrical work, including lighting for one of the ship’s massive exhaust funnels, has already been completed.
Previously, the city didn’t seem to know where to get the money to repair the ship. It seems that that’s been figured out. Half of the $5 million will come from the city’s Tidelands Fund, which are funds that come from things like permit and parking fees and rent beachfront businesses pay. The other half will come from a city council approval. The repairs are expected to be completed by the end of the year.