Author Topic: SS United States Ordered to Leave Berth by September 2024  (Read 296 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: SS United States Ordered to Leave Berth by September 2024
« Reply #1 on: Jul 20, 2024, 03:04 PM »
Quoted in its entirety, in the hope someone reads this here who can help.

Quote from: SS United States Conservancy
The Conservancy would like to extend our deepest thanks to the numerous supporters who have reached out with leads on pier locations and potential berths since we announced our ongoing campaign. We wanted to provide another update on our progress toward finding a new home for the SS United States and provide feedback on some of locations frequently recommended by our supporters.

First, we want to reiterate that our search for a new temporary or permanent location has been ongoing and began well before the litigation. As we mentioned in a post earlier this month, the Conservancy has connected with regional port authorities up and down the eastern seaboard, as well as government officials to engage them in this fight to save the nation’s flagship. We have also worked with maritime associations and private pier owners to explore a wide variety of locations. Those efforts remain ongoing and Conservancy leadership continues daily conversations with prospective localities, pier owners, and political leaders about potential berths that could be suitable and available. Along with this pier outreach, we are contending with a number of other factors, including this year’s intense Atlantic hurricane season forecast and the extensive technical preparations required to ensure that the ship’s potential tow is managed safely. Below is an update on some of the locations we have been exploring:

- Philly “Navy Yard”: The Philadelphia Navy Yard today consists of a mix of both U.S. Navy properties and private, commercial piers. The Conservancy contacted the U.S. Navy about Pier 4, where the USS John F. Kennedy is berthed, because the ship breaker who purchased the retired aircraft carrier is preparing to tow the vessel to Texas for scrapping. Unfortunately, the U.S. Navy has a backlog of inactive ships needing pier space, and Pier 4 is already set to berth two Navy ships. The U.S. Navy told us that even their inactive ship facilities at Bremerton, Washington, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, currently have no space available. Nevertheless, they are helping us engage with other parts of the Navy to explore options elsewhere. The Conservancy has also engaged with commercial dock operators within the Philly Navy Yard complex as well, but no docks that are both suitable and available have been identified to date.

- Alongside the Battleship New Jersey: As many of you know, the Battleship New Jersey recently completed a $10 million
refurbishment and is back at her pier in Camden, New Jersey. The USS New Jersey is approximately 887 feet long, with a waterline length of 860 feet, making her notably smaller than the SS United States. Given the size discrepancy and the lack of docking space, the site is unsuitable.

- Newport News Shipbuilding: The Conservancy has been in contact with the president of Newport News Shipbuilding about bringing the SS United States “home” to the shipyard where she was built, and to which she returned every year for her maintenance. Unfortunately, all docks in the complex are committed for current or pending contracts with the U.S. Navy.

- James River Reserve Fleet (JRRF): Supporters have suggested the location of the so-called “mothball fleet” of the U.S. Navy on the James River near Ft. Eustis, Virginia, as a possible temporary anchoring point for the SS United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) provides oversight of the JRRF. Unfortunately, the site is accessible only through the drawbridge section of the James River Bridge, which provides clearance limited to 145 feet above the river when raised. This would require deconstruction of the ship’s radar mast and funnels — a massively expensive and lengthy undertaking. The work also would require a minimum of two separate tows, since the deconstruction cannot be done at the ship’s current location.

- New York City: The home port for the SS United States throughout her entire service life was Pier 86 on the Hudson River along the west side of Manhattan. The detailed, commercially viable plan announced in late 2023 from RXR and MCR Hotels envisioned America’s Flagship at Pier 76, across from the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Almost all docks on the east side of the Hudson, including Pier 76, are under the control of the Hudson River Park Trust – a public benefit corporation controlled by the Governor, Mayor and Manhattan Borough President. Despite an intense campaign by the Conservancy and its supporters, the Hudson River Park Trust and New York Governor Kathy Hochul would not engage and open the doors to redevelopment along Manhattan’s west side. Searches for other locations in and around New York have not been successful.

- Long Beach: Long Beach and other west coast locations have previously been explored for potential permanent development sites, but the extreme cost of towing the SS United States to the opposite coast has made a temporary location on the west coast impractical given our urgent timeframe.

- Baltimore: The Conservancy reached out to the Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration but has not yet received a response. We continue to explore avenues to advance these conversations.

As we noted in a post earlier this month, because the vessel is 990 feet long with a draft ranging from 21 feet to 28 feet, the number of piers that are suitable and available for the ship is limited. We are currently exploring additional opportunities in Charleston, Savannah, and various ports in Florida, among other locations.

We are tremendously grateful for all of your enthusiastic responses and for your generous financial support. We want you to know that we are seeing all of your emails and hearing your voicemails and are deeply grateful for your input and suggestions. We continue to pursue a wide range of avenues to relocate the America’s Flagship to a new temporary berth.  We urge supporters to continue writing their elected officials to take action to help save the SS United States. You can learn more at www.SaveTheUnitedStates.org.


Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Chris Thompson

Re: SS United States Ordered to Leave Berth by September 2024
« Reply #2 on: Jul 20, 2024, 08:54 PM »
If she had not taken the trip to Turkey in the 90's she would still be save-able. I was fortunate to go aboard her when she was anchored off of Istanbul, the interiors were intact apart from furniture. I remember being very impressed by the quality of the carpeting in the main lounge. I have seen pictures of her stripped interiors now, personally think the cost of restoring or re-purposing her is prohibitive. The only slim possibility would be the QE2's current owners, the two ships tied up together would look amazing!
Other than that she would be better put to use as an artificial reef.

 

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