a 32,000-ton vessel that fired 255 14-inch shells toward Nazi positions during D-Dayâ€™s opening 34 minutes in 1944. The 100-year old vessel has been on display in the Houston Ship Channel for more than 60 years.
But the 573-foot dreadnought has sprung several leaks recently, forcing the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to shut it down to visitors since mid-June. The state scrapped its plan to open it for July 4th after a new pair of leaks appeared. They have been patched with concrete, plywood and epoxy, and there are plans to open the vessel this weekend. But now a third leak began. Plans call for a pair of emergency pumps to remain aboard the vessel to fight any new leaks.
Texas has spent $300,000 on Texas since the latest round of leaks was detected June 9. The shipâ€™s half-inch thick steel plate has been eaten away by decades in salt water.
The state wants to dry-berth the ship, and in 2007 Texas and private donors pledged $29 million to make that happen. Unfortunately, recent estimates peg the cost of the project as high as $75 million (it cost $5.8 million to build).
Before you criticize Texas (the state), remember that the U.S.S. Texas is the worldâ€™s oldest surviving dreadnaught, served in both World Wars, and has been sitting in salt water for over a century. She needs some TLC.