Another problem uncovered near the USS Arizona Memorial
Structure struggles at Pearl Harbor.
Structure struggles at Pearl Harbor. Not only is the boat-ramp at the USS Arizona Memorial still damaged, the shore side dock is now underwater.
The National Park Service halted tours into the harbor over the weekend because of the sinking dock because of the damages to the ramp attached to the sunken battleship. Visitors have only been able to see the USS Arizona from boats since May.
But even before the shore side dock started sinking, visitor numbers to the famous park have gone down.
"It was a little upsetting coming all the way out here and not getting to see what we came to see," Jacob Ylitalo, U.S. Coast Guard visiting from Alaska, said.
Jacob and Katelyn Ylitalo are on a once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii. Pearl Harbor is a must-see for them..
"We wanted to be able to visit. I feel like we wanted to do our due diligence and remember those folks," Katelyn said.
Only to find out the main attraction is inaccessible.
"It was still worth it but definitely a let down," Jacob said.
National Park service officials are still trying to figure out why the shore side dock used to get visitors onto boats to the USS Arizona is underwater.
"There are 10 independent separate chambers that create this floating dock where the visitors disembark. We've had one maybe two of those chambers have begun to take water on," Jay Blount, National Parks Service, said.
The old dock was installed in the 1990s and was supposed to be gone next year.
"It's already slated for replacement," Blount said.
Navy Divers, Pacific Command, park officials and others worked on temporary repairs on Monday, hoping to get at least the boat tours back up and running by the end of the week. But it will be months before visitors can actually step onto the memorial again.
In May, the floating boat ramp attached to the USS Arizona Memorial was damaged. Due to logistical reasons such as working around un-exploded ordinances below the water, those repairs could take until Thanksgiving.
Park officials are hopeful the ramp will be fully operational before the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack on December 7. In the meantime, they hope people don't stay away.
"There are so many other great things for people to do," Blount said.
Park officials say they don't have a way to track the number of visitors who come through Pearl Harbor but they have noticed a decrease since limiting access to the popular memorial.