VISITORS TO NEW YORK next year will have to shelve plans to visit the Statue of Liberty as the monument closes for maintenance for up to 12 months.
The closure is due to take effect from the statue’s 125th anniversary on 12 October 2011. Visitors will still be able to access the park surrounding the statue.
The plan is to build more stair cases through the statue to allow emergency services better access. At present, only one narrow spiral staircase of 354 steps allows access for firefighters to the statue’s crown.
A fire alert at the statute last month underlined the need for better access. A smoke alarm triggered an emergency evacuation of the building, and tourists had to cram into the single stairwell to descend.
The National Park Service, which maintains the statue, will be taking public comment on their plan from Friday until mid-September.