The cofferdam surrounding the battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) in Wilmington, North Carolina, was flooded with water from the Cape Fear River on 20 July, marking completion of the nearly four-year, $11 million project to repair the historic ship’s hull.
The venerable World War II battlewagon, which participated in major Pacific campaigns from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, has been a fixture on the Wilmington waterfront since opening as a museum ship in 1962. The last major repair work was done in 1953, and the hull had critical structural issues that had to be addressed. The cofferdam of the ship was drained to prepare a dry work area, and Atlantic Coast Industrial Marine Construction cut and replaced steel on the bow, as well as repainting affected areas of the hull. The replacement steel was a donation from NUCOR Steel, a North Carolina–based company.