PHOTO: Long Beach's Queen Mary is in dire need of repair. (Photo via Flickr/Justin Ennis)
God save the queen?
The famed Queen Mary, the oceanic crown jewel of Long Beach, California, is showing its age.
The Long Beach Press Telegram’s Courtney Tompkins reports on extensive repairs that are immediately needed on the ship that has lived in Long Beach for some 50 years now.
Long past its seafaring days, the Queen Mary has become something of a hotel hot spot and annual haunted curio for locals and tourists. But it’s fallen on hard days. Like an aging athlete who has seen one too many battles, its body has deteriorated to alarming levels.
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Illustrating how extensively the years have worn this proud ship, Tompkins writes on a study done by naval architects and marine engineers: “The report estimates the total cost of ship repairs could range from $235 million to $289 million and predicts the work would take up to five years to complete. Roughly 75 percent of the repairs were deemed ‘urgent,’ according to the study.”
When you consider the lengthy list of issues facing the Queen Mary, you begin to see where these millions might go, via Curbed LA. Some of the most egregious includes an event space floor teetering dangerously close to collapse, a hull that shows signs of immense corrosion and a nonfunctioning bilge system.
The latter is like living in a tinderbox without a functioning fire extinguisher.
Oh, and speaking of things that might go up in flames, Curbed states: “Fire inspectors last year found about 1,000 issues in need of correction. So far, about half have been addressed.”
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Essentially, the Queen Mary, an iconic part of Long Beach and its impressive image, is in impressive danger.
That danger ranges from parts of its inside failing, the hull succumbing to the surrounding waters, a possible fire, horrible sewage issues or an amalgamation of these and myriad other more minor issues.
At the moment, Long Beach officials are working in tandem with leaseholder Urban Commons for a solution to the onslaught of problems. As noted, the city has already approved $23 million in funds for repairs.
But, as you more mathematically inclined will notice, that falls drastically short of what is needed.
John Keisler, economic and property development director, tells the Press Telegram: “We have a timeline in which the engineers believe they can complete those immediate projects. These are major challenges we can only address over time; it can’t all be done at once.”
It’s time to get creative for a landmark that has become as much a part of the city as the warm weather.