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Battleship Texas, Seriously Injured, to Get (Some) Repairs

The good news: On the 99th anniversary of its commissioning, the Battleship Texas will be getting "the first significant structural repairs...in more than 20 years, Texas Parks & Wildlife announced.

The bad news: Those repairs are about half of what is needed just to take a solid first step toward the ultimate, crucial goal: getting the historic ship into dry dock so real work can be done.

Doing that could cost $75 million, according to some estimates.

Still, every long, expensive, fund-raiser-laden journey must begin with some kind of first step, so TPWD's announcement today shouldn't be shrugged off.

The ship, which saw action during D-Day and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, has long been a favorite destination for history buffs and kids who love to run among its hallways. (For you non-Texans, the ship rests near the San Jacinto Monument, which overlooks the field where the Battle of San Jacinto took place.)

The ship will remain open to the public "as conditions allow" during the repairs, TPWD says.

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"The repairs to the ship's structural foundation will occur deep within the ship in areas rarely seen by the public," the agency said. "When completed in the fall of 2014, the repaired hull will not be evident to most visitors."

The agency does note, though, that "the public should be aware that temporary closings may occur on short notice for the duration of the project." Work begins in April.

Funding comes from general obligation bonds targeted for the ship's repairs from the state legislature.

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