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Liberty State Park partially reopening, terminal closed indefinitely

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

Liberty State Park will partially re-open by Thanksgiving Day after being shut down and seriously damaged by Hurricane Sandy, state officials announced this afternoon.

“We know how important this park is to the people of the region, the state and even the nation, as the gateway to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island,’’ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said during a news conference at the park.

Reopening sections of the Jersey City waterfront park are “a symbol of our state’s resolve to recover from this storm,” Martin said.

The DEP will reopen the 9/11 Memorial, the Grove of Remembrance and certain passive recreation portions of the park by Thursday. Liberty Landing Marina already has reopened and popular restaurants at the site are set to reopen tonight.

“Our staff has been working tirelessly to clean up and restore the park,” said Richard Boornazian, Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “We will continue to work to restore access to the Interpretive Center, portions of the Hudson River Walkway within the park, and the iconic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal Building, which served as the launch point into America for millions of immigrants.”

He emphasized that there’s “a great deal of other damage and debris removal that must be addressed before the park can fully reopen.”

That includes serious water damage sustained at the Terminal Building during Sandy’s storm surge. It has no power or sanitation, and officials are hoping to get an estimate on how long the cleanup and restoration is going to take.

DEP officials today also detailed progress toward reopening other parks and historic sites damaged by the storm:  28 of 39 state parks are fully or partially open.

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