If you've been hankering to get close to the iconic Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, here's some good news for you.
The National Park Service has scheduled the reopening of Liberty Island by Independence Day, July 4, 2013.
A 12-acre island located a mile south of lower Manhattan, Liberty Island was closed following severe damage to the place from the strong winds and surging waters of Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012.
The Island was in the direct path of a massive storm surge and 75% of the Island went under water.
Delivering a knockout punch, the superstorm destroyed the Island's utilities, backup generator and power systems.
Passenger and auxiliary docks were also severely damaged and brick pathways uprooted around the Island
Fortunately, the crown jewel of the Island, Statue of Liberty, did not suffer any damage.
The statue's 126 year old iron framework (designed by French architect and engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel) allowed the Statue of Liberty to withstand the storm's severe winds.
Liberty Island is a major tourist destination attracting millions of visitors.
Its closure has meant not only a mighty disappointment to tourists but a big revenue loss to New York City.
In 2011 (latest year for which statistics are available), 3.7 million people visited the park, generating $174 million in economic activity and supporting 2,218 jobs.
Ellis Island News
But the Ellis Island Immigration Museum will remain closed and unlikely to reopen in 2013.
Sandy destroyed boilers and the electrical systems at Ellis Island, located near Liberty Island.
As of late March 2013, the Ellis Island museum was still without power.