Battleship Texas faces funding emergency

A Texas landmark that attracts millions of visitors is in danger.

LA PORTE, Texas - A Texas landmark that attracts millions of visitors is in danger.

The Battleship Texas has made headlines for years for needing repairs which might not be enough to save it anymore.

It's the last remaining battleship of its kind and it participated in both World War I and World War II.

"The Texas is as old as the Titanic.The Titanic launched a month before the Texas," said Bruce Bramlett, executive director of the Battleship Texas Foundation. "She's been in the water for over a century and water always wins that fight -- sooner or later."

Water poured in earlier this month, and officials say they can't keep up with it

In order to keep the ship sustainable for years to come, officials say it's going to take $40 million. That is why they're sounding the alarm now.

"The Alamo got $75 million, and as I understand, we're getting ready to spend 100 million on the Astrodome," Bramlett said. "These historic icons need to be saved especially when you think about the Texas and her history."

Related: Battleship Texas' list improves as leak repairs continue

The ship received $25 million from the state in 2007 to dry berth, a process Bramlett says requires "you build a structure where you have these blocks and literally we'd float the ship in and hover it over that structure and we'd begin to remove the water and lower it down into place."

Except that money, along with another round of funding from the legislature, has gone only to structural and engineering repairs.

Phase 2 of this work is going on now and is expected to be completed in 18 months.

"You can't move this ship anymore," Bramlett said. "We don't want to reach the point where it's just you have to cut her up right where she sits and haul her out of here on barges."

Kurt McClurg was in town on business from Toledo, Ohio, and made special time to see the Battleship Texas.

"It’s a part of our history. Too many times I think the United States we throw our history away," McClurg said.

Battleship Texas officials say the state will have to put up $30 million just to scrap the ship, so they're hoping they can raise the extra money necessary and get help from federal officials as well.

The ship was decommissioned in April 1948.

Watch: Drone 11 over Battleship Texas, San Jacinto Monument

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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