LA PORTE — Operation Full Steam Ahead, the final phase of repairs, cleaning and safety upgrades to the third deck of the Battleship Texas is scheduled to conclude Saturday, January 5. To commemorate the grand re-opening, the Battleship Texas State Historic Site will host a ribbon cutting and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff will be leading special tours of the newly opened areas. In honor of the ship’s 104th “berth” year, the first 104 people will be granted free admission.
For the first time in more than two years, visitors will be able to tour the ship’s engine room, machine shop, brig, ammunition passageway and radio room, all of which have been closed for major structural repairs.
The program is set to begin at 8:45 a.m. Visitors can begin lining up at 7:30 a.m. to get their hand stamped and receive their ticket, a piece of salvaged steel from the ship, to board after the ribbon cutting ceremony. Regular ship admission will be charged once the first 104 visitors have boarded the ship.
Admission to the ship is $12 for visitors ages 12 to 64; $6 per person for visitors 65 and older; and $3 for children 5-11 years of age. Active and retired military personnel (with valid ID), Texas State Parks Pass holders, and children 4 and younger are free. There is no charge to enter the San Jacinto Battleground park area adjacent to the ship.
The first round of critical structural repairs to the Battleship Texas began in 2013 when the support structure under the ship’s Engine Room and areas of the stern were addressed. The project was completed in January 2015.
Later that year, the Texas Legislature allocated $25 million for the second phase of structural repairs, which included the steering gear room, D-13 trimming tank, rear emergency diesel generator room, dynamo condenser room, and miscellaneous tanks, trunks and storerooms. This phase of repair work was completed in September 2018.
With both phases complete, majority of the most deteriorated structural elements of Battleship Texas behind the boiler rooms have been addressed. The only remaining critical structural repairs will be the framing beneath the boiler rooms. Permanent repairs to the hull can only be accomplished with the ship out of water in a permanent dry berth.
The Battleship Texas is operated by TPWD. It is permanently moored adjacent to the San Jacinto Battleground and Monument, 3523 Independence Parkway, in La Porte.