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USS North Carolina due for a facelift

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WILMINGTON, N.C. -
The Battleship North Carolina may soon get a significant facelift aimed at protecting the ship's fragile hull.
    
The StarNews of Wilmington reports a cofferdam and walkway are planned. The cofferdam project, which involves installing a 40-foot wall around the battleship, and hull repairs are estimated to cost $12 million.
    
Executive Director Capt. Terry Bragg says the sheet-piling structure will encase the whole ship and most of the wall won't be visible above water. Bragg said the dam, to be constructed 100 feet away from the ship in a rectangular shape, will give crews space to address longtime concerns about parts of the ship's hull.
    
As paint has worn off the 74-year-old vessel, more steel has come directly into contact with water, thinning the hull to dangerous levels in places.
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