As a universal icon of freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty National Monument has become one of the most popular destinations in the United States, attracting more than 4 million visitors annually. However, because recent life-safety upgrades have led to revised and reduced occupancy levels inside the monument, only about 20 percent of visitors to Liberty Island are able to explore the museum inside the Statue of Liberty.
As a result, there was a need for both a richer interpretive experience available to all visitors and indoor space for visitors during inclement weather. To meet that need a 20,000-square-foot museum was proposed for the site.
To support the NPS, WSP completed the Environmental Assessment in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Department of the Interior Director’s Order 12.
The team performed a Phase I archeological investigation at the project site, including research and fieldwork to determine if significant remains were present in the project area that might be impacted by the proposed construction. Working with archeologists from the NPS Northeast Region, WSP developed a plan for backhoe excavation of five trenches, from which 32 artifacts were recovered and at least three building foundations were uncovered.
WSP prepared permit applications and coordinated permitting for the construction and dismantling of the temporary pier to be used for transporting construction materials to and from Liberty Island for the new museum. The team also developed a permit plan indicating what permits were required for construction and acquired the permits, including an New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Tidelands License, an NJDEP Waterfront Development and Coastal Wetlands Permit and Water Quality Certification, and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide #33 Permit.