NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — Construction is set to begin on a long-awaited national museum honoring the U.S. Coast Guard.
A special keel-laying ceremony, a term commonly used to celebrate the construction of a cutter, was held Friday on the museum’s riverfront in New London, Conn., about 40 miles to the south of Providence, Rhode Island.
It comes after $50 million was included in the 2022 federal budget for the project, money that U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., said has “turbocharged construction” of the 80,000 structure square feet
The Coast Guard and the Space Force are the only two branches of the US military without their own museums. A facility honoring the Coast Guard was first proposed in 2001, but the project was delayed over the years due to funding and other issues. The Coast Guard Academy is located in New London.
The new museum, which will include immersive and interactive exhibits, is expected to open in 2024.
“This museum will preserve and honor the heritage, traditions and history of the United States Coast Guard, and the service of the nation’s defenders and stewards of the seas,” said U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. .