USS Constitution to begin major repairs

The USS Constitution takes a final tour of Boston Harbor in Boston before entering dry dock for a three-year restoration project, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. The USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, is set to depart from its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard with about 500 specially-invited guests Friday morning. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (AP) — Preparations are underway for the USS Constitution’s move to dry dock for major restoration.

The world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat will begin undergoing two years of repairs at the Charlestown Navy Yard historical park in Boston beginning Tuesday.

On Sunday, the dry dock is being flooded to allow the historic ship to enter on Monday night.

The project could cost the Navy as much as $15 million. It will include re-coppering the hull, replacing worn rigging and old planks and making general repairs to the stern, bow and captain’s cabin.

The ship will be open to visitors during most of the work, beginning in June.

The last time the Constitution was dry-docked was in 1995, in preparation for its bicentennial.

The ship was launched in 1797 and is a major tourist draw.

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