BUFFALO, N.Y. – The new USS Little Rock arrives Monday morning after its Great Lakes cruise from a Wisconsin shipyard.
The actual commissioning of the new USS Little Rock doesn't happen until Dec. 16, so until then, it’ll be docked at Canalside for all to see.
Sunday, a large barge and crane could be seen setting bumpers along the Canalside boardwalk.
"What they're doing now is they're setting up so that the ship can be safely moored at Canalside,” Dan Mecca, commissioning committee member.
It'll be the first time since 2008 that a Navy warship came through Buffalo's waterfront. That year, the USS Freedom made a port call as it passed through.
"Buffalo has a rich naval and maritime history dating back to War of 1812,” Mecca said. “And having the ex-USS Little Rock here at the Buffalo Naval Park was really a significant factor in getting Buffalo as the commissioning site for the new USS Little Rock."
Military and history enthusiasts should be aware of significant security if you plan on paying the shop a visit.
The commissioning committee spent 18 months with local and federal law enforcement about the security measures required around a live warship.
"What you can expect to see is a full security perimeter around Canalside, which will really put up barriers around it much like you'd see at a concert,” Mecca said.
There will be one entry and exit point, where visitors should expect a TSA-type of screening, where security personnel will wave a magnetic wand over you.
The cobblestone streets closest to the Canalside boardwalk will be closed, and airspace will be restricted for aircrafts and drones. Boats are still allowed on the water, but they’ll be kept a significant distance from the 400 foot long ship.
Organizers encourage taking the NFTA metro rail, which drops you off right at Canalside. Monday will be mainly setting everything up, so the committee encourages visitors to try and hold off until Tuesday before visiting the USS Little Rock.
Click here for a list of events leading up to the commissioning on Dec. 16. The only thing that has changed since the timeline of events was compiled is that the ship arrives Monday, Dec. 4, instead of Friday the 8th.
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