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U.S.S. Constellation Moved Away For Much Needed Repairs

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- If you were at the Inner Harbor Monday morning there was a quite a sight. For the first time in more than 10 years, the U.S.S. Constellation was on the move for repairs.

Ron Matz has more on a makeover for one of the Inner Harbor's most famous and historic attractions.

Moving a 1,400-ton Navy ship isn't easy, but at the Inner Harbor Monday morning the U.S.S. Constellation made the trip from the Inner Harbor to the Sparrows Point Shipyard for some critical maintenance.

"We've got an absolutely beautiful day for moving the Constellation to the shipyard at Sparrows Point. We're doing this to take care of some critical maintenance issues on her hull. She's been in the water for 13 years and it's time to get her out for some painting and caulking and just basically some critical things, so she can be sitting here at her berth for another 15 years," said Chris Rowsom, Historic Ships in Baltimore.

The Inner Harbor icon drew a crowd. They watched from the windows of the World Trade Center, and for some it was up close and personal.

"I love it. It's just amazing to get to see this. It doesn't happen very often. It's such a wonderful piece of history. We're just so blessed to have it here," said Kristi Moe of Little Italy.

The tug Alexander Duff made it happen. Jim Demske of Vane Brothers described the 90-minute transfer.

"We took the Torsk down yesterday. This morning we're taking the Constellation down. It's duck soup, no problem, an easy job and a fun job. Yesterday was nice and smooth and the weather is cooperating. Everything looks good," said Demske.

Some wondered why the move was being made in the dead of winter.

"We're probably doing this in the worst time of the year, but it's really the only time of the year we can do it. We've had to dodge the weather a little. If we did it in the summertime, it wouldn't be here for people to see," said Rowsom.

There were no problems seeing history on the move in Baltimore.

The Constellation was built in 1854. More than 100,000 people visit the ship in the Inner Harbor every year.

The submarine Torsk was moved to Sparrows Point for maintenance on Sunday.

The repairs are expected to take about a month.

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