WILMINGTON -

The Battleship North Carolina is in line for a major facelift, with the ultimate goal of preserving the ship's already fragile hull.

A new walkway is planned, along with a cofferdam, aimed to protect the hull.

A 40-foot cofferdam will be built around the ship, to protect the ship.

As paint has worn off the vessel, steel has come into contact with water.

That has caused the hull to thin to dangerous levels in some places that could cause major damage to the ship.

Most of the cofferdam won't be visible above the water.

Hull repairs are said to cost $12 million dollars.

The ship is 74 years old, and was commissioned in 1941.

She served in both the European and Atlantic theaters during World War II before being decommissioned in 1947.

Her crew earned 8 battle ribbons and 15 battle stars during the campaign.

The state of North Carolina purchased the vessel in 1961 before turning the ship into a public museum in 1962.