Plan Would Shrink Statue of Liberty Security Lines

Long security lines for tourists visiting the Statue of Liberty could be a thing of the past if a new proposal is approved by city and federal officials in New York.

Currently, tourists are screened at Manhattan's Battery Park and at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, which can take more than an hour. Passengers are then shuttled to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island, where the landmark is located.

The new plan would have visitors get onboard shuttles and go through security on Ellis Island instead, reports the Associated Press.

Prior to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 visitors were only screened when they entered the Statue of Liberty.

"The city is working with the federal government to address the needs of all the different users of the park," Mayor Michael Bloomberg's spokesman Jason Post said in a statement, the news outlet reports.

Michael Burke, the chief operating officer of Statue Cruises, which operates the ferries, says the plan would streamline operations and improve tourists' visits.

"Our boats will be secure, people will be safe and the people will have a better experience," he said.

The plan calls for constructing a building for security at Ellis Island so visitors could avoid the elements while they wait. Tourists who only want to go to Ellis Island wouldn't be screened.

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