Joe Daniels, the President of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, has announced that it is slated to open to the public as early as this May. Up until now, the subterranean museum had experienced many delays due to financial issues, construction troubles and flooding from Hurricane Sandy. But now, preparations are being made for the monument’s home stretch, and the giant blue construction fence that has surrounded Ground Zero for years is expected to be removed some time this year as well.

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The Davis Brody Bond-designed museum was initially hoped to open on September 11, 2012, the ten year anniversary of the attacks. The memorial itself opened two years ago, but the museum site remained hidden away behind the vinyl-covered blue fences. Construction was delayed largely due to a financial debate between the museum’s foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and prolonged by Hurricane Sandy.

But just like its drawn-out construction, the museum’s upcoming opening is not without controversy. Many are already protesting the $24 entrance fee, including new mayor Bill de Blasio, who feels that federal funding should cover part of the ticket price. Family members of 9/11 victims, who will be admitted for free, also find issue with the high admission cost, claiming it will discourage people from visiting the museum. Construction workers, police officers, firefighters and others involved in 9/11 rescue and cleanup will be admitted for free and the general public will be able to access the museum for no cost on Tuesdays from 5pm-8pm.

+ National 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Via ABC News