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By The Numbers

5 other things reopening now

Raghu Manavalan Oct 17, 2013

The government shutdown is over! You can visit your nearest National Park, ask the IRS your tax questions and finally cash in your winning DC Lottery ticket.

But what else can you finally do today? We’ve found five other places that are reopening, just by coincidence, today as well.

1. You can gaze at the (digital) stars at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Planetarium

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium reopens after replacing its analog projector with a new digital “star ball”. The Planetarium, closed since January, says the new digital “star ball” can “display up to 20 million individual stars — a vastness not fully visible to the naked eye.” Tickets for the Planetarium ($7-$10) can be found at their website.

2. You can harvest clams in northeast Massachusetts

The Joopa Flat, once one of the highest clam-producing areas in the state, was shut down for the last 80 years due to bacterial contamination in the region. Today, 250 acres of clam flats reopen for commercial softshell clam diggers in Newburyport, Mass. 

And according to Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game commissioner Mary Griffin, the clam industry is worth significant amounts of money to the state: “Massachusetts’ softshell clam harvest is worth $5 to $6 million annually and the opening of Joppa Flat will benefit commercial shell fishermen in the area who rely on open and productive flats for their livelihood.”

3. You can ride the I-65/I-70 through downtown Indianapolis

A stretch of Interstates 65 and 70 was closed since September 3 so that the roadway could be lowered under seven bridges. The new lanes were originally expected to debut by Oct. 31, but beat estimates by two weeks. And because of that early debt, the state could hand out a $900,000 incentive payment to the construction company, says Ind. state highway spokesman Nathan Riggs. If only Congress could take a lesson from these folks!

4. You can visit Philadelphia’s historic Strawberry Mansion

One of Philadelphia’s most historic homes reopens after undergoing a four-year restoration project. Built in 1789 as a summer home for Judge William Lewis, the home now boasts repairs to “72 windows and sashes, exterior stucco and interior plaster, replacement of all roofing and internal roof beams, and an upgrade of the mansion’s electrical system … a new mural by artists Dot Bunn and Patrick Connors, celebrating the city with scenes from the port, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the mansion’s neighbors in Fairmount Park.”

5. You can drive across Knoxville’s Henley Bridge

For the first time since January 2011, the Henley Bridge in Knoxville is open for traffic. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett is especially excited about the bridge’s opening: “I’m delighted. I’m glad they finally got off their cans and got it open,” said Burchett. “It’s been a long time coming. The people in South Knoxville have been suffering. The business — the so-called business district — I mean, you couldn’t sling a cat and hit a business down here. And I’m not for slinging cats, of course. But they have just been hit doubly hard down here, with the bridge and the economy.”

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