Stabilization of New Point Light now underway
Members of the New Point Comfort Lighthouse Preservation Task Force took a trip out to the island on July 19 to get a last look at the site before the work began. Construction was scheduled to get underway the following day.
On the boat trip out, task force member Steve Whiteway shared engineering drawings of the project with the group, explaining that the riprap revetment will be built up higher than the island itself, and that visitors will have to step up a walkway to the top of the revetment and step down to a flat surface that will be built to accommodate the equipment needed for construction.
That flat surface will be built about three feet higher than the existing land area, said Whiteway, which will put it three feet up the side of the lighthouse. The door to the building will then appear to be sunken, with steps leading down into it.
While the Transportation Safety Enhancement Grant that was awarded to pay for shoring up the eroding island was a little over $700,000, the winning bid for construction costs came in well below that, at $499,000, said Whiteway. The additional funds will be used to help pay for the second phase of the project, which will be restoring the lighthouse structure itself. The joints of the sandstone blocks that make up the structure will be pointed, the windows will be repaired, and rusting cast iron throughout the structure will be replaced.