Restoration of New Point Comfort Lighthouse drew a step closer Tuesday night as the Mathews County Board of Supervisors approved a notice of award for a contract to install revetment to shore up the structure’s surrounding island.
Federal authorization for a transportation enhancement grant to fund the project was received by the county in March, and the project was put out for bids. The county gave conditional approval Tuesday night to the lowest bid of $499,000, which was made by W.F. Magann of Portsmouth. Two other bids were received, one for $577,944 by Coastal Design and Construction of Gloucester, and one for $799,000 by Precon Marine of Chesapeake.
Earl Soles, chair of the New Point Comfort Lighthouse Task Force, said the process of coming up with funds to preserve the lighthouse has been "longer than I ever envisioned," and he’s "awfully glad we’re going to see something happening."
"It’s been a challenge," he said, "and it will continue to be."
Soles said that the isolation of the lighthouse prevents people from being able to drive there, so raising preservation funds is difficult.
"It’s a hundred percent preservation, without economic benefits," he said.