Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District have announced stonework designed to reduce shoreline erosion and preserve a National Historic Landmark guiding mariners for over 200 years has begun at the Montauk Point Lighthouse on eastern Long Island.
The contractor has completed all site preparations setting up the staging area, building an access road to the revetment, fencing off the construction area and placing monitors on site to measure vibrations. In addition, the historic bunker has been successfully relocated from the revetment area and stone deliveries to the project site have begun. Full excavation and stonework on the revetment are ready to begin.
Work on the nearly 1,000 linear feet of stone revetment includes removing and reusing five- and 10-ton stones already in place, adding 10- and 15-ton stones, and stabilizing the upper slope above the revetment with terracing and vegetation.
The construction contract award total is $30.7 million for work expected to take two years. The estimated total project cost is $44 million. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is committing $15.4 million as the non-federal sponsor. These investments will upgrade the revetment, reduce shoreline erosion, and maintain cultural resources associated with the lighthouse educational, archaeological, and historical. The Montauk Historical Society owns the land and will maintain the site after work is complete.
The lighthouse, commissioned by George Washington in 1796, originally sat 300 feet from the edge of the bluff. Over the years, erosion has taken its toll: Today, just 70 feet separate the lighthouse from the Atlantic Ocean only an aging revetment keeps it from being lost to the sea. The lighthouse complex also includes a museum, lighthouse tower and keeper’s house, fire control tower and garage. The museum will be open to the public during construction.
In 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard transferred ownership of the site to the Montauk Historical Society, which maintains the property. The Society, dedicated to the protection, preservation, and educational development of the lighthouse, has maintained the revetment since the early 1990s.