"Relentless erosion threatened the structural integrity of this historic Long Island treasure," Governor Cuomo said.
Governor Andrew M. 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.
"Relentless erosion threatened the structural integrity of this historic Long Island treasure and we're proud to have taken action with our federal partners to preserve this iconic landmark," Governor Cuomo said. "We are excited to see work beginning on this project and look forward to giving future New Yorkers the opportunity to visit and learn about the rich history of Long Island, our state and our nation here at Montauk Point."
New York District Commander, COL Matthew Luzzatto said, "Montauk Lighthouse is an important navigational aide for marine traffic bound for the Port of New York, supporting billions in global commerce. Visible for 20 miles, the lighthouse also has significant cultural, historical, and educational value. The work we're performing will fortify and protect this national treasure for years to come."
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.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "The shoreline restoration at Montauk Point Lighthouse is critically important to protect and preserve this historic landmark and increase visitors' enjoyment of the historic treasures at this site. DEC is proud to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the town of East Hampton, and the Montauk Historical Society as New York State continues to make record investments in infrastructure to protect treasures like the lighthouse from the impacts of climate change, bolstering the local economy in the process."
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation is proud to partner with federal and fellow state agencies to restore the Montauk Point Lighthouse by upgrading the stone revetment. The Montauk Point Lighthouse is one of Long Island's gems, where thousands of New Yorkers and tourist alike visit every year to appreciate our beautiful coastline. This project will greatly enhance the existing structure and the overall experience by all who visit Montauk Point."
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.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, "The Montauk Lighthouse is a national historic landmark as well as a Long Island icon and tourist attraction. East Hampton cherishes preserving its history, and I am happy to see this important project move forward."