Construction work begins at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse; limited visitor access to site expected over next 18 months

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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The first phase of the $19.2 million project to restore and rehabilitate the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is underway. Varying closures of the grounds surrounding the lighthouse are anticipated. The park store and restrooms are expected to remain open during the project, states a media release from the National Park Service.

The project, a collaboration between the National Park Service and Stone and Lime Historic Restoration Services, Inc., of North Brookfield, Mass., will rehabilitate the interior and restore the exterior of the lighthouse, repair and replace deteriorated materials and finishes and provide landscape improvements to enhance the visitor experience. The fabrication and installation of a replica first-order Fresnel lens is also part of the project.

Key highlights of the first phase of the project include:

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­– Construction fencing will be installed around the limit of construction which includes an area beyond the current lighthouse fencing, construction entrances adjacent to the parking lot, and landscape improvements. The site will have limited access for visitation and viewpoints.

– The Keepers of the Light Amphitheater stones will be removed and stored in a secure location for the duration of the project. The stones will be placed in the lighthouse district when the construction is completed to honor the keepers and educate the public about their role in caring for the lighthouse.

– The primary construction entrance will be located east of the current main entrance to the light station. A portion of the parking area will be closed for several months for the delivery of project materials and staging for construction.

– Scaffolding will be delivered and erected around the exterior and interior of the lighthouse.

Visitors to the site should expect the entire area to be under construction for a minimum of 18 months. Access to the Cape Hatteras Light Station will vary through the course of the project and temporary closures will occur. Additionally, the exterior of the lighthouse will be scaffolded for the duration of the project. A temporary beacon will be installed on the exterior of the lighthouse during the project, though there will be periods of time that the light is turned off due to construction.

In coordination with the contractor, Cape Hatteras National Seashore will provide opportunities for visitors onsite to view construction activities, access the Museum of the Sea and learn about the restoration project as construction schedules allow.

“After a lengthy and thoughtful planning process, we are excited to take this significant step towards preserving an iconic historic landmark,” stated David Hallac, superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “We thank our visitors for their patience and understanding as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and its surrounding landscape are restored and enhanced over the next couple of years.”

During the multi-year project, CHNS will provide project updates on its social media accounts and its project update webpage,