Contract for lighthouse work possible soon

By on December 9, 2011

Despite the empty lantern room atop the Bodie Island Lighthouse remaining exposed since Hurricane Irene, the beacon north of Oregon Inlet is not being damaged from the weather.

A protective shroud around the top of the lighthouse was torn away by the storm in August.

Bodie Island Lighthouse lantern room on Nov. 27, 2011 (Robert Bargamin photo)

National Park Service Outer Banks Group Deputy Superintendent Darrell Echols says that the lantern room is built to handle the elements.

“There are tracks in the floor designed to moved water out if it gets inside,” Echols said.  ”No water is entering the tower whatsoever.”

“We’ve not had a lot of rain since the hurricane, and what we have gotten is not causing any structural issues,” Echols said.

Renovations were stopped in March because additional repairs and money were needed to continue the preservation of the black-and-white-painted brick tower built in 1870, and possibly open it to the public for climbing sometime in the future.

Echols adds a contract to continue the restoration could be signed in a matter of weeks.

Echols also said that funding for the lighthouse repairs has been secured, and an announcement on the particulars will also be made in the near future.

The priceless Fresnel lens was removed from the lighthouse over two years ago, before renovations began, and is remains in a secure location away from the Bodie Island Light Station.


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Native son

December 28, 2011 6:04 am

122 days and still exposed to non-corrosive salt air and rain,but not being damaged by it.Do you think it’s some additive in our auto coatings that makes them rust down here on the Outer Banks?

Native son

December 24, 2011 1:23 pm

Maybe the Nationa Park Service should face the facts and turn Bodie Island Lighthouse over to The Outer Banks Conservationists,who successfully renovated her sister tower,the Currituck Light.

Native son

December 10, 2011 7:38 am

That’s Park Service double-speak BS if I’ve ever heard any.It can-not be doing the structure any good to expose the iron any good to be exposed for 105 days to salt laden air and wind driven rain.


December 9, 2011 4:12 pm

I sure hope the Park Service can get the funds. I’m sure that restoring a redundant lighthouse will seem to some people like a frivolous expense in these hard times, but the Bodie Island light is a meaningful part of our coastal heritage and is worth the investment. The cost of one day’s worth of F-18 practice flights from Oceana would probably go a good way toward the repair bill for the lighthouse.


December 9, 2011 2:44 pm

Does this mean the funding was secured in the 2012 budget for NPS?

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