Bodie Island and Ocracoke Lights Will Be Temporarily Extinguished During Renovation Work
Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111, ext. 148
Superintendent Mike Murray announced today that the familiar winking lights of Bodie Island and Ocracoke Lighthouses in Cape Hatteras National Seashore will be temporarily extinguished beginning September 28, 2009 until renovation work is completed.
Bodie Island Lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2001, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) transferred its ownership to the National Park Service which maintains the operation of the light as an aid to navigation. Now, the National Park Service (NPS) has received project funds for restoration of both the Bodie Island Lighthouse and its 1871 first-order Fresnel lens. The lens was manufactured by Barbier & Fenestre, from Paris, France in 1871 and is one of the few remaining original lenses of this type. The inside diameter of the lens is 6 feet, 9/16 inches. The light was first exhibited on October 1, 1872 and continues to operate as an active aid to navigation.
The two BodieIsland projects involve several phases which are expected to take at least 18 months. Repairs include:
· The 344 glass prisms will be removed from the tower for cleaning;
· The metal catadioptric panels that hold the prisms and the metal pedestal that supports the lens will be cleaned and restored in place;
· Strengthening the support of 10 flights of the lighthouse’s spiral staircase and replacement of 21 cracked stair treads;
· Removal of lead paint and repainting the lighthouse interior;
· Replacing electrical lines, conduit, interior lights and lightning protection;
· Installing a fire detection and suppression system.
In 2000, the USCG transferred ownership of the Ocracoke Lighthouse to the NPS which maintains it as a functioning aid to navigation. The NPS funded renovation of Ocracoke Lighthouse is expected to take approximately 4 months. The lens will remain in place but be temporarily extinguished and protected while the renovation is underway. The repairs will include:
A Broadcast Notice to Mariners will be issued by the USCG to all mariners of the temporary interruption of the lights and will provide updates to mariners until the lights return to normal operations.
Did You Know?
Lightning whelks eat about one large clam per month. The whelk pries the clam open with its muscular foot, wedges the clam open with its shell, then eats the soft inside of the clam. Lightning whelk shells, which whorl to the left, wash up on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.