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National Park Service: Fire Island Lighthouse terrace repaired

Officials said repairs at the Fire Island Lighthouse,

Officials said repairs at the Fire Island Lighthouse, seen here on Thursday, July 27, 2017, have been completed. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Repairs on the nearly 160-year-old Fire Island Lighthouse, which should help it ride out storms, have been completed, officials said Thursday.

The $1.2 million project included shoring up the lighthouse terrace and its underpinnings, weakened by superstorm Sandy in 2012, the National Park Service said.

“About 4,000 bricks were removed from the southwest corner of the exterior terrace wall,” said Fire Island National Seashore facility operations specialist Dennis Mott, “which allowed us to strengthen the substructure” flooded during Sandy.

Ocean Construction LLC of Marmora, New Jersey, which specializes in historic preservation, began working on the project in April.

Work was completed about a month behind schedule, due in part to rain delays, the park service said.

The firm strengthened the terrace substructure, repaired parts of the exterior brick wall and reset the Connecticut Bluestone terrace pavers, the agency said.

The repairs improved drainage and made the entranceway safer for visitors, officials said.

The Bluestone pavers were part of the first 1826 lighthouse, which the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society’s website describes as “a 74-foot high, cream-colored, octagonal pyramid made of Connecticut River blue split stone.”

The nonprofit contributed $17,475 to restore the paver stones on the Keepers Quarters’ front porch, the park service said.

The first lighthouse stood at the western end of the island, next to the Fire Island Inlet. Since then, the inlet has shifted about 6 miles farther west as the winds and currents extended the beach, the society said.

Less than half the height of its successor, the original lighthouse was dismantled because it was too short to aid fishermen, sailors and other boaters, according to the society.

The nonprofit manages the site; the light is owned, maintained and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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