Erosion Update: Hurricane Edouard roared by and, fortunately, did not make landfall on Cape Cod. However, it did produce very heavy seas, and another foot of bank was lost. Only thirty-six feet remain between the base of the tower and the edge of the cliff. The contractor needs a minimum of at least thirty feet clearance to maneuver equipment around the lighthouse, so the move is happening just in time.
The Big Move: A contract with International Chimney Co. of Buffalo, NY, for $253,000 was signed on Tuesday, September 24, 1996. The contract will run for 120 days. The project has begun, but the exact dates of the physical move of the lighthouse are unknown at this time. The actual moving process is expected to take about a week, although that may vary, depending upon circumstances. As the work progresses, information and photos will be posted to this site so everyone can keep track of the project.
Groundbreaking Ceremony: The official groundbreaking ceremony was held today at the lighthouse. It was a bright sunny day and the event was well attended. NLPS president Hawkins Conrad gave thanks to all parties involved with the moving efforts, followed by the Coast Guard ceremony of extinguishing the light to be ready for the move. Representatives from Congressman Studds' office, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, the National Park Service, the US Coast Guard, and the Nauset Light Preservation Society broke the ground with silver shovels in celebration of the start of the project. The light will be shining again from it's new location before the end of December.
Moving Procedure: The oil house will be moved first. It will be braced, supported on small steel cross beams, loaded onto a flatbed truck, and moved to the new site. At the new location, it will be lowered onto a new foundation. The interior concrete floor of the lighthouse will be cut and the interior fill hand excavated to a depth of approximately four feet. Simultaneously, the land side of the foundation will be excavated. Holes will be cut in the foundation, cribbing installed, and four cross steel beams pushed through from the land side. Six interior and four exterior jacks will be put in place, and the lighthouse will be raised up by jacking and cribbing. The tower will be transferred to the main beams and a pre-assembled dolly system, which will be installed under the cross steel beams. The lighthouse will be slowly driven to the new location where it will be lowered onto its new foundation.
Progress Report: Progress is being made! The area around the oil house has been cleared, and a temporary access road created. The new site has been cleared, graded, and excavated, and the footings for the lighthouse and the oil house were poured October 31st. The twelve-inch concrete floor of the lighthouse has been cut out, and the manual digging out of the interior is nearing completion. The exterior was excavated today, and holes are being cut in the foundation for insertion of the cross steel beams. The best guess is that the tower will move sometime around the 15th of November; however, the actual date is still unknown. The physical move of the lighthouse is expected to take two to five days.