After a lengthy, and surprisingly costly, restoration, the Bodie Island Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore will reopen to visitors next month.
The lighthouse had been undergoing an extensive restoration when the project was shut down two years ago this month after the contractor came upon something unexpected: "...significant structural integrity issues associated with the support structures under the balcony."
In January 2012, seashore officials announced they had received nearly $2 million additional dollars to finish the project. Now things appear on track to officially dedicate the lighthouse on April 18, and reopen it to the public the following day.
Seashore officials say the restored Bodie Island Lighthouse will offer a unique experience for park visitors. The tower recently underwent a major $5 million restoration project of both the exterior and interior and the first-order Fresnel lens. Preservation of important historic fabric was a primary emphasis during the four-year long renovation.
The end result of this project is the perfect balance of saving historic qualities while making the lighthouse accessible to the public. A limited number of ranger-guided tours will be conducted daily to showcase the history of this 1871 historic structure as well as offer visitors a pristine view of the surrounding lands from the top balcony.
Pricing for tour tickets is still be worked out. That is expected to be resolved in time for visitors to purchase tickets at the Visitor Center at the base of the lighthouse on April 19.