Restoration Work On Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Light Stations Could Close Some To Visitors

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Work on Devils Island Light this summer could be closed to the public at times this summer/NPS.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, home to the best collection of lighthouses and stations in the National Park System, is doing maintenance work this summer on five of those facilities, and visitors might find them closed at times.

Crews at the lakeshore on Lake Superior in Wisconsin have been performing lighthouse preservation work in recent years. This year Michigan Island light is seeing plastering, painting, roof repairs, and installation of new exhibits; Devils Island light station is receiving repairs and new windows at the keepers’ quarters as well as new concrete footings for the light tower; Outer Island light is receiving tower painting, repairs, and new lantern glass, Long Island (La Pointe) light tower is receiving new concrete footings as well as a new roof on the keepers’ quarters; and (with help from the Friends of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore) Raspberry Island light is receiving major repairs to its historic boathouse.

This much-needed repair work means some temporary closures at four of the light stations in 2014. While the park is working to minimize public inconvenience, some closures are necessary for visitor safety. Some light station buildings are closed to visitation while work is in progress, as are adjacent areas of grounds, and the normal volunteer “keepers” are not in residence during construction. In some cases lighthouse dock closures are also required for visitor safety and to guarantee dock space for the work crews and materials. Michigan Island light is most impacted by closures as dock space is limited, and work on the station and grounds is very extensive. As weather might delay some of the work, it is possible that some closures will continue later into the summer than planned.

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New exhibits at Michigan Light might not be in place until mid-August/NPS.

If you intend to visit any of these light stations in 2014, it's recommended that you check in advance with the park on any closures that might be in place. The light stations are of course still visible from the water, and viewing from offshore is a good, safe way to see the work in progress.

Here are the anticipated dates for construction, which will result in partial or full closures to the light stations and in some cases the adjacent docks. These dates may be subject to change.

* Michigan Light and Dock: May 15 through August 15 (grounds will be open but all exhibits may not be completed by mid-August)

* Devils Light (East and West landings may be closed as required): May 15 through July 15

* La Pointe (Long Island) Light (dock may be closed as required): July 15 through November 1

* Outer Island Light (dock may be closed as required): July 1 through November 1

Comments

I fell in love with Apostle Islands last summer, and all I can say is: "Thank goodness this work is being done. It would be a tragedy to allow these priceless places to fall into disrepair because they were victims of the Save Money Mentality of some of our neighbors."