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CONTRACT AWARDED FOR SOUTHEAST LIGHTHOUSE RELOCATION

 WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Relocation of New England's tallest and the Atlantic seaboard's brightest lighthouse will be accomplished under the terms of a contract awarded on February 12, 1993, by the New England Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. International Chimney Corporation of Buffalo, N.Y., will relocate the historic Southeast Lighthouse on Block Island at a contract cost of $1,931,000. Work is expected to begin in early spring and take about seven months to complete.
 "The relocation is being accomplished by the Army Engineers in cooperation with the State of Rhode Island and the Southeast Lighthouse Foundation," said Col. Brink P. Miller, head of the Army Engineers in New England. "Nonfederal interests are contributing $970,000 of the cost."
 Under the terms of the contract, Southeast Lighthouse will be relocated 245 feet north of its current location. The move is necessary due to serious coastal erosion which is threatening the lighthouse's survival to the end of the century.
 The State of Rhode Island owns the 13.3 acre site on which the lighthouse is situated, and the Southeast Lighthouse Foundation maintains a popular museum exhibit which attracts about 3,000 visitors per month to view displays about Block Island and its maritime history.
 The lighthouse includes a five-story octagonal masonry light tower of Gothic Revival style, a 2-1/2 story duplex keepers' dwelling with two 1-1/2 story kitchen wings, and a 1-1/2 story connection between the tower and the dwelling. It was originally constructed more than 300 feet from the shores of Mohegan Bluff. Erosion over the years has reduced this frontage to a mere 55 feet, thereby threatening the structure's stability.
 Rather than losing such a national treasure, studies were undertaken to develop a solution to preserving the lighthouse. Since the facility is structurally sound, it is expected to withstand relocation well, and this method was determined to be the best way of saving the lighthouse.
 As planned by the Army Engineers, the relocated lighthouse will be stable for an estimated 85 years. To accomplish this, a new foundation will be constructed diagonal to and 245 feet away from the existing one to an area currently occupied by a steel tower that supports an operating beacon. The tower will be dismantled to allow the construction of the new foundation. Other site work will include disconnection, relocation and reconnection of utilities (water, sewer, power and telephone), realignment of part of the access drive, backfilling of the old foundation, construction of a new parking area, and the installation of a subsurface drainage system. Once the new foundation is ready, the lighthouse and attached structures will be moved to the inland site on a steel track system. It is expected that the actual move can be accomplished in about than two weeks. However, preparation work before the move, foundation construction and the other site work will be accomplished over a the seven-month period.
 The lighthouse was constructed in 1873 atop Mohegan Bluff at the southeastern tip of Block Island. From its vantage of 150 feet above sea level, it can be seen from 35 miles at sea. A rare first order fresnel lens, hand crafted in France, casts its 237,000 candle power and makes Southeast Lighthouse the strongest and brightest along the Atlantic coast.
 The only one of its kind ever built, Southeast Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered one of America's eleven most endangered nationally significant historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
 -0- 2/17/93
 /CONTACT: Sue Douglas of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 617-647-8264/


CO: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:

TM -- NE004 -- 7178 02/17/93 09:27 EST
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Date:Feb 17, 1993
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