Highland Light to Close for Extensive Repairs Through 2019

TRURO – Extensive rehabilitation work to one of the most iconic historic structures of the national seashore is planned for later this fall.

Superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore Brian Carlstrom says the Highland Light in Truro will undergo a multitude of structure and safety repairs through 2019.

It’s the first major rehabilitation project on the structure since it was conveyed to the National Park Service by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1997.

Several years of analysis by preservation engineers and specialists have determined that excessive moisture due to changes to the tower’s ventilation system have caused accelerated deterioration of the lighthouse.

The rehabilitation project calls for venting to be established, masonry to be repaired, the removal of the current exterior coating and the application of a new breathable coating, windows to be replaced, the repair of corroded elements of the structure, and other safety improvements.

While the rehabilitation work will keep the lighthouse closed through the 2019 season, the exhibit are and Keeper’s Shop will remain open.

Three rings of masonry walls and air space critical to its design in 1857 were filled with cement-like material to provide stability to the lighthouse when it was relocated away from the eroding cliff in 1996.

This, coupled with multiple layers of non-breathable coating added to the exterior significantly reduced the structure’s venting, causing excessive moisture buildup. This moisture buildup eventually corroded most of the structure’s metal components and heavily deteriorated the masonry tower.

The last day to climb the Highland Light is Sunday, October 21. The project is funded by the National Park Service in an effort to reduce the agency’s deferred maintenance backlog.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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