Montauk Point Lighthouse Construction Project Advances | Congressman Lee Zeldin

Montauk Point Lighthouse Construction Project Advances

April 26, 2021
Press Release
Op-ed by Congressman Lee Zeldin

For over two centuries, Montauk Point Lighthouse has served as one of the most recognizable symbols in our region, evoked a sense of community among Long Islanders, and attracted visitors from across America and foreign nations. Montauk Point is currently the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the U.S. To ensure that this historic landmark can continue to host locals and tourists, significant safety upgrades are needed to the surrounding area.

In January, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a more than $30 million contract to H&L Contracting of Bay Shore, to restore and protect the lighthouse. I am pleased to report that construction of these much-needed upgrades to one of the First District’s most popular attractions is set to begin in May.

Montauk Point Lighthouse is the first lighthouse built in New York State and is a National Historic Landmark on the Federal and State Registers of Historic Places. The lighthouse, commissioned byGeorge Washington, was constructed in 1796, roughly 300 feet from the receding edge of the bluff.

Over the course of two centuries, the site has become increasingly dangerous and less stable for visitors to this Long Island destination. The landmark now sits less than 100 feet from the receding edge of the bluff and its deteriorating stonework revetment is the only thing left protecting the lighthouse from being lost to the ocean due to erosion. 

The Montauk Point project will provide safety reinforcements consisting of an 840-foot revetment with a 73-year level of protection for the lighthouse. To protect the lighthouse from bluff failure, 15-ton armor stone will be added to the existing five-to-10-ton stone revetment.

The project’s total cost is approximately $44 million, with 65 percent coming from the federal government, 35 percent from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and local groups providing additional assistance. The Montauk Historical Society will maintain the site once construction is complete. These investments will protect the various cultural resources associated with the lighthouse complex and help stabilize the natural environment to support the site’s continued use as a tourism attraction.  

For hundreds of years, Montauk Lighthouse has stood tall as a regional icon. As a cultural and historic landmark, it is the pride and joy of so many Long Islanders and inspires awe in the many visitors who come to admire it each year. This critical project is an investment in the future of not only Montauk Lighthouse, but Long Island as a whole. Under the current schedule, construction will be completed by Spring 2023, ensuring the lighthouse will continue to shine for generations to come by bolstering the shoreline that it calls home.

Congressman Lee Zeldin represents New York’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.