Turn off the light, for now
ARROWSIC ó A lighthouse built in the last century is about to get a new lease on life, just in time for the new millennium.
Reed & Reed construction workers lifted the top of the Doubling Point Lighthouse Friday and moved it upriver in preparation for the rebuilding of its foundation.
Friends of the Doubling Point Light, an organization that has been raising money to save the Kennebec River lighthouse, hopes to win a grant to renovate the granite block foundation on which the light tower sits.
The lighthouse was built in 1898. At that time, the granite blocks of the foundation were held in place by u-shaped iron bars set into holes drilled into the rock. The center core was filled in with loose rubble. The strong currents of the Kennebec River and ice floes have made the foundation dangerously weak.
According to Reed & Reed project manager Charles Guerette, his crew will "take the granite blocks down to the base, realign them, paint them with epoxy and fill the center core with reinforced concrete."
When the refurbished foundation is completed, the light tower will be placed back on it and secured.
The light tower was towed up to Reed and Reedís facility in Woolwich, where it was taken off the barge. It will stay there until the foundation is ready.
"I donít expect it to take long, once we begin," Guerette said. Because of previous commitments, work on the foundation wonít begin until next week, but Guerette said he expects the foundation to be completed by "about Dec. 29."
The Friends of the Doubling Point Light began its public fund-raising campaign for the project last summer. It needs $1,000 more to win a $25,000 matching grant from the Kurt Berliner Foundation. The group hopes to raise the rest of the money before the Dec. 31 deadline.
This article is courtesy of the Times Record.