It was a slightly different kind of summer on Ocean County’s southern barrier island this year, with the Barnegat Lighthouse having shut down in early spring for $1.3 million in maintenance and repainting.
One of the prime attractions of Long Beach Island, the lighthouse – the second-tallest in America – was closed to visitors for the season and was covered in scaffolding all summer long. It reopened the first weekend of November, though some closures may linger into 2023 as workers put the finishing touches on the project, and a new decorative barrier fence is installed.
The renovations to the lighthouse, built in 1859, included a fresh painting of its iconic red-and-white colors, repairs to a leaky roof, the freshening of its brick construction and new glass surrounding the lens and viewing platform. In addition to the state-funded maintenance, a local group, Friends of Barnegat Light, raised their own funds to purchase a new light beacon that is timed to shine at an interval unique to Barnegat – keeping the light in its role as a semi-official aid to navigation which is still published on nautical charts.
The new light at the top of 52-meter (172 foot) tall structure was built in Estonia and can be seen as far away as 21 miles at sea.
More information on the lighthouse and the state park that surrounds it can be found at the state’s website.