More than $850,000 in funding from the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Historic Trust is making it possible for the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (CCIA), the Cumberland County Freeholder Board, and the Maurice River Historical Society to repair and restore the County’s 1849 East Point Lighthouse in Maurice River Township. The project is expected to boost tourism, an economic driver for the area.
In August 2015, the County, the CCIA, and the Maurice River Historical Society entered into a multi-party agreement to repair the lighthouse. The County is serving as the financial manager, the CCIA as the project and construction manager, and the historical society as Site Manager.
According to CCIA Executive Director Gerard Velazquez, because the work is of an historic nature, bidders were required to demonstrate their experience both with renovation work on historic structures and to have experience working with the New Jersey State Historic Trust. In April, the Cumberland County Freeholders accepted the lowest bid from Aliano Brothers General Contractors of Vineland for the project. Velazquez notes that because the bid came in under the amount of approved funding, it may enable the partners to add projects to the lighthouse renovation.
Long in need of repairs, the renovation includes replacing the roof, installing a new barrier free ramp, renovating the entire interior and brick pointing the exterior face of the lighthouse.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. While the building is under construction, the lighthouse grounds will remain open during that time and for significant events, including the annual state-wide Lighthouse Challenge weekend in October. For more information on events, please contact Nancy Patterson Tidy at (609) 501-6345.