FRANKFORT, Mich. (AP) — An organization responsible for maintaining a historic Michigan lighthouse hopes that improving the site’s shoreline protection system will minimize damage from Lake Michigan’s high water levels.
A crack in the cement barrier intended to prevent erosion in front of the lighthouse is a high priority. The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse began a $1 million fundraising campaign last year to pay for the work.
Dick Taylor, president of the group, said a request for engineering study proposals has been issued. The project requires permits from Michigan’s Department of Environment and other state and federal agencies, he said.
While the shoreline is a priority, the group also is planning to add sidewalks and angled parking near the lighthouse property along with a beachfront deck, a boardwalk and a wheelchair-accessible route to the beach.
The lighthouse was established in 1858. The site also includes a restored keeper’s residence and a museum for visitors.
“With smart phone and GPS, lighthouses are kind of yesterday’s technology,” Taylor said. “We all need to appreciate what a wonderful asset it is. It’s wonderful, neat, historic stuff.”