BUXTON — The journey of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse officially ended Friday. While the lighthouse finished its move last year, the doors finally opened to the public for the first time.
A large crowd arrived early to mark the occasion. A steady stream of visitors climbed the 208-foot structure throughout the day.
TheNational Park Serviceexpects as many as 10,000 people to visit the lighthouse over the Memorial Day weekend.
The 4,800 ton structure now sits 2,900 feet from its former location. The Atlantic Ocean threatened the tower which say just 150 feet away.
Despitecontroversybefore and during the move, those on hand Friday say they are glad the structure was preserved for new generations to enjoy.
It cost about $11 million to move the lighthouse. Entry to the lighthouse is free this year, but a fee will be imposed to climb the structure in 2001.
During the summer, the lighthosue will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A rededication ceremony is scheduled for next May.