Local News

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Hits the Halfway Mark

Posted June 28, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— While the state and the world focuses on the1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games, a historic move on the coast continues. Tuesday, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse reached another milestone.

The 208-foot structure is now halfway through its journey, having travelled 1,450 feet. It has taken 13 days to get this far; the people moving the lighthouse say it could take less than that to get the lighthouse to its final destination.

The movers have made a lot of progress since they started rolling the lighthouse June 17. They could finish sooner than they had expected.

Tuesday's final tally was 1,564 feet.

"The move is going faster than was advertised. We're averaging 100 to 200 feet a day, with a record day of 219 feet covered," says Ranger Rob Bolling with theNational Park Service.

On average, 15,000 spectators a day are making the journey to watch the move. They're climbing through trees and bushes in order to get the best view. One family traveled through four states to get a peek at history.

"I think it's absolutely phenomenal, a great engineering feat I think," says spectator Ed Gillette.

"We knew we were coming here this year and thought it would be fun to see it moving, to see if it's actually making progress," says spectator Nancy Naumann.

The movers have made so much progress they expect to reach their destination by the end of next week.

"We'll be down there in a week, a week and a half," says Jerry Matyiko of Expert House Movers. "If you want to see it move, get down here. Don't wait to book your vacation. If they do, they'll miss it."

The Park Service expects the number of visitors to swell to a record 20,000 people a day over the holiday weekend. If everything goes well, it may just be the last weekend to watch the move.