There’s a new beacon of light for boaters traveling through Patchogue Bay.
Earlier this year, a 22-foot, solar-powered lighthouse was erected at Sandspit Marina. The structure, which will be unmanned, was part of a $1 million project to reconstruct the Patchogue Bay jetty after it was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
“The old tower that stood there was what we were,” said Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri. “The new tower is what we are today.”
The former monument that stood where the lighthouse is now was originally three cesspool rings with a light on top, the mayor said.
But after years of discussion, the town, village and state came together to clean up the property up and give the jetty its necessary repairs to start anew.
On a location owned by Brookhaven Town, the rebuilding of the jetty cost over $1 million, and was funded $650,000 by the state, $300,000 by the town and $100,000 by the village.
“It was a municipal project,” said Pontieri. “The town has been great while working with the village.”
And it wasn’t just elected officials who were excited to get the project under way. “The community was so excited about it,” Pontieri told GreaterPatchogue. “It was really fun to see everyone come out and watch its construction.”
To the naked eye, the lighthouse may seem small, but fishermen and sailors miles away are now using the solar light for navigation.
Compared to the larger lighthouses, like the Fire Island Lighthouse or the famed Montauk Lighthouse, Pontieri said the Patchogue one still makes its mark in the Long Island family.
“It’s their little sister,” he said. “We’re a little village; we don’t need a big lighthouse.”
Along with its newest repairs and addition, a fishing pier and small park will be added to the property by 2021.