KENNEWICK — The first lighthouse built in the United States since 1962 now towers over Clover Island in Kennewick.
On Wednesday, crews erected an 8-foot-tall gray steel cylinder and a 10-foot lantern room on the round lighthouse platform that recently was installed.
The structure is mostly complete, said Larry Peterson, the Port of Kennewick’s director of planning and development. In the next few weeks, crews will install staircases, windows and doors on the 62-foot-tall concrete and steel structure and work on landscaping the plaza, he said.
The lighthouse will become functional in February when its solar-powered beacon starts flashing once every four seconds to serve as a navigational aid to boaters on the Columbia River.
Construction of the lighthouse is part of a $1.12 million project on Clover Island that also includes building an arched gateway to the island and about 300 feet of sidewalk to connect to the existing city sidewalk near the entrance to the island.
The city of Kennewick provided $322,000 for the project on the 16-acre island.
The gateway arch will span 62 feet and will have signage welcoming visitors, he said.
The project, which is expected to finish next month, complements the port’s efforts to improve the Clover Island shoreline and promote public use of the island, Peterson said.
In 2009, the port got $500,000 from the state to remove concrete from the edges of the island, plant native vegetation and create an undulating shoreline with the help of large woody debris to enhance fish habitats, he said.
Landscaped pathways and fishing platforms/viewing areas are also included in the port’s shoreline restoration project, which was laid out in the port’s master plan adopted in 2005, Peterson said.
Later this year, the port plans to install two more art pieces on Clover Island, he said.
A 6-foot-tall bronze statute, Rivergirl, will go in the notch to the west of Cedars, and a sculpture, Family Group, flanked by a cable-style trellis will be placed in the Metz Family Plaza to the east of the new port administration building.
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