2008-08-09 / Top News

Round Island Passage Light To Receive Needed Attention Soon

Rust and grime are visible on the Round Island Passage Light, which lies between Mackinac Island and Round Island. The passage light has been a popular gathering spot for cormorants, as well. It has served as a marine navigational light and beacon since 1948, when it replaced the Round Island Lighthouse. Rust and grime are visible on the Round Island Passage Light, which lies between Mackinac Island and Round Island. The passage light has been a popular gathering spot for cormorants, as well. It has served as a marine navigational light and beacon since 1948, when it replaced the Round Island Lighthouse. The Round Island Passage Light stationed between Mackinac Island and Round Island will soon receive maintenance attention, as bids to paint the 71-foot-tall marine navigation light will be collected soon.

The United States Coast Guard and Richard Moehl, president of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association in Mackinaw City, are working to find a crew to paint the light and have been seeking a permanent steward for the structure since the Coast Guard trimmed its budget and cut the cost of painting the lighthouse in 2004. Fundraising has been ongoing through Mr. Moehl's association since then.

Rust appearing on the structure prompted the Coast Guard to solicit maintenance bids.

"They're in the process of looking for a painting contractor and are putting a request for a proposal together now," said Mr. Moehl.

The light serves ships as a day marker, a navigational aid, a fog signal, and a racon beacon that transmits to ship radar screens.

The passage light has a 61- foot tower and was built in 1948 to serve as the channel's navigational aid and replace the Round Island Lighthouse. It has been equipped with an automated light and horn since 1973.

It emits a red light flash every five seconds, visible up to 14 miles away, and sends a signal to radar receivers. A horn with an automatic fog detector blasts every 30 seconds during foggy conditions.

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