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New Bedford Dredging Project Has Locals Fearing For Lighthouse

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Bill Shields Bill Shields
Bill Shields is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. He...
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NEW BEDFORD (CBS) — Since 1849, the Palmer Island lighthouse has been a beacon for mariners entering and leaving New Bedford Harbor.

But is it now in danger of crumbling into the water ?

“It’s built on a ledge, ” says Ed Rivera, a longtime resident, “and any vibrations may endanger the stones.”

The state is starting a huge project – building a new port terminal, that will serve the marine industry, and act as a staging area for the offshore wind farm.

But they need to dredge the channel. And to do that, they’ll use some explosives, imbedded in the ground underwater.

“We’ve done our due diligence,” says engineer Chet Meyers, “and we’re confident from compter analysis that the vibrations will not effect the structure.”

Jeff Canastra lives in Fairhaven, right on the water. He boats in the harbor and looks out at the lighthouse.

“I’m somewhat concerned about the vibrations, but our economy needs a boost. And by creating the new terminal, it’ll bring long-term jobs to the area. And anything that can help the marine industry, has to be good,” he says.

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