National AP News | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Repairs Begin on Fort Jefferson

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) _ Repairs to restore sections of historic
Fort Jefferson are finally underway after a two-year delay
attributed to hurricanes.

The National Park Service embarked this month on a three-year,
six million dollar project to refurbish parts of the old fort's
wall.

Contractors and masons will work on two walls of the six-sided
fort that's part of Dry Tortugas National Park -- about 70 miles
west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico.

Workers will open the face of the walls from the waterline to
the top of the 45-foot-tall fort, stabilize them and re-lay the
bricks. Mortar will be made of sand dredged from beaches on area
islands.

The repairs are the second phase of a project that was supposed
to start in 2005, but was delayed by hurricanes. The first phase
recently was completed, with the installation of 17 shutters.

Most parts of the fort will remain open to visitors during the
repairs. Only two ferries and a seaplane travel to the island every
day.


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