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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 1:50 pm | Fair 67º

 
 
 
 
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Santa Barbara Proposes Wooden Boardwalk Project on West Beach for Public Access

For the $125k project, the waterfront department also wants to install a larger cruise ship gangway for visitors disembarking near Sea Landing

Santa Barbara’s waterfront department proposes a wooden boardwalk next to the paved walkway by Sea Landing so members of the public have a solid surface to use while the path is blocked off for cruise ship passengers, as it was Monday.
Santa Barbara’s waterfront department proposes a wooden boardwalk next to the paved walkway by Sea Landing so members of the public have a solid surface to use while the path is blocked off for cruise ship passengers, as it was Monday.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara's waterfront department wants to build a boardwalk from the sand to the rock groin on West Beach as part of a package of changes to maximize the city's cruise ship experience.

The $125,000 Sea Landing gangway and walkway project breezed through the city's Architectural Board of Review last week, winning unanimous approval.

The project calls for the installation of a new 320-square-foot gangway and 310 square foot floating dock extension at Sea Landing, and a temporary 2,400 square foot sidewalk on the sand at West Beach. 

The gangway will be compliant with the American Disabilities Act and is designed to make it more pleasant for cruise ship passengers to arrive in Santa Barbara.

It's intended to be exclusively for cruise ship passengers who will use the gangway after arriving from a smaller tender.

Non-cruise ship passengers, people who are whale watching or using other charter boats, will continue to use the current gangway near Sea Landing.

City officials said that cruise ship passengers need a separate exit than the general public to comply with the Department of Homeland Security regulations.

The waterfront department’s plans include a larger gangway for cruise ship passengers arriving and departing on smaller tenders, such as the orange vessel seen here during Monday’s Grand Princess visit. Click to view larger
The waterfront department’s plans include a larger gangway for cruise ship passengers arriving and departing on smaller tenders, such as the orange vessel seen here during Monday’s Grand Princess visit.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

"This would make it much much better, just be easier to separate the public and the passengers and still meet the requirements of Homeland Security," Karl Treiberg, facilities manager for the waterfront department.

The new wooden boardwalk would be installed next to the current concrete sidewalk that leads to Sea Landing and the cruise ship gangway.

The idea is that the boardwalk would be built for local residents who want to walk on a firm surface out to the rock groin area, rather than on the concrete sidewalk, which is typically tented and fenced off for cruise ship passengers when they dock. 

Cruise ships are in Santa Barbara 28 days per year. 

The city is modeling the boardwalk after the city of Santa Monica.

"There's almost miles of these in Santa Monica," Treiberg said. "The Santa Monica beach is probably 500 feet wide and there's a half a dozen or more of these that go all the way down to the beach. They are really, really useful down there."

Members of the ABR enthusiastically supported the project. 

"It is just boards in the sand," said ABR chair Kirk Gradin.

The project will also require a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission.

"I think it is acceptable as proposed," said ABR member Amy Fitzgerald Tripp. "I think the new wooden walkway would be good access for (the) public."

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

The city’s conceptual plans include a wooden boardwalk similar to this one used in Santa Monica. Click to view larger
The city’s conceptual plans include a wooden boardwalk similar to this one used in Santa Monica.  (City of Santa Barbara photo)
The city’s conceptual plans include a larger gangway and wooden boardwalk in the area of the Sea Landing, near Santa Barbara’s West Beach. Click to view larger
The city’s conceptual plans include a larger gangway and wooden boardwalk in the area of the Sea Landing, near Santa Barbara’s West Beach. (City of Santa Barbara photo )

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