The Thousand Steps repair project will start Monday, March 28, the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department has announced. The beach stairway will be fenced and closed to public access, and the project will take about two months to complete.
“Thousand Steps is one of three public beach access stairways we have in Santa Barbara,” said Jill Zachar, Parks and Recreation director. “This major repair project will make sure the people of Santa Barbara have safe access to the beach from the street level for decades to come.”
The city of Santa Barbara built the Thousand Steps beach stairway, originally called Camino a Mar, almost 100 years ago in 1925.
Ocean waves wash over the lower steps constantly, and over time this has eroded the stairs and made them dangerous to use. The winter waves wash away sand each year, leaving a significant drop-off to the beach.
As part of the Thousand Steps repair project, the Parks and Recreation Department will make significant repairs, including:
Demolishing and rebuilding the lower 14 steps.
Replacing the bottom section of the stairways and adding 10 new concrete steps. The new steps will extend below the sand for better access during seasonal changes to the sand level.
Installing new handrails along the stairway.
Adding a new concrete guardrail at the middle landing.
Improving the drainage system to help lessen the growth of algae that makes the steps slippery.
No access to the beach will be available in the immediate area during the project. Two other nearby beach access stairways will remain open:
Mesa Lane Steps at the end of Mesa Lane; and Shoreline Steps, access from within Shoreline Park. To find the entrance to Shoreline Steps, look for the Japanese Torii gate along the end of the cliff, closer to the eastern Shoreline Park parking lot.
For more or to sign up for the project’s email list, visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/ThousandSteps.