The projects that were recently completed in 2023 include the Thousand Steps improvements, which cost $603,675. | Credit: Zoha Malik

Santa Barbara’s Thousand Steps to the beach reopened last Thursday following a six-month-long closure. After the cliff-face stairway in Santa Barbara’s Mesa neighborhood, which actually has about 150 steps, began crumbling from coastal exposure and regular use, the city Parks and Recreation Department took steps to repair the damage and ultimately make the concrete stairway easier to use for beachgoers.

Credit: Zoha Malik

Thousand Steps was originally constructed in 1925 and is one of the three public beach access stairways in Santa Barbara. The bottom steps had eroded from the sea water and waves, exposing rusty rebar. This made them difficult and even dangerous to step on. The old stairs were demolished and replaced, and the work added seven new steps.

Other repairs included the installation of a continuous handrail extending from the street level to the beach, construction of a new concrete guardrail at the main landing mid-stairway, and drainage improvements to protect against algae growth and stair treads, a press release stated. The work required timing with tides and coastal conditions, and adherence to coastal permitting requirements to protect sensitive marine habitats.

The steps will close again briefly for additional work either this fall or winter to add an apron at the beach level to protect the stairs’ integrity. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be announced at a later date.

Credit: Zoha Malik


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