Four months of repairs got underway this week to replace the worn, wooden steps and rusted-out hangers and fasteners of the Seascape Sur stairway, one of five that descend from Solana Beach’s southern bluffs.
Built in 1995 atop eight concrete piers -- three on the beach and five on the bluff -- the 140-step staircase starts at a landing between the Solana Beach & Tennis Club and Seascape Sur condominium communities, due west of the Beachwalk shopping center.
City officials have been planning the repairs for 18 months. In July, the city council picked the lowest of six bids that had ranged from $202,690 to $326,325. The winning contractor, Conan Construction, Inc., built the Veterans’ Honor Courtyard at La Colonia Park.
Because engineers aren’t sure how easily the stairs will come apart, the council agreed to include a larger-than-usual $40,000 contingency fund. Some of the work will require heavy machinery on the beach. The project also includes replacing the concrete walkway that connects the staircase with South Sierra Avenue. The walkway has suffered severe damage from tree roots. A colored sidewalk will be built in its place.
The staircase shut down on Nov. 7 and isn’t expected to re-open until as late as March 30. Until then, the beach can be accessed a few hundred yards to the south via the Del Mar Shores staircase or at Fletcher Cove a quarter-mile to the north.