Handrail Plan for La Jolla Shores Beach Access Expanded to Include Reconstruction of Stairs

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A project to add a handrail to an often-slippery beach access next to The Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla Shores has expanded to include rebuilding the stairs to the beach. The proposal will make the rounds to planning groups in La Jolla and the city of San Diego for consideration.

The project aims to create a landing stage that would facilitate the navigation of beachgoers.

The footbridge off Spindrift Drive currently has a “very dangerous and steep section” that starts halfway, La Jollan Patrick Ahern said. The constant shade keeps the ground very wet, creating a slippery path further deteriorated by sand. He said several people fell on the catwalk and were injured.

The handrail project was approved by the La Jolla Shores Association and the La Jolla Community Planning Association in late 2018, with support from neighbors and lifeguards. Then-City Councilwoman Barbara Bry added it to San Diego’s list of capital improvement projects after the LJCPA named it one of the top projects of 2019.

The plan was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ahern said, but was restarted with the formation of a task force under the LJSA.

In May, Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, received $100,000 from the city’s Coastal Erosion and Access Fund to help him. The fund provides for improvements to coastal infrastructure or “coastal erosion sites that present potential public hazards”.

With this funding, the plan can be “further defined” to address “dangerous and decaying crumbling stairs,” Ahern told the La Jolla Parks & Beaches group during its June 27 meeting.

“Instead of rebuilding the tracks in the stairs…we could push it further so that there are three steps, then a landing of three or four feet, then three steps and another landing,” he said. . “The stairs are in such a terrible state that they need to be completely demolished and…build new stairs and then put more stairs along the retaining wall so you have access to the beach even in the winter when the sand is [receded] and there is a 2 foot drop there. This would eliminate the need for guardrails, but for those who want an additional guardrail, one could be placed further away and not be attached to private property.

The handrail component has created hiccups in the past. The original intention was to put the railing along one of the properties on either side of the access, but the owner would take responsibility. The project therefore evolved to include a freestanding balustrade not attached to private property.

However, due to the condition of the stairs to which the railing would be attached, La Jolla beach regular Kurt Hoffman drafted the plan for a new stair and landing arrangement and asked contractors for estimates. .

He told LJP&B the latest figure was $95,000.

The project also received just over $4,000 from the city’s Community Projects, Programs and Services funds, which are awarded for projects in each district of the council.

With the revised plan, Ahern said the next step is to get consensus with local community groups and then present it to the city. The next presentation and eventual voting will take place at the La Jolla Shores Association meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, online.

To learn more, visit lajollashoresassociation.org.

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