City officials cut the ribbon this week on finished beach access improvements at Mountain Road, replacing the 51-year-old stairs, adding new fencing and reinforcing the Garden of Peace and Love.
A plaque was also installed honoring the victims of HIV/AIDS, which includes a quote from Michele Martenay, who tended the garden where remains have been informally interred for 20 years before passing away in 2009.
In addition to adding the street name on the beach side of the stairs for easy identification, irrigation and drought tolerant landscaping with native plants, including 300 new ones, were added alongside the steps, said Shohreh Dupuis, the city’s public works director. She attended the ceremony alongside Mayor Toni Iseman, Council member Rob Zur Schmiede and other city staff.
Other amenities include a new concrete lookout platform, benches, lights and bike racks, she said.
The cost for access improvements at Mountain and Oak streets, which also recently wrapped up, was $1.4 million and is funded by the city’s capital improvement fund, Dupuis said.
Over the last decade, similar upgrades have been completed at five beach entries: Circle Way, Diamond, Brooks, Mountain and Oak. Two more, at Thalia and Agate, will start this fall, she said. Pearl and Anita are to follow the following year.
Over the next decade, seven other public access paths — at Cleo, Fisherman’s Cove, Sleepy Hollow, Divers Cove, Cress, Moss and Victoria – are also planned for makeovers, she said.