Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede took up scissors at the Thalia Street beach access Tuesday, April 17, snipping a ribbon to mark the return of public access to one of Laguna’s favorite surf breaks.
The city’s improvements to the Thalia access included replacing the entire stairway, creating new overlook points, adding drought-resistant landscaping, seating, benches, a bike rack, and replacing the lighting. Staircases were made wider, to accommodate beachgoers with beach chairs and beach bags or surfers toting surfboards, sid Shohreh Dupuis, assistant city manager and public works director, in a statement.
The new stairs are also deeper in the sand to ensure public access even when sand recedes during winter. New seating area at the Thalia Street access will also provide a broader space to gather and unload gear, she said.
Since refurbishment started on beach access points in 2008, the city has cumulatively spent $8.3 million on renovations at five other beaches, said Christina Templeton, the city engineer in the public works department.
Besides Thalia, beach path improvements at Circle Way, Brooks, Mountain, Oak and Diamond have included more accessible bluff overlooks, replacement railings, repair and replacement of undermined stairs and fresh landscaping. Renovations at Agate are expected to be wrapped up in early summer and makeovers of the Pearl and Anita beach entries are also underway, Templeton said.
Besides completing Pearl and Agate, seven more beach access spots are due to be improved over the next 10 years, she said. They are at Cleo, Fisherman’s Cove, Sleepy Hollow, Diver’s Cove, Cress, Moss and Victoria Drive, said Mark Trestik, assistant city engineer.
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