Anacapa Island Opens: Staircase Replaced
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
This week the staircase on Anacapa Island was replaced using a Skycrane heavy-lift helicopter contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The National Park Service expects to open the island to the public on Saturday, December 4, 2010.
“We are indebted to the expertise in managing this project provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell E. Galipeau Jr. “We are very pleased that the island will be open for visitors just in time for whale watching and wildflower season.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partnered with the National Park Service to manage the contract for replacing the island staircase. The contractor, Cutting Edge Concrete Services, Inc., used a heavy-lift helicopter to remove the old staircase and to fly out the new staircase from the Ventura Harbor to Anacapa Island.
Flight operations on the island went smoothly as the helicopter hovered and lowered the stairs into position using about 150 feet of cable. Crews will anchor the staircase using bolts and epoxy into the island cliff wall. The island will reopen once these anchor points are set and the staircase passes final inspection.
The new aluminum staircase was designed to complement the look of the original staircase that was originally installed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1932. Minor modifications were made to improve traffic flow and safety railings. The new staircase is expected to have a longer lifespan than the steel unit it is replacing.
This staircase provides the only access to the 200-foot-high cliffs of this volcanic island.
The steel staircase it replaced had deteriorated over time from exposure to the corrosive marine environment necessitating an island closure since this past summer.
Did You Know?
The only reptile found on Santa Barbara Island is the endemic and threatened island night lizard. These lizards can live up to 20 years or more, but once established in a territory generally remain within a 3-meter radius their entire life.