Two projects at separate destinations of Channel Islands National Park are expected to improve visitor access and safety.
VENTURA—Construction on a new pier at Santa Cruz Island’s Scorpion Anchorage and a crane at Anacapa Island are officially underway, according to a statement released by National Park Service (NPS). Both projects, according to NPS staff, would improve visitor access, safety and park operations.
Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands are both part of Channel Islands National Park, which is managed by NPS.
Work on the pier at Scorpion Anchorage will begin in November and take between six and eight months to complete, NPS staff continued. The crane project at Anacapa Island, meanwhile, would begin in October and continue through April 2020.
“Anacapa Island will be closed for both day and overnight use for three weeks during the month of October, and for at least a week each in November, December, and March,” NPS staff stated. “The Scorpion Anchorage pier construction is scheduled to start in November and is expected to take six to eight months. Scorpion Valley will be closed to public access for the duration of the project.”
Island Packers, which operates as the boat concessioner for the Channel Islands network, will be offering alternate destinations for its customers. Daily trips to Santa Cruz Island’s Santa Cruz Island and special day trips to other off-the-beaten path destinations will be offered.
“[Island Packers plans] to offer extended wildlife cruises including visits to Painted Cave, one of the largest known sea caves in the world as well as multi-island day trips to expose visitors to the great diversity of the Channel Islands,” NPS staff stated.
Santa Barbara Adventure Co., which offers guided kayak tours and snorkel rental services, will reportedly downsize and relocate to Prisoners Harbor during construction. The move will be temporary, as the company expects to return to its usual operation once the new pier at Scorpion Anchorage is complete.
John S. Meek Co. Inc. was awarded a $15 million contract to build the new pier at Scorpion Anchorage. Funds for the project come from the Federal Lands Highway Alternative Transportation Program and the State of California Department of Transportation Ferry Boat Grant Program. The company also completed Santa Rosa Island’s pier in 2010.
“The new pier will improve the safety and efficiency of loading and offloading passengers and cargo with a gangway for landing visitors and more reliable access during low tide conditions,” NPS staff stated. “It will be located about 300 feet to the south of the existing landing and will be longer, wider, and higher. It will measure at 18 feet wide by 300 feet long and will be supported by steel piles and a superstructure designed to handle storm events and wave action.”
JMG Constructors LLC, meanwhile, will complete the new crane replacement project at Anacapa Island. The project is expected to cost $5 million and will be paid for by NPS construction funds.
“The new crane on Anacapa Island will restore essential park operations and will improve visitor and emergency services on the island. It is a two-crane design that will improve the safety of loading operations. It replaces a single crane that failed due to prolonged exposure to the harsh marine conditions on the island,” NPS staff stated. “The two-crane system mirrors the configuration of the original historic Anacapa Light Station crane that was installed in 1932.”
NPS staff added the timelines for both construction projects could endure delays, depending upon weather and “other project considerations.”
“Once completed, these major infrastructure improvements will make substantial progress in addressing the backlog of maintenance projects at Channel Islands National Park,” NPS staff continued.