Project Makes Waves at Bolsa Chica Beach

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A $12.2-million renovation is underway at Bolsa Chica State Beach, closing many facilities as new ones are being built and taking 500 parking spaces out of service through the peak season.

Park officials said they had hoped to avoid construction during the summer, but the work was delayed by problems finding a contractor.

Donald H. Ito, beach superintendent, said the project, expected to be completed by December, will provide access for the disabled and be "well worth the inconveniences."

Upgrades will include new restrooms, concession buildings, lifeguard stations, sea walls, lighting and a maintenance yard.

Employees of contractor Weeger Bros. of Huntington Beach are working out of trailers on site. Eventually the old headquarters building, lifeguard towers, kiosks, bathrooms and campground facilities will be replaced along Pacific Coast Highway from Goldenwest Street to Warner Avenue, park aide Lauren Belcher said.

The park's 59 camping spaces were closed in February and no date has been set for their reopening, Belcher said.

Just 1,400 parking spaces will be available during construction, down from the usual 1,900, and traffic will be one-way only.

The 20-foot-wide walking and biking trail will be rerouted around construction zones, she said.

The park has no running water but portable toilets are available.

Officials said the project is the largest at the state beach since it opened in March 1960. The 3-mile stretch of shoreline between Huntington Beach and Sunset Beach has about 2.5 million visitors last year.

Funding came from a March 2000 parks bond act, the state's deferred maintenance money and a state park contingency fund.

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