STAIRS THAT WERE DESTROYED by El Niño storms in 2016 have reopened, restoring public access to a Santa Cruz County beach.

The $1.297 million state-funded project involved completely rebuilding a portion of the wooden staircase, which connects the Manresa Uplands campground to its state beach.

The seasonal 64-site Manresa Uplands campgrounds and the beach is a popular site for camping, surfing and birding.

To complete the project, the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, which manages more than 30 state parks and beaches in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, partnered with California State Parks. The staircase was built by Robert A. Bothman Construction.

A ribbon-cutting was held on Aug. 22 to celebrate the reopening of the stairs, where officials from partners of the project and the California Coastal Commission reflected on repairing infrastructure on an ever-changing coast.

“Creating infrastructure that can withstand climate-driven disasters and sea level rise is the new normal on the California coast and we will look to this project as a model for how to proceed moving forward,” said California State Parks Santa Cruz District superintendent Chris Spohrer in a press release.

Day-use parking at Manresa Uplands is $10. 

Lydia Sidhom is a rising third-year at UC Berkeley studying Data Science and Political Science. She is a Dow Jones News Fund intern for Bay City News. Lydia was a lead beat reporter, deputy news editor and projects developer for The Daily Californian and will be a deputy projects editor there this fall. She enjoys telling stories through data. In her free time, Lydia loves to read, bake and travel.