Kate Cagle

Daily Press Staff Writer

Children living on the northwest side of the city can look forward to a new playground coming to their stretch of the beach next year.

Construction crews could break ground on the North Beach Playground Project a mile north of The Pier as early as January.

The new playground will be “universally accessible” – meaning its design will consider the needs of children with physical, cognitive, developmental and behavioral conditions.

Back in 2013, the City selected 810 Pacific Coast Highway as the best location for the project because of nearby parking, public restrooms and the Montana Avenue pedestrian overpass from Palisades Park.

This won’t be the first play structure at the site – pieces of the old set have been removed over time as they deteriorated.

Only two metal swing sets remain there today.

Children under 5 years old will have their own play area when construction ends. There will be a separate area for kids up to 8 years old.

“Raised landscaped berms would define and protect the play areas.

A series of concrete walkways would be constructed to circumnavigate the play areas and provide an accessible path to all play components. Three steel frame and tensile fabric structures would be built to provide shade in the play and seating areas. Landscaping for the project site would consist of drought tolerant shrubs and shade trees along the parking lot edge with areas of drought tolerant beach grasses,” according to a City report on the project.

The City Council awarded the $2 million construction contract to C.S. Legacy Construction, Inc. Staff will use $1.3 million from next year’s Capital Improvement Program Budget and about $700,00 from the Beach Fund to pay for the playground.

The park is part of the City’s effort to increase use of the beach north of The Pier.

In March, the City began collecting feedback for upcoming improvements of the Santa Monica Beach trail in the same area. That project focuses on the stretch of the path north of California, where Ocean Front Walk ends and becomes a single path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Renovations could include new paving, seat walls, lighting and better access to the PCH overpasses.

kate@smdp.com

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