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DCC transport group manager Jeanine Benson said the council had discussions with various groups, including St Clair Action Group, the St Clair Surf Club, Long Dog Cafe and Aukaha, who have had input into the access design.
“Surfers at St Clair often access the water via the existing stairs from the Esplanade and this can be a dangerous area during large swells and high tide,” Ms Benson said.
“These groups have given us valuable information so that we’ve been able to design a safe route for experienced surfers that is located alongside the Long Dog Café. This is to provide access in a safer, sheltered area of the sea, ideal for experienced surfers.
“Safety has been paramount in designing a stairway that meets the needs of our surfing fraternity but also keeps the public safe, particularly young children. For that reason, we will install a new safety gate that has a mechanism designed to prevent young children from being able to gain entry.”
The new stairs, which will be made of concrete, were being made off-site in order to minimise disruption to Long Dog Cafe.
The work is expected to start on May 30 and was expected to be completed by the end of next month.
The access stairs are an action under the St Clair-St Kilda Coastal Plan, adopted by the Council earlier this year and will cost $230,000.
The existing mobility parking will be temporarily relocated while the work is being done.