New Pier and Crane Projects Enhance Visitor Safety and Access

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Visitor Improvements Coming to Channel Islands National Park — New Pier and Crane Projects Enhance Visitor Safety and Access

The National Park Service (NPS) announces the start of two large construction projects—the replacement of the pier at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island and the crane on Anacapa Island. The projects are expected to dramatically improve visitor access, safety, and park operations.

“The new Scorpion Anchorage pier and Anacapa Island crane will be major improvements to the visitor experience and to critical park infrastructure on the islands,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley. “We apologize for the temporary lack of access for both park visitors and partners and look forward to much improved access due to these major infrastructure projects in the near future.”

During construction, the park boat concessioner, Island Packers, will be offering alternative destinations for visitors to experience. They will offer daily trips to Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, weekend winter trips to Santa Rosa Island, and special day trips to lesser known island destinations. They plan 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. Visit for the line up of new island excursions, plus, book today to get onto Scorpion in October before the construction begins.

Santa Barbara Adventure Company, Channel Islands National Park’s concessioner for guided kayak tours and snorkel rental services, will temporarily downsize and relocate their operations to Prisoners Harbor during the pier construction.

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. The Anacapa crane project is scheduled to begin in October with completion anticipated by April 2020. Anacapa Island will be not be accessible 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.

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. 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.

The Scorpion Anchorage pier project was competitively awarded to John S. Meek Company Inc. Meek has worked on pier projects throughout California including completing the Santa Rosa Island pier in 2010. The construction cost is estimated at $15 million and is funded by the Federal Lands Highway Alternative Transportation Program and the State of California Department of Transportation Ferry Boat Grant Program.

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. The two-crane system mirrors the configuration of the original historic Anacapa Light Station crane that was installed in 1932.

JMG Constructors LLC, was competitively awarded the contract for the Anacapa crane replacement project which is estimated to cost nearly $5 million. The project is funded by National Park Service construction funds.

 The schedules for each of these major construction projects may change due to weather and other project considerations. Channel Islands National Park will work closely with our concessioners, Island Packers and Santa Barbara Adventure Company, to notify the public of changes in closures associated with these projects.

Once completed, these major infrastructure improvements will make substantial progress in addressing the backlog of maintenance projects at Channel Islands National Park.

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