Replacing stairs at popular Jan Juc surf breaks

Steps access stair replacement – Jan Juc

Following a detailed design process, works are due to commence on a replacement of the stairs at popular surf access point Steps and Boobs. The works are a result of storm damage that occurred in June 2017.  Works will be funded by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee capital works program and a $60,000 grant from Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Coastal Environments Grant Program.

The tender for demolition and construction of the lower section of stairs spanning the cliff base and boulders has been completed, with construction due to commence in late January. It is anticipated the works will be complete by Easter 2019.

To ensure safety of the public and contractors, there will be no access to Steps, Boobs or Evos surf breaks during construction. There will also be a closure to the Surf Coast Walk to allow helicopters to transport the new stairs for installation – this technique will keep construction time frames to a minimum. Closures will be kept to the minimum extent possible and access will be restored when construction works are not underway. Closures will be advertised via onsite signage, the GORCC website, social and print media. The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is asking for understanding during the construction process.

The access point is being monitored weekly to ensure that the current timber stairs remain safe for public access.

Ken Northwood, Chairman of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee said the organisation had gone to public tender for the important upgrade with works targeted to begin as soon as possible, depending on weather and contractor availability.

“Steps is obviously an icon of the surf coast and leads the way to three popular surf breaks,” said Mr Northwood.  “Current engineering advice is that while the current structure is safe to remain open, a replacement needs to be prioritised, which we have done.”

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The replacement

The current stairway will be replaced with a non-slip fibre reinforced structure that will be safer and designed to meet the predicted impacts of climate change.  Upgrades to drainage will also be completed to help prevent erosion.

There is ongoing, regular monitoring of the stairs and structure.

Mr Northwood said Great Ocean Road Coast would continue to provide clear communications to surfers using the access.

“There will be no access via the stairs at this location during construction, however we will aim to open the access during weekends wherever possible.  We appreciate everyone’s patience while we undertake this critical infrastructure work that is planned to be completed as swiftly as possibly to minimise inconvenience over peak season.”

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