Alkantstrand barrier wall expanded

One excavator team fills the geobags with sand, another digs the foundations while a third team lowers the bags into place to make the tiered protective wall
One excavator team fills the geobags with sand, another digs the foundations while a third team lowers the bags into place to make the tiered protective wall

AS three excavator teams make the most of spring low tides, extension of the 80-metre long geobag retaining wall built at Alkantstrand in December is moving ahead at speed this week.

A further 120 metres of the artificial barrier, comprising some 1 100 sand-filled bags, are being laid north of the lifeguard house.

This will take the protective barricade to in line with the end of the grassed section of the beach.

WATCH: Alkantstrand takes another battering 

Ultimately, the plan is to complete a 300-metre length of fortification of the receding coastline.

The geobag wall, laid by contractor Leomat Construction, has proved its worth in protecting the vulnerable blue flag main beach while storm surges and spring tides continued to batter the unguarded areas further up the coastline.

The ‘soft engineering’ option was proposed in 2013 by the then Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs (DAEA) in its published Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) fact sheet.

Original plans were to ultimately form a 300-metre wall of tiered layers of 2.8-ton geobags to act as an artificial barrier.

While the addition to the work is welcomed, there are major concerns over the vulnerability of the section of coastline at Palm Beach – the skate boarding venue – where the dune width is almost completely eaten away.

Inconsistent discharge of dredge sand onto the beach also remains a concern.

 

  AUTHOR
Dave Savides
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