Press Release – Dunedin City Council
Low Sand Levels Prompt Action
Dunedin (Friday, 30 May 2014) – Contractors will be working on St Clair Beach tomorrow in response to low sand levels.
Dunedin City Council Roading Maintenance Engineer Peter Standring says Fulton Hogan staff will remove the last section of the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club’s former access ramp at low tide tomorrow morning.
The remaining section of the boat ramp appears to have been contributing to significant sand depletion around the seawall in that area.
Mr Standring says the latest sand monitoring results show levels have dropped by up to 1.5m in specific areas over the past fortnight. The sand, which helps protect the seawall, seems to be getting stripped back by the prevailing high tides at this time of year. There is no indication that there is any further risk to the sea wall at this point and it is expected that, as has occurred in the past, the sand will return when the season and currents change.
“While sand levels do come and go on the beach, they are now at a level along the north end of the beach that requires some intervention.”
An area of the beach will be cordoned off at times to enable machinery to be brought on to the site safely. Barriers will also be installed on a section of the promenade to ensure the safety of both contractors and the public.
DCC staff have been keeping a particularly close eye on sand levels since several large holes appeared in May last year behind the seawall in front of the Surf Club and the South Coast Boardriders Association. This was due to the area being undermined by heavy seas and high tides.
Mr Standring says it had always been the DCC’s intention to remove the remainder of the ramp, but the recent depletion of sand around this area meant this needed to occur now.
He emphasised the volatility of this marine environment and the need to respond appropriately.