The buildings of Port Beach on the edge of collapse at Fremantle after the storms erode the coast of Perth



June 13, 2019 19:58:15

The city of Fremantle started dumping tons of sand in front of buildings hovering at the edge of the collapse towards the ocean, after recent storms severely eroded the beach and most of the dunes of Port Beach.

Key points:

  • The sand is tilted in front of a nearby bar, the chimneys and an annex of the surf club
  • The city of Fremantle is now considering the possibility of building a maritime wall to prevent further erosion
  • The beach is closed with signs warning people to stay away and out of the water

A series of storms in the last week washed the sand farther north towards Leighton Beach.

The sand is now unearthed by a front-end loader and tipped over in front of the Coast Bar building, at the chimneys and at the Fremantle surf club in Port Beach.

It is a temporary move to give immediate protection to buildings, since the Council considers the construction of a dam.

Part of the retaining wall near Costa has completely collapsed and large concrete slabs have fallen onto the sand.

The path leading from the beach to the dressing rooms has also given way and is blocked.

The council said it was aware that the new sand could be washed away in the next storm.

"We are also investigating the possibility of building some temporary rock faces to provide more protection for beach facilities in the event of further storms," ​​said Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

The Bureau of Meteorology does not foresee large storms for Perth during the next week.

The beach is closed due to proven damage

Fremantle city staff, coastal engineers and representatives from the Department of Transportation evaluated the damage caused by the storms at the beginning of this week.

Port beach, including the nearby Sand Tracks beach, remains closed and signs have been reported to warn people to stay away and out of the water.

In May last year, storms caused serious erosion on the same stretch of beach.

Large parts of the parking lot have fallen, the sidewalks have collapsed and the sand dunes have disappeared, exposing potentially dangerous metals and wooden poles to the waterline.

Industrial debris and rocks – discharged from the port infrastructure over the decades – are still visible in the shallows along the reclaimed coastline.

A study by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure of 2004 on coastal erosion in Port Beach revealed that Sand Tracks was eroding at a rate of about two meters per year and Port Beach at 0.8 meters ; year, while Leighton Beach was growing.

He said that Port Beach was previously expanding, mainly due to 10 million tons of dredging material dumped along the coast and further offshore between 1890 and 1970.

"This dredging material has moved ashore and provides an artificial supply of sand to Port Beach for many years, and this feed is now suspended," the report states.

"This erosion trend should continue.

"This will gradually reduce the beach's amenities and leave the existing parking lots and buildings increasingly vulnerable to storm erosion."

The council said a draft report that provides long-term options for managing erosion at Port Beach should have been released for public comment at the end of next month.









First published

June 13, 2019 19:16:20

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