New beach for Treasure Island

Treasure Island condos will soon
boast a full sandy beach on the completion of a major restructuring project
some 40 years in the making.

The project was approved at the
annual general meeting of the Treasure Island Strata on 16 January, said Tim Hepburn
of BCQS Property Management.

“[It was decided] by vote of the
ownership following consideration of various investigations and reports by
coastal engineers and experts in the field, and also following meetings and
discussions with the Department of the Environment,” said Mr. Hepburn.

The beach design and coastal
engineering was undertaken by Robert Sorensen, an American engineer who has
worked in the Caribbean extensively, and the contractor is West Indian Marine.

Original developer

John MacKenzie of the contractors
said that the original developer at Treasure Island had dug away the undershore
to make a basin and created two breakwater groynes at the site from large rocks
in order to facilitate a beach.

However, due to technological
limitations at the time, the project – originally started prior to the establishment
of the Department of Environment – was never realised effectively. Over the
years the rocks have also moved considerably in the water.

“The strata approached the
Department of Environment for guidance and advice and submitted an application
for a Coastal Works License to reconstruct what they have there, to complete
the original plan and stabilise their beach. [It was decided] so they would
have a beach for tourism on a consistent basis, which they don’t have [at the
moment]. You can’t even get into the water.

“The Department of the Environment
made the comment that they wanted it done properly. Treasure Island is located
outside of the Seven Mile Beach system, because that really terminates at
Plantation Village, and then after that you have rocks so the beach doesn’t get
the benefit of [sand] renourishment in winter-time from Nor’Westers,” explained
Mr. MacKenzie, who added that the current Coastal Works License was approved by
cabinet and the Department of Environment.

Breakwaters

The contractors will be
reconstructing the breakwaters in a more substantial manner than the original
works, utilising larger rocks that have been cut squarely in order to provide
stability, according to Mr. MacKenzie. Other challenges included the rather
brittle shoreline that is comprised of a brittle marl, rather than a stronger
ironshore, plus the lack of a natural downward angle between the shore and the
sea floor. He noted that for many years Treasure Island had been placing sand
at the site, but it was consistently taken away again by the tide as conditions
were not conducive to retaining a beach.

“What’s happened over the years is
the original developer dug the rocky marl out, then the waves would come in and
undercut or go underneath then hit it like a wall and spray up.

“As long as you have a vertical
rock shoreline it acts like a sea wall and you’ll never, ever get a beach there.
So you have to reconstruct a natural uplift in the shoreline where the waves
ramp up and as they ramp up and slow down they drop the sand out. We’re going
to use geo-bags to reconstruct that then renourish the sand,” he said.

Amenity enhanced

Around 2,000 tonnes of sand and
stone will be used in the project, all sourced locally. Construction is expected
to be completed by October, and according to Mr. Hepburn, the finished project
will enhance the amenity, provide an additional draw for tourist visitors,
protect property values and prevent damage to the condo buildings.

“The design is supposed to arrest
further erosion of the beach and ironshore, which, if successful, should help
[alleviate] damage to the oceanfront buildings during heavy seas,” he said.

LOCALNewBeachSTORY

Treasure Island’s beach is being reconstructed to create a sandy shore.
Photo: Joe Shooman.
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