Coastal Construction Projects
|Timing:||July 2018 - June 2019|
The works to replace a large segment of the Lakes Entrance bluestone seawall started in July 2018.
The existing seawall was a significant safety risk, with a partial collapse leading to the formation of large voids under the adjacent footpath, which was used by hundreds of locals and tourists every day.
The section to be replaced is approximately 216 metres in length, extending west from the local Ocean Rescue building to opposite the Commonwealth Bank, with the new wall to include a boardwalk and ramp access to the beach. It was partially opened to the public in December 2018.
This seawall project is the result of a partnership with East Gippsland Shire, who contributed $452,000 in conjunction with the $1,300,000 put forward by DELWP. Albcon Pty Ltd have been contracted for the construction, which is expected to be completed before June 2019.
Gippsland Ports, with support from DELWP, completed the seawall replacement work at The Narrows of Bullock Island in December 2018.
The previous masonry seawall was 120 metres long, had significant cracks in its face and large holes behind, and posed a high risk to the public. A concrete panel structure has been constructed in its place.
DELWP provided $260,000 to Gippsland Ports for this project, finishing up the replacements works on the northeast side of Bullock Island that began in 2017.
The four timber groynes planned for construction along Cowes East Beach (adjacent to Lovers Walk) were completed in July 2018.
Of the four groynes, one is located west of Dunsmore Road and three to its east, with the older groynes (from the 1950s) in their place having also been removed as part of this work.
This project was tasked to Maw Civil Marine Pty Ltd, the contractor responsible for the previous three timber groynes constructed in 2015 along the same beach.
The height of the beach profile at the base of the new groynes increased by over a metre between August and November 2018 (based on data from the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program), highlighting the effectiveness of groynes in areas of significant cross-shore sand transport like Cowes.
This project was organised by DELWP and Bass Coast Shire, with an expenditure of $200,000.
2017 saw the construction of a 30-metre rock revetment and the replacement of a 60-metre timber retaining wall south of the boat ramp in San Remo, providing a much higher level of protection than that of the existing, well-worn timber wall.
This revetment connects with the main 600-metre revetment that protects the southern foreshore, stabilising the earth near the pylon that lies behind, which is the primary source of power for Phillip Island.
This work was contracted to Australian Project Solutions Pty Ltd for $400,000, with funding and oversight provided by DELWP with support from the San Remo Foreshore Committee of Management.
The sheet pile seawall at San Remo, with concrete capping, an innovative handrail and a new beach access ramp, was completed in 2016.
This replaced the masonry wall that resided previously, which was much too low and had partially collapsed, leaving the high-use assets and foreshore behind unprotected.
The San Remo foreshore is extremely popular for watching the pelican feeding, making this project a high priority in order to cater for the thousands of tourists visiting every year.
The sheet pile seawall was the result of extensive stakeholder consultation, and was completed using $440,000 of DELWP funding by SMC Marine Pty Ltd.
Sand Management Projects
Cowes sand management is planned for the western side of the Cowes jetty at Cowes Main Beach, a popular recreational area on Phillip Island.
The vegetation behind the beach, particularly on the eastern side, has been scoured significantly in the past 10 years, with the erosion scarp present leading to the addition of fences in the past few years, increasing the safety to beach users but lowering the aesthetic appeal.
To address this concern and help restore the amenity of the beach, DELWP and Bass Coast Shire have been undertaking comprehensive technical research to determine the best approach for all involved.
Sand management options have been proposed in a report by Water Technology, along with a site inspection/discussion by DELWP and Bass Coast Shire staff.
‘Soft’ solutions, involving sand renourishment and vegetation initiatives, are the preferred options, as they are more likely to retain the beach amenity while also bringing natural, long-term protection to the area.
This project was sent out for quotes in December 2018, and is expected to begin in early 2019.
A sand renourishment is planned for the beach along Surf Parade, an area that has become more of a priority in 2018 after the strong, sustained southerlies and storms on July 6-8 and July 19-20, 2018.
These events threatened to undermine the local life-saving club’s observation tower but, fortunately, its design incorporates skids, allowing Bass Coast Shire Council staff to react quickly and move it back from the foreshore.
Additionally, Bunurong Road (which runs adjacent to the foreshore west of Wreck Creek) has seen inundation on several occasions in July, particularly near the boat ramp at Flat Rocks. Stretches of this road are now less than seven metres from the front of the dune, down from over 20 metres in December 2017, making this a very high-risk zone.
Unfortunately, there has been a significant amount of sand and vegetation lost following these storms, leaving the beach inaccessible from many access points with steep cliffs up to seven metres high, and a two-metre drop from the main concrete landing (see picture below).
A working group composing DELWP, Bass Coast Shire, Parks Victoria, Regional Roads Victoria and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, all of whom have assets in this area, was formed in July 2018 to address the erosion issues. A trial wet-sand fencing project was proposed with near-unanimous support at a community drop-in session in December 2018 (see Information Sheet). Work is expected to begin in February/March 2019.
Sand management in Loch Sport is planned for sections of beach along Lake Street, Victoria Street and The Boulevard which have experienced significant erosion in recent years.
DELWP have reached a funding agreement of $80,000 with Gippsland Ports for the project, who will co-contribute $60,000. It will involve relocating sand to the specified areas in conjunction with the Gippsland Ports dredging program, which is focused on clearing sand near the Loch Sport Marina and The Boulevard’s boat ramp.
This work is expected to begin in February 2019.
Coastal Public Access and Risk Projects
The Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program was active in 2017/18 and 2018/19, providing financial assistance to Victorian coastal Crown land managers to reduce coastal risk and improve public access. The projects selected for the Gippsland region in 2018/19 are listed below.
More information can be found on the Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants web page.
Bullock Island: Pedestrian and vehicle separation and demarcation works on the island, with $16,800 of funding provided to East Gippsland Shire Council.
Cowes East: Foreshore erosion management planning for the entirety of Cowes East Beach. The grant of $25,000 was awarded to Bass Coast Shire Council.
Grantville: Works to reduce public risk from steel and rock debris adjacent to Malcolm Drive, as well as planning to improve erosion management. Funding of $40,000 was provided to the Grantville and District Foreshore Committee of Management.
Sandy Point: Boardwalk extension works and an upgrade to the Roy Henderson path, with the grant of $25,500 awarded to Sandy Point Foreshore Committee of Management Inc.
Seaspray: Foreshore path and crossover from the Surf Club to the creek. Funding of $20,000 was provided to the Seaspray Reserve Committee of Management Inc.