‘Recycled’ sand pumped onto Cancún beach

February 1st, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Photos

Sand, sand, glorious sand…

Jan De Nul’s managing director, Marc Verhaert, Mexico’s Tourism Secretary, Rodolfo Elizondo Torres and Quintana Roo state Governor, Félix González Canto, were all present at a brief ceremony held on Playa Delfines this morning.

At 10:30am, Cancún time, Elizondo symbolically dio el ‘banderazo’ – waved the flag – to signal for the sand pumping to start.

There was a momentary hush as the 22-inch pipe belonging to the Belgian maritime engineering group first spewed out a mouthful of murky water. This was quickly replaced by cheers and applause as the first recycled sand gushed onto terra firma.

Many thanks to Jim Wehrle who was on the spot shortly afterwards to capture these neat hills of ‘reclaimed’ sand along this section of beach, just south of the Hilton hotel.

Jan De Nul expect to dredge around 2.7m cubic metres of material from a submerged sandbank, delivering it onto the shoreline using a series of submersible, floating and terrestrial pipes.

Engineers will work around the clock to replenish 12km (8 miles) of Cancún’s Hotel Zone beaches by the target date of April 30th.

As speed is of the essence, instead of leaving the sand to be redistributed naturally alongshore and offshore by waves, currents and winds, excavators and other earth moving equipment have been employed to spread the sand evenly along the beach.

Verhaert has recommended that concrete breakwaters be built to protect the beaches against further erosion, but I cannot forsee the federal government stumping up more money.


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10 Responses to “‘Recycled’ sand pumped onto Cancún beach”

  1. Jocelyn Says:

    I will be staying at the Flamingo March 5 to 12. Can you tell me if you believe there will be a beach there by then?

  2. Steve Bridger Says:

    Jocelyn – unfortunately not; the Flamingo will not get it’s beach back until mid-April…

  3. Ryan Garling Says:

    Do know what shape the beaches are in around the Flamingo? Are you at least able to enjoy the ocean and / or lay out on a part of it?

    Any pics would be greatly appreciated. We will be arriving March 15th at the park royal. Thank you, Ryan

  4. Steve Bridger Says:

    Ryan – the beach at the Flamingo was pretty well swallowed up. This photo was taken from the hotel just last week.

    I’m estimating that the beach recovery teams will reach the Park Royal around the first week in April. There are pockets of beach not too far away though, and more is being reclaimed naturally each week.

  5. Ryan Garling Says:

    Thanks for you help. I guess we will have to make the best of it. You have a great web site.

  6. Steve Bridger Says:

    Ryan, the beach recovery seems to be gathering pace; there are reports (that I have yet to verify) the piping for phase 2 of the project is already being assembled in front of the Tri-Royal resort complex. You might be in luck!

  7. Ryan Garling Says:

    That is great to hear. I will keep checking for future updates. Again thanks for all the great info.

  8. Jesi Says:

    I to am planning a vacation to Cancun at the end of May.

    I am staying at the Flamingo and was wandering what your thoughts on the condition of the beach at that time are going to be?!

    I really hope that it will be okay, the water is the main reason we are going? Do you suggest any websites to get additional info?? Your site is extremely helpful!!

  9. Steve Bridger Says:

    Hi Jesi – see my comment to Jocelyn (and Ryan) above. You have no worries at all. Barring any setbacks (all well & good so far…) the beach recovery project will be complete by the beginning of May.

    Other sites? Well, CancunCare.com is pretty good.

  10. afterwilma.info » Blog Archive » Back to the future Says:

    [...] Just as some of us anticipated, it seems that Jan de Nul has returned to the spot where they began the beach recovery project on February 1st. Probably to sort out the issue of the sand "wall". [...]