‘Recycled’ sand pumped onto Cancún beach
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.