7 July 2023

New Warilla Beach seawall designed to withstand nature's impact

| Jen White
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Ramp onto Warilla Beach.

The recently completed Bucknell St beach ramp is part of the Warilla Beach seawall renewal project. Photos: Shellharbour City Council.

The $10 million Warilla Beach seawall renewal project has reached a significant milestone with the completion of the Bucknell Street beach ramp.

Shellharbour City Council started work on the project in late 2022 after it determined the 1960s seawall was eroded and unstable.

The foreshore land along the southern section of Warilla Beach was developed in the early 1950s and the 930-metre wall built in response to storm events in 1966 that threatened private properties and sewerage infrastructure.

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The wall sustained extensive damage in 2016 due to an east coast low and since then, council has been periodically repairing damaged sections of the wall.

Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer said the new seawall had been meticulously designed to withstand the forces of nature and provide long-lasting protection.

“The Warilla Beach seawall reconstruction project is an essential response to the erosion and instability of the existing 930-metre seawall,” he said.

“The construction, carried out in phases, is progressing well, with a third of the project already completed from the southern end of the beach. Our goal is to complete the works early in the new year, demonstrating our commitment to safeguarding our coastline.”

An artist's impression of the completed seawall project.

An artist’s impression of the completed project.

The new seawall is more than 3 metres thick, with boulders averaging 3.65 tonnes in weight to ensure resilience against the waves.

Part of the wall will be backfilled with sand and part will be exposed rocks. The amount of exposed rock will vary depending on the surf conditions and will change over time.

“Council’s commitment to sustainability has seen the project recycle original seawall boulders which are being incorporated into the new structure, minimising waste from the project,” Cr Homer said.

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“Furthermore, we are supplementing these recycled boulders with new and larger ones sourced from local quarries. This approach ensures the responsible use of resources while maintaining the structural integrity of the seawall.

“In addition to addressing erosion concerns, the seawall upgrades will now provide four formalised beach access points, based on valuable feedback received during the community consultation process. These access points will be located at the southern end near the lifeguard tower, Bucknell Street, Leggett Park, and Strong Reserve towards the northern end.

“We plan to incorporate more plants, seating areas, and landscaping elements, creating an inviting and aesthetically pleasing environment for all.”

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