Access track washed away in five days
A man-made sand track that gave vehicles access to Cable Beach over Easter has been washed away by high tides after five days.
The Shire of Broome used heavy machinery to push sand around rocks that had been exposed by stormwater run-off from cyclones and low-pressure systems.
The concrete vehicle access ramp to Cable Beach was subsequently closed for several weeks for safety reasons. It reopened last Tuesday after the makeshift sand track directing traffic north of the rocks was completed.
But it fell victim to 10m-plus tides and was completely washed away by Sunday.
Red Sun Camels owner John Geappen said he was pleased the council had attempted to rectify the matter.
“Given the difficulty we had accessing our camel tour area, this has helped a lot because much of the sand moved into position has now settled around the rocks, giving vehicles a safer route through this area,” he said.
Shire infrastructure director Steven Harding said an engineer used an earthworks scraper to collect a thin layer of sand from other areas of the beach, which was spread using a bobcat in eroded areas near the rocks and ramp.
He said the Shire had aimed to restore access over the Easter long weekend because of increased demand from residents and visitors during the holiday period.
“Historically the natural process of tidal movement has been sufficient to replace eroded sand and this has again been occurring in this instance,” he said.
“But the exceptional nature of the damage this year meant that it was still not back to a safe condition, prior to work being undertaken. It is hoped that sufficient additional sand has been added to the area to cater for any erosion.”
Much of the sand moved into position has now settled around the rocks.