Those passing by the Esplanade will have noticed a long fence along the Altona foreshore between Maidstone Street and Sarros Street. This is to seal off beach access while 27,000 tonnes of quarried sand is being ferried by four trucks per hour between 7 AM and 5 PM to renourish this 940-metre stretch of beach.

This $1.5 million project is jointly funded by the Hobsons Bay City Council, Victorian State Government and Victoria’s Iconic Beaches and Coastline: Protection of Victoria’s Beaches Fund. The Council first announced the plan last December and had appointed Hoare Bros to undertake the sand renourishment works.

Altona Beach was last nourished in 2011 but this is only for the stretch of beach between Bayview Street and Romawi Street. The western part of the Altona Beach has been in dire straits. Due to years of natural erosion, there is now very little sand left on this stretch of the foreshore. Storm surges have seen sea water rising beyond the seawall, inundating the Esplanade and damaging properties. Climate change will further increase the loss of sand as well as the frequency and severity of flooding.

Hence, remedial works are necessary to mitigate expected impacts of climate change. Renourishing the beach with sand will build up its volume and sand, thereby creating a stronger barrier against natural forces and make the beach more accessible and attractive for residents and visitors.

Apart from beach renourishment, the works will also include raising the seawall slightly at some locations, upgrading/extending drainage outfalls and consolidating/redeveloping beach access points for both pedestrians and vehicles.

Throughout the duration of the works, the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists. The works are expected to be completed by July 2018. I believe this project will greatly enhance the attractiveness of Altona and I can’t wait for its successful completion.