Urgent Sandbagging at Stockton Beachfront

Emergency sandbagging at Barrie Crescent Reserve hopes to forestall erosion with forecast large swells this week.

Contractors were on site Saturday morning (7 September 2019) and temporary road closure affects the end of Stone Street and Barrie Crescent.

Tank traps at Stockton in 1948 marked the rapid loss of beachfront in the few years since their deployment in WW2. Discussion, and some history*.

Nearby residents were told of the works that involve the delivery of crane on site to assist with the unloading of sandbags, each weighing upwards of one tonne.

City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said large swells are expected to reach Stockton by Monday night, prompting the City to initiate the emergency works along the affected shoreline.

The City’s coastal engineering consultants advised us that recent erosion events have created extensive unstable foreshore frontage areas along the Barrie Crescent Reserve at Stockton,” he said.

The beach has simply not had time to recover from last week’s large swells. The forecast for more large swell activity means we need to ensure the shoreline is as stable as possible to prevent further damage.

Sandbagging will enable us to temporarily stabilise the foreshore ahead of the predicted large swells due to peak on Monday night. We know from experience that these sudden swell events, which usually last 24-48 hours, are some of the most harmful in terms of their erosion impacts.

While sandbagging may be enough to protect the coastline from these immediate swell impacts, it is not a long-term solution to protecting Stockton’s coastline.

We are requesting the State Government consider the serious nature of Stockton’s erosion issues and we’ll continue to progress those conversations as long as necessary until a solution or intervention is enacted.”

The works at the corner of Mitchell and Stone streets are expected to be completed later Saturday.

City of Newcastle will monitor the site closely over the course of the weekend and early into next week.

* “Based on a series of studies over 30 years, a 2012 Worley Parsons report proposed (PDF document) a conceptual model, that the Mitchell Street seawall is at an unlucky null point, from which sand is taken both north and south, depending on dominant onshore weather.”