What was this beach construction project?
February 17, 2010 4:23 PM   Subscribe

On the beach I visited in Cancun, there was a continuous construction project, and I'd like to know what they were doing/the process involved.

This is a photo of what we called, "The Worm." These sausage-link type tubes were left out to sea for a few days, and then brought onto the shore, where men spent many hours trying to separate them (they were bolted together). The tubes would sit for a long while, and then eventually were lifted up individually and moved.

Was this a sand replacement strategy? My family postulated that they were pumping up sand from off-shore to place on the beach but we never could get a vantage point to confirm this. Even if this was the case, I'd like to get some insight as to how this process would work. Thanks for your help in pointing us in the right direction...
posted by agregoli to Technology (7 answers total)
Did you see this? If so, indeed they were apparently piping sand around.
posted by Nomiconic at 4:30 PM on February 17, 2010

Aha! I'd love to know the process of it, if anyone knows.
posted by agregoli at 4:35 PM on February 17, 2010

Here is a blog post from an observer with some details and here is a pretty interesting time lapse video. Based on the text by the video this would seem to be the ship whose (awesome) job is to dredge up sand and then shoot it out of a cannon.
posted by Nomiconic at 4:48 PM on February 17, 2010

I'm not sure when you were in Cancun, but Hurricane Wilma (2005) devastated the beaches there. As a result, an Australian company was awarded a contract to rebuild them. The contractor had a massive ship sitting offshore pumping (shipping?) new sand in. As a result, Cancun's current beaches are actually much larger and nicer than they were prior to 2005.

If your picture was taken in 2006, that's what you saw. If it's a more recent picture I'd assume that it's some sort of standard housekeeping type beach maintenance.
posted by ASM at 4:58 PM on February 17, 2010

My picture was taken about 2 days ago, but the same process seems to be at work. =)
posted by agregoli at 5:46 PM on February 17, 2010

The Cancun Beach site mentions geotubes, which are apparently used to control beach erosion (scroll down). If the beach was just recently built, maybe they wanted to give the sand extra protection while it settled?
posted by gueneverey at 5:58 PM on February 17, 2010

I was actually just in Cancun about a month ago, and the wind while my husband and I were there was something fierce. We heard that the beach was eroding with it, and so I wouldn't be surprised if they were pulling more sand in to fix it. It might be a regular thing they have to do.
posted by bibbit at 4:22 AM on February 18, 2010

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