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Kanai Resort shoreline protection and beach creation

February 1st, 2021 / By: / Final Inspection

The completed Kanai Resort shoreline. Photograph courtesy of TenCate Geosynthetics.

The Kanai Resort shoreline protection project had three distinct phases utilizing sand-colored geotextile tubes. The first phase was to install a natural-appearing shoreline protection structure with a height of 8.2 feet (2.5 m) to protect the entire 1 mile (1.7 km) of the resort shoreline. Next, three 656-foot (200-m) long offshore breakwaters were installed, located 328 feet (100 m) offshore in 11.5 feet (3.5 m) of water. Lastly, a beach was created that had a minimum width of 66 feet (20 m) by dredging offshore white sand on the shore between the shoreline-protection structure and the offshore breakwaters. 

The Kanai Resort is a 452-acre (183-ha) development along the coastline of the Caribbean Sea, 19 miles (30 km) south of Cancun, Mexico. The undeveloped site is low-lying mangrove swamp without a sand dune or beach. The client wanted to create an artificial sand dune structure to perform as a protection for the resort buildings and infrastructure. Therefore, the client wanted a world-class gently sloping white sand beach that could be protected by offshore breakwaters to create a calm shoreline environment for resort guests.  

The flat mangrove swamp did not provide any natural protection from the storms and hurricanes that routinely affect the western Caribbean. Therefore, the challenge was how to create a natural-appearing protective barrier for the resort and how to provide the white sand beach environment with the same natural appearance and feel of a traditional Caribbean resort. The solution was to install sand-colored geotextile tubes that were filled with quarry-run, course-grain material along the existing coastline. The oval-shaped, 15-foot (4.5-m) wide geotextile tube structure would run the entire shoreline, be installed to a height of 8.2 feet (2.5 m), and be completed by covering with a veneer of white sand to provide the natural appearance of a coastal sand dune. Next, three breakwaters were constructed 328 feet (100 m) offshore. These breakwaters were created by installing a unique 2–1 pyramid design of sand-colored geotextile tubes. These units were installed using divers with the quarry-run fill material being pumped from the shoreline. Finally, more than 10,594,400 cubic feet (300,000 m3) of white sand was pumped onshore between the geotextile tube shoreline protection sand dune and the offshore geotextile tube breakwater structures. 

Today, the 1-mile (1.7-km) shoreline of the Kanai Resort has a beautiful, natural-appearing, gently sloping white sand beach where tourists can enjoy a calm and relaxing Caribbean Sea environment with the onshore property being protected by the geotextile tube structure.


Project Highlights

Kanai Resort shoreline protection and beach creation

LOCATION 
19 miles (30 km) south of Cancun, Mexico

CONTRACTOR
Control de Erosion  

DESIGN ENGINEER 
Ernesto Gray, TecnoOceano

GEOSYNTHETICS PRODUCTS 
GT500 Sand Color Geotubes and GC1200MB Composite Geotextile Sand Colored Geotubes

GEOSYNTHETICS MANUFACTURER 
TenCate Geosynthetics