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Minister for Tourism, Commercial Affairs, Public Transport and the Port Neil Costa MP today officially inaugurated the new Sandy Bay after a considerable public investment to recover one of the Rock’s best loved beaches in years gone by.
The Sandy Bay project brought three ministries together in an inter-ministerial committee, Tourism, Environment and Technical Services which examined beach replenishment and other relevant issues.
Major coastal protection and regeneration works have completely transformed Sandy Bay from its almost non-existent state, into a sizeable beach, laid and enlarged with approximately 50,000 tons of sand imported from Layounne in the Western Sahara.
The project was commenced following engineering studies of the coastal processes affecting the beach.
Dutch firm Van Oord (Gibraltar) Ltd, an experienced coastal engineering contractor, has executed the works in conjunction with the Government’s Technical Services Department.
Two curved groynes and a frontal breakwater have also been constructed to protect the beach from the full erosional impact of wave action and trap shifting sand.
The project has been extended to include a submerged breakwater connecting the ends of both groynes.
Minister Costa noted that the enlarged Sandy Bay together with a permanent solution to protect the beach from disappearing was “an engineering feat in its own right.”
He said: “This beach was always a popular choice with Gibraltarians and we are thrilled at the prospect of returning it to its former splendour. As a Government, we have delivered our manifesto commitment to fully restore this forgotten beach for the benefit and enjoyment of us all.
Minister for the Environment John Cortes said: “We have also provided a permanent solution to protect the beach from the elements now and in the future, and prevent it from all but disappearing, as, unfortunately, had been allowed to happen.”
For his part, Minister for Technical Services Paul Balban added: “We are delighted that Sandy Bay will once again form a part of Gibraltar’s choice of beaches. The Gibraltar Government’s Technical Department together with the Dutch contractors have done an excellent job and they must be congratulated for their incredible achievement.”
A podcast on the Sandy Bay works which includes contributions from the three Ministers will shortly be released.
Please visit our new Ministry for Transport website for all the latest updates