Coastal Infrastructure Programme (2002 - 2009)

Coastal Infrastructure Programme (2002-2009)

The Coastal Infrastructure Programme (CIP) of the Government of Barbados began in 2002 and formally ended in 2009 with the opening of the Rockley Boardwalk, subsequently renamed the Richard Haynes Boardwalk. The CIP was jointly funded by the Government of Barbados and the Inter-American Development Bank at a cost of U.S. $24.2 million.

The principle objective of the Programme was to ensure a healthy environment and continued economic development of Barbados through improved management and conservation of the coastal zone.

The Programme consisted of a range of coastal management works and activities related to four specific objectives:

  • Shoreline stabilization and erosion control;
  • Restoration of coastal habitats;
  • Improvement of public coastal access;
  • Institutional strengthening for coastal management.

To achieve these specific objectives three engineering works were completed under the CIP, these include

  • The Holetown Beach Improvements Project 
  • The Rockley to Coconut Court Waterfront Improvements Project
  • The Welches Beach Improvement Project

Welches Beach Improvement Project

Welches beach is located at Welches in Christ Church on the south coast of Highway 7, approximately 0.5km west of Oistins. The main road in this section is immediately adjacent to the sea at Welches and prior to construction of the project, was exposed to wave action and flooding during storm events. Flooding of the road was hazardous to motorists, and made walking along the road difficult or impossible at times. Continued exposure of the road to wave action was likely to result in the road being undermined.

 Through the use of engineering structures the original beach was widened, thereby providing an improved level of protection for the road from direct wave attack and flooding. This has also resulted in an improved beach amenity through the creation of this wider beach, seating area and landscaped areas.

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Holetown Beach Improvements Project 

Holetown beach, on the west coast of the island, is recognised as one of the island's most popular tourism beaches. However, the beach is narrow and along some portions of the coastal strip there is little or no beach. This lack of beach can be attributed to the configuration along the west coast which is characterised by bays and headlands, and is compounded by a multitude of coastal structures and developments which protrude into the active beach zone, limiting beach building processes.

The primary objective of the Holetown project was to improve the amenity value of the Holetown beach through the creation of continuous lateral access (access along the beach), and stabilisation and enhancement of beach width. Through this expanded beach width and the construction/ redevelopment of walkways, the project was expected to result in the provision of continuous public access. The widening of the beach was achieved through the design and implementation of appropriate coastal structures and, where necessary, the removal of structures currently causing damage to the coastline or the repair of functional but damaged structures. 

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Rockley to Coconut Court Waterfront Improvements Project

The project site stretches over a 1.2km length of coastline from Rockley Beach to just west of Sierra Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church. The project was designed based on a headland-beach concept. Five headlands were constructed along the project site and beaches were created using a total of 12, 000 cubic metres of beach sand. An offshore breakwater and several spurs were also constructed. The prominent feature of the project is a 1.2km long boardwalk.

The boardwalk satisfied the objective to provide continuous public access along the shoreline and is an alternative to the current unsafe pedestrian access on Highway 7. The headlands have stepped outer edges and walkways that can be used by beach walkers to walk around each headland without ascending to the main boardwalk. The five enhanced or new beaches provide a significant increase in the beach amenity along this shoreline.