> Wild weather construction delays to keep beloved Sydney beach closed all summer

Wild weather construction delays to keep beloved Sydney beach closed all summer

Woollahra mayor Susan Wynne said the delay was disappointing for locals and visitors, but it was unavoidable. “There’s nothing we can do. If it’s not ready, it’s not ready,” she said. “It needs to be done.”

Wynne said the prolonged closure would put pressure on nearby harbour beaches such as Camp Cove at Watsons Bay – which already struggles with summer crowds and traffic – and Redleaf, although she noted it may be less of a problem if the wet weather persisted into summer.

The old seawall was badly damaged by storms in 2016 and had reached the end of its serviceable life.

The old seawall was badly damaged by storms in 2016 and had reached the end of its serviceable life.Credit:Dean Sewell

Sydney is on track to have its wettest year ever. A record-breaking 1547.4 millimetres of rain fell between January and June, and the July rainfall record was broken just halfway through the month. The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting above-average rainfall for August, September and October. Sydney’s annual rainfall record is 2194 millimetres, and more than 1913 millimetres have fallen this year to date.

Delaney Civil, the engineering firm rebuilding the Shark Beach seawall, referred questions to the NPWS. “Public access to the beach and promenade will be reinstated as soon as it is safe to do so,” the NPWS says on its website.

Asbestos was found in the fill under the concrete seawall during its demolition. It was removed in April.

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