Geosynthetics February/March 2021 - 46

FINAL INSPECTION

The completed Kanai Resort
shoreline. Photograph courtesy
of TenCate Geosynthetics

Kanai Resort shoreline protection
and beach creation

T

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
44

Geosynthetics | February March 2021

he Kanai Resort shoreline protection project had three distinct phases utilizing sandcolored 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. G



Geosynthetics February/March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Geosynthetics February/March 2021

Geosynthetics February/March 2021 - 1
Geosynthetics February/March 2021 - 2
Geosynthetics February/March 2021 - 3
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