Urban wave attenuation wall design for a segment along the Clearwater Beachwalk
Urban Wave Attenuation Wall
The Principals of Cummins | Cederberg conducted coastal engineering studies and prepared an urban wave attenuation wall design for a segment along the Clearwater Beachwalk to minimize wave impacts to a specific property located immediately landward.
By reducing the wave impacts, the property could be rezoned from a high risk FEMA flood zone to a low risk flood zone. The flood zone modification resulted in modified land zoning requirements and a significantly reduced flood insurance premium for future development.
The coastal engineering studies included analysis of offshore and nearshore wave conditions along with computer modeling of storm wave propagation from offshore to the inundated inland areas. Based on the wave modeling results, wave forces on the wall were determined. In addition, potential erosion in front of and behind the wall due to wave breaking and hydrodynamic turbulence were assessed.
The urban wave attenuation wall serves as a wave dissipater during storm conditions, when the area will be flooded and large storm waves will be able to reach and impact inland properties.
Coastal structures are often both esthetically and physically intrusive, as they are designed to perform under extreme conditions. This often contradicts the overall design intention of a master plan such as the Clearwater Beachwalk.
To meet both the functional and esthetical requirements, such as obtain an appearance consistent with the existing beachwalk, the wall was seamlessly incorporated into the hardscaping of the existing beachwalk through detailed analysis and design along with close coordination with the Project landscape architect. From the outside, the wall appears to be a normal feature of the beachwalk; however, below the surface, the wave attenuation segment consists of a robust foundation – designed to withstand large waves and potential erosion during extreme storm events.