Client: Capella Pedregal Resort
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Challenge. Protect this resort, built on a narrow strip of land at the base of a steep cliff on the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas, from waves and erosion generated by tropical storms
Solution. To support construction of the Capella Pedregal Resort, INTERA conducted a variety of analyses associated with the design of a seawall. At this location, the resort will experience erosion and wave runup during frequent tropical storm events, runoff from rainfall flowing down the adjacent mountain, and outfall flow from a nearby desalinization plant. To provide adequate protection, the resort required a seawall designed to withstand erosion and wave runup during the design event while releasing water from rainfall. To develop the seawall design parameters (water surface elevation [WSE] and wave climate), INTERA constructed and calibrated an ADCIRC and SWAN model. Once calibrated, the models hindcasted the WSE and wave climate associated with Hurricane Juliette and a design storm (based on Hurricane Juliette) using wind and pressure fields developed by INTERA. Next, the ADCIRC and SWAN solution files, the initial beach profile at the site, and the beach sediment properties provided the data to develop a cross-shore beach erosion model (the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ SBEACH model). Profiles of the beach erosion that occurred during Hurricane Juliette and the hindcasted Hurricane Juliette results provided the data to calibrate the SBEACH model. Once calibrated, the SBEACH model provided the design profiles for the seawall. INTERA collaborated with an architectural firm to provide a cost effective and functional yet aesthetically pleasing design. The final innovative design incorporates an infrastructure-grade marine composite sheet pile wall with uniaxial geogrid support, an extensive drainage system, and a concrete façade that incorporates a cap with a recurve designed to reduce overtopping from wave run-up during storm events. INTERA designed the access stairs to the beach to reduce overtopping by orienting the stairs parallel to the wall and including the cap with a recurve. To maintain a pristine beach adjacent to the wall throughout the year, the crest elevation of the toe protection is below the seasonal low beach elevation. Since its construction, the wall has withstood several storm events, including Hurricane Odile, without damage.