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Feb 22nd
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Home Things to Do Resorts / Theme Parks Work Begins to Restore Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach Shoreline

Work Begins to Restore Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach Shoreline

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An ongoing three-month public-private partnership to improve Honolulu's Waikiki Beach by restoring the valuable and heavily utilized recreational area will shift into active beach building phase Monday, March 12, 2012.

Areas of the beach will be cordoned-off during active hauling and grading operations between 7 a.m. and noon seven days a week. The project will be done in phases to minimize the impact to beach users.

waikiki_before_afterPedestrians will be able to access the ocean at the affected work areas during work times from 7 a.m. to noon each day by crossing through designated locations with the help of crossing guards. The public may also choose to walk around the work area.

The only beach closure will occur in the ‘Ewa Basin of Kuhio Beach, but this area will be opened by noon each day.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is conducting a project to restore sand to approximately 1,730 linear feet of shoreline from the west end of the Kuhio Beach swim basin, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, to the existing Royal Hawaiian groin.

The project work area will include the beach fronting the Marriott Waikiki and extend Ewa (west) through the beach fronting The Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Beach areas Diamond Head (east) of the Kapahulu Groin and Ewa of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel will not be impacted by the project.

The affected work area is limited to this relatively small stretch of Waikiki Beach, officials said. Ocean accessibility is being maintained at all times during the project.

This project is a prime example of public and private partnerships, officials said, with financial support coming from DLNR's Beach Fund, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Kyo-Ya Hotels and Resorts, LP.

Bringing natural sand from nearshore deposits back to the beach will have significant beneficial impacts to the state's most famous beach consistent with protecting the local environment, strengthening the desirability of Waikiki as a resort destination, and enhancing the enjoyment of the beach by visitors.

Project engineers expect to recover roughly 24,000 cubic yards of sand from deposits located 1,500 to 3,000 feet offshore of the project area in a water depth of between 10 to 20 feet.

Since active work began Jan. 23, a substantial amount of sand already has been recovered from offshore deposits via a suction dredge barge, and placed in a holding area in the Kuhio beach basin. This sand is now ready for distribution along Waikiki beach.

While the preferred method for moving the sand onto Waikiki beach was to blow the dried sand through a pipe along the beach for placement, the desired results were not obtained.

"We recognize the high importance of Waikiki to our visitors, our visitor industry and its employees, and to local residents," said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. "To expedite the completion of the project - on schedule and on budget - our contractor will activate their secondary plan of using machinery to manually move and place the sand in its final location."

Aila also thanked DLNR partners for their continuing support, including the Waikiki Improvement Association, Hawai‘i Hotel Association, and City and County of Honolulu.

"Waikiki beach is still open for use and that this project will bring about a better beach we can all enjoy," Aila said.

His views were echoed by the president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Mike McCartney.

"Everyone worked really hard to consider various options to complete this important project while reducing the inconveniences to residents, businesses and visitors, and still keep Waikiki Beach open," McCartney said.

"Waikiki is one of the quintessential images of Hawai‘i that attracts thousands of visitors and residents to its shores each year. When the project is completed, the Waikiki shoreline will be restored and enjoyed by all for years to come. This project is an essential long-term investment in Waikiki, our visitor industry infrastructure and Hawaii's tourism economy," he added.

Rick Egged, president of the Waikiki Improvement Association, said the project to improve Waikiki Beach was long overdue.

"Since 1985, this area of shoreline has experienced significant beach loss due to long-term, chronic erosion. By recycling eroded sand that lies just offshore, we can expand the recreational beach and provide significantly more space for visitors and residents to enjoy Waikiki," Egged added.

Work requiring area closures is expected to be completed by April 14, with the entire project finished by the end of April 2012, as scheduled.

Project construction will be performed in close coordination with all appropriate agencies, including: DLNR; the state Department of Health, City and County Ocean Safety, Fire and Rescue; Honolulu Police Department; and city Department of Parks and Recreation.

DLNR, contractor Healy Tibbetts and hotels will be posting notices along the work area, in nearby hotels, and online to notify beach users of the temporary, phased closures.

Project general information, daily updates on the construction schedule and helpful instructions for beach access will be posted at
www.WaikikiBeachProject.com .

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