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Beach Closures Will Affect Waikiki For Next 2 Months

Waikiki Beach Closures Will Affect Beach Access Until March

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is overseeing the beach reclamation project that began January 9th.  The projected completion date is mid-to-late March, weather permitting.  This is the first time that a “reclamation” effort is being undertaken by dredging sand from offshore and putting it back on the beaches of Waikiki.  For the past 60+ years, sand has been brought in from Papohaku Beach on Molokai.

This effort is necessary periodically to restore the sandy beach area which erodes over time by waves and current.  This recycling of sand is a much more efficient approach, and lessens any environmental impact associated with relocating sand from Molokai to Waikiki.

The project involves recovery of up to 24,000 cubic yards of sand from recovery areas located 1,500 to 3,000 feet offshore of the project area in a water depth of about 10 feet to 20 feet.  They will also be removing two deteriorated groin structures as part of this project.  The end result should widen the beach by 10-30 feet along a 1700′ stretch of shoreline.

However, if you are planning on staying in Waikiki between now and the completion of this project in March, you will experience some inconvenience in having temporary sections of  beach closures.

The following Waikiki Beach closures are scheduled:

• The east Kuhio Beach Park swim basin and beaches — starting Tuesday, January 10th.  The area is set to reopen on March 31.

• The beach adjacent to the west Kuhio Beach Park swim basin will be closed for two or three days while the deteriorated groins are being removed — starting Tuesday, Jan. 10th.

• The area around the active sand placement operation will be closed on a daily basis.  The rolling beach closures will be about 200 feet wide and will migrate from west to east from the Royal Hawaiian groin to the west Kuhio Beach Park swim basin.

Waikiki, the quintessential Hawaiian landmark!

The economic value of Waikiki Beach to Hawaii‘s visitor industry and the economic success of Waikiki as a visitor destination are extremely significant. The estimated socio-economic loss to the state would be quite high if Waikiki Beach is not maintained and is allowed to erode away – a $2 billion loss in overall visitor expenditures, a $150 million loss in tax revenue, and a job loss of 6,350 people.

For information about the Department of Land and Natural Resources Waikiki Beach reclamation project, click here. For daily project updates, click here.


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