USA: Waikiki Beach Sand Project Nears End
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will extend sand hauling hours as it nears the completion of a three-month project to restore sand to approximately 1,730 feet of shoreline from the west end of the Kuhio Beach swim basin, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, to the existing Royal Hawaiian groin between the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki hotels.
Extended sand hauling hours will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, April 23, through Wednesday, April 25, to expedite placement of sand on the remaining stretch of beach from in front of the Outrigger Hotel to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. After Wednesday, demobilizing of equipment at Waikiki beach and restoration of the Kuhio beach ‘ewa basin will begin.
The project has already significantly improved Waikiki Beach by restoring a valuable and heavily utilized recreational beach, benefiting public recreational activities consistent with protecting the local environment. The project’s objective is to return the beach to its 1985 width.
The project is a public and private partnership, with financial support coming from DLNR’s Beach Fund, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts, LP.
The project requires a 60-day operating window of calm seas and was scheduled during the winter, which typically has the mildest wind and wave conditions in Waikiki. Active sand recovery from offshore deposits began the week of January 23, and hauling of sand for placement on the beach began the week of March 12.
With the exception of the 200-foot wide active beach maintenance area, the rest of Waikiki beach has remained open.
DLNR worked with the state Department of Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal Zone Management Program, NOAA-National Marine Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure the project meets all state and federal requirements for environmental quality control. DLNR has also held numerous meetings with city and state agencies, community organizations, businesses, and visitor industry representatives since last fall to review the plans, and maintain a dialogue open on the project’s progress.
Dredging Today Staff, April 23, 2012; Image: to-hawaii