(Honolulu) – A new beach maintenance project for Waikīkī Beach starts next week. The project is a collaboration between the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) and the Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association (WBSIDA).
Mobilization of equipment will begin on January 25, with the start of construction about 2 weeks later. Hydraulic dredging and pumping will move up to 20,000 cubic yards of marine sand from offshore Waikīkī onto Waikīkī Beach. This is a follow-up to a 2012 project which brought in 24,000 cubic yards to the beach. No construction of any shoreline structures is planned, just placement of clean beach sand.
The Kūhiō Beach/Diamond Head swim basin will be partially closed during the project, as it will be the receiving and dewatering area for pumped sand. The Kūhiō Beach/Ewa swim basins and Royal Hawaiian beach areas will have daily intermittent, partial closures to allow heavy equipment movement. Community access will be restricted to dedicated shoreline access points along shore during the dedicated transport windows. The sand maintenance is expected to last three to four months with offshore dredging and pumping of sand occurring weekdays 8:00 am- 5:00 pm.
This project will dredge sand from the same nearshore source utilized in 2012, offshore of the main “canoes” surf break. It is intended to restore beach conditions and shoreline position, resulting from the 2012 project. Recreational opportunities will be enhanced, and the sand replenishment will facilitate lateral access along the shore. Additionally, it will provide much-needed wave run-up and erosion mitigation to Waikīkī beaches. Beach sand recycling will need to be repeated in every 5-10 years.
“These are critically important beaches and without these type of maintenance actions we expect them to languish which would be devastating to Waikīkī’s beach history, culture and economy,” said Sam Lemmo, Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands Administrator.
“The Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District is pleased to see this beach restoration project be completed during this critical time of recovery and renewal for Waikīkī and the State. The WBSIDA is honored to be a partner on this important project and be involved with these type of beach maintenance and improvement projects currently underway and future ones planned in Waikiki,” said Rick Egged, President of the Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association.
This project is a public-private partnership with the Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District providing $1 million toward the $3-4 million estimated total project cost. It will complement the recently completed Royal Hawaiian Groin which was completed in early August 2020.