City announces new repair plan for Hanauma Bay

Roy Gritter
Roy Gritter
Kirk Caldwell
Kirk Caldwell

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HAWAII KAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - East Oahu's natural treasure has lost some of its luster, with some repairs neglected for months or even years.

But on Tuesday, Honolulu City and County officials say they have a plan to stop people from cringing when they visit Hanauma Bay.

They're taking a more proactive approach. Instead of waiting for things to breakdown, they'll create a weekly maintenance checklist.

Hanauma Bay greets nearly a million visitors each year. Combine that with rugged weather conditions and the city says numerous maintenance issues constantly arise, like the guardrail at the bay's upper viewing area. It's rusty, worn down and sharp edges have even formed in some areas.

Roy Gritter has volunteered at Hanauma Bay for 15 years. His main job is to paint, even the guardrails. He questions the city's timeliness in fixing it.

"It was mentioned to them a long time ago and it bothered me because my goal is to have everything look nice, I kept it painted and I painted around the hole," he said.

But acting Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city is well underway with repairs and that starting Tuesday, a new plan is in place.

"On a weekly basis, we'll be getting a checklist of all the different areas of this bay that needs to be properly maintained and so when something is not working, we will know about it more quickly, in a more timely manner and it will be addressed and fixed in real time," Caldwell said.

So far, 340 feet of railing has been repaired and eventually it will be replaced with stainless steel, just like the ones near the entrance.

The broken touchscreen computers in the educational area were just replaced Tuesday afternoon. Plus, parts of the roof of the learning center on the beach that's falling apart will be replaced with better materials that should last longer and the green splotch on the required training video for first-time visitors is now gone, thanks to a brand new projector.

"We believe we need to do a better job, that's what we've done now, we've got a checklist in place, we're going to be doing it on a weekly basis, when we find things that need to be repaired, it will be repaired," Caldwell said.

Hanauma Bay repairs are funded by $5.9-million each year in non-resident fees, parking and concession dollars.

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