MAKAPUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's took 10 months and almost $3 million, but the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail renovations are well worth it, trail users said.
"You could roll your ankle easily, the sides were all eroding, now it's much better," said Hawaii Pacific University student Reyn Akamine.
The pits and ruts on the asphalt trail are gone. It's been widened, repaved and structurally reinforced.
"It's good for everyone. Not just locals, but tourists as well," Akamine said.
Areas off to the side that were once broken ground are now designated viewing areas -- and the best is yet to come.
"We'll be installing new telescopes for looking at whales. We have new interpretive signs," said Curt Cottrell, administrator for the state's Division of State Parks.
The big draw will be getting the lookout finished. Cottrell is aiming for the end of the year because come New Year's Day, a big crowd is expected.
"I will be there at 5:30 a.m., hopefully awake and ready to open the gate," he said.
This will be the fifth "First Day Hike" hosted at the trail, and it won't just be hundreds of hikers going to the top. There will be taiko drummers, a blowing of the pu, and an oli, all to welcome in the new year.
"It is a really chicken skin way to welcome in the new year and we're just really glad we can provide that opportunity" he said.
Mobile users: See a slideshow of the trail here.