Ala Wai pedestrian, bike bridge gets support - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ala Wai pedestrian, bike bridge gets support

File image of the Ala Wai Canal File image of the Ala Wai Canal
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Waikiki Neighborhood Board is supporting the construction of a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Ala Wai Canal.

Board Chairman Robert Finley said the bridge would run over the canal from the Kalaimoku Street side and connect up with the makai side of University Avenue which leads directly to the University of Hawaii Manoa.

“We have a lot of students who bike to UH, and it would help keep them safe out of dangerous intersections,” Finley said.

Bike safety was just one of the main reasons he said the Waikiki board supported the idea. 

He said the bridge would help facilitate the flow of an expected increase in cyclists in the area with expanded bikeway plans and a $2 million bike share program that would establish dozens of docking stations around Waikiki for people to rent bikes.

He said the board also believes the bridge would provide an additional tsunami evacuation route for those bicyclists and pedestrians seeking to leave the Waikiki side of the Ala Wai.

Opponents of a bridge say its cost outweighs its benefits. Others argue it would facilitate crime.

Finley said the city estimates it would cost between $5 to $11 million to construct the bridge, but that Hawaiian Electric may help reduce the overall cost if the company was interested in renting space on the bridge from the city to attach a cable that it currently plans to relocate this year and place under the Ala Wai Canal. He said it may be more cost effective for HECO to use the bridge instead.

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