Big crowds (and big traffic headaches) expected for Eddie Aikau - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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Big crowds (and big traffic headaches) expected for Eddie Aikau big-wave contest

Image Courtesy: Quiksilver Image Courtesy: Quiksilver
WAIMEA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Heading to Waimea Bay on Wednesday for the Eddie Aikau big-wave contest?

In addition to monster surf, be prepared for big crowds, gridlock, and parking nightmares.

That’s what the city is warning contest spectators and North Shore residents.

They’re also asking people to be patient, and pledging to deploy an army of police and other city personnel.

“We want this big wave competition to be safe, not only for the surfers involved, but also the thousands of spectators that are expected,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell, at a news conference.

“There will be an enormous amount of pedestrian and bicycle traffic along Kamehameha Highway throughout the day Wednesday.”

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave contest kicks off at 8 a.m., but spectators are expected to start flocking to the area well before the sun rises.

This is only the ninth time the Eddie has been held in the last 31 years.

In anticipation of the traffic, a road repaving project is being temporarily suspended.

The city is also warning spectators that illegally parked cars will be ticketed and tows. In addition to police officers normally assigned to the area, some 12 special-duty officers will be on hand to assist with traffic flow.

In anticipation of higher bus ridership, additional city buses will be assigned to normal routes. (For more information, go to www.thebus.org.)

On the day of the competition, there will be no public parking at Waimea Bay Beach Park. Free shuttles will be available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Kaiaka Bay Beack Park.

Also, the city is postponing trash pick-up along Kamehameha Highway on Wednesday. Trash will be picked up later in the week.

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