Waimea Bay parking lot closed for upgrades, repaving

Waimea Bay parking lot closed for upgrades, repaving
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIMEA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Headed to Waimea Bay? Good luck finding parking.

Crews started working on a reconstruction project at the parking lot of Waimea Bay Beach Park on Monday, which means drivers will have to find another place to park for the next few months.

On Monday, Mario Jauregi and his family drove out to Waimea Bay to check out the scenery.

"We just want to take a look around, see the sights, see the beach, and show our newborn some sights," said Jauregi, a visitor from California.

He didn't mind paying $10 for a spot in a nearby lot across the street at Waimea Valley. Other stalls there, which are farther away, are priced at $5.

"It's a cost. We're tourists. We're from Los Angeles so you bring a little bit of spending money and it helps give back to the economy here. We don't mind it," said Jauregi.

Pierre Julien managed to find a free parking spot along Kamehameha Highway.

"We didn't realize the parking lot was going to be closed. We found good parking up there on the street," said the Florida visitor.

The $296,000 city project includes repaving, restriping and installing speed bumps. A wheelchair ramp to the sidewalk will also be built.

On Monday, workers put up netting around the site and took care of other preparations. The contractor is expected to start bringing in the heavy equipment on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, lifeguards are carrying out their regular duties, but the beach was unusually empty on Monday.

"I don't think it would deter me, cause I don't mind walking a little bit," Julien said. "If they're making improvements, sometimes you've got to suffer for that. A little money to pay for something is not too big of a deal, but free is always best."

The project was supposed to start in February, but the work was delayed due to the running of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surf contest.

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