Makapuu Lighthouse Trail makeover plagued with delays

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail makeover plagued with delays

MAKAPUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In February 2015, the state kicked off a major makeover of the popular Makapuu Lighthouse Trail.

The $2.7 million was to be wrapped up in six months, and was slated to improve user experience with a widened trail, added overlooks, improved water drainage and a new lookout atop the trail.

Most of the work is finished, except for what many would argue is the most important part: The lookout at the top of the trail remains still isn't finished, almost a year after its targeted completion.

In addition to the unfinished business, visitors have noticed other issues.

"Those welds up there, they were done in very poor quality and the housekeeping was really bad," said Ivan Carreiro, of Witz Construction, a professional welder.

Not that it took a professional's eye to notice.

"I noticed that actually it's not complete, and there's a lot of steel laying around and there's a lot of rust.  A lot of uneven edges" said hiker Christy Marco.

The contractor for the project is Haron Construction, based out of Pearl City. Hawaii News Now has learned the state has had issues with the business.

In a statement, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the "primary cause" for the delays was due to "ordering and receiving the stainless steel railings."

"The material is comprised of 4-inch stainless steel that apparently has a longer lead time for ordering and receiving. Subsequently, this caused delays in the installation and completion thereof at the lookouts," the DLNR said.

The state said that the contractor will complete installation over the next three days.

In the meantime, the state says the lookout remains off limits to the public.

Construction fencing has been put up around the lookout, but hikers have torn it open. On Tuesday, several groups of people walked past the fencing to the lookout.

Hawaii News Now reached out to Haron Construction, but didn't get a response.

Carreiro says in his experience, something like this is not uncommon.

"There's a lot of contractors that dive with the price just to get the work, so essentially you're going to get what you pay for," he said.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.