Soon, your 'Pillboxes' hike will have to be put on hold

Soon, your 'Pillboxes' hike will have to be put on hold
It's an Instagram money shot: Sitting on the 'pillboxes' symbolizes conquering the trail. (Image: Kai Hawaii)

EAST OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The closure of the Lanikai Pillboxes trail will begin next week after lengthy delays.

The popular east Oahu trail will be closed for nearly two months while a contractor makes repairs to the World War II-era bunkers that made the trail famous.

"The first pillbox structure along the trail, Station 29A is a single tier structure. Its more weathered condition may be due to receiving more visitors and therefore more wear," the DLNR said.

"Fewer hikers journey beyond the first pillbox to the second two-tiered pillbox structure, comprised of Stations 29B and 29C. Access to the structures is by an initial steep hike, then a rocky trail, which is narrow at times," the DLNR added.

The "pillboxes" were actually built as military observation stations in 1943, Military historian John D. Bennett said. The stations were equipped with high-powered telescopes so personnel could spot possible enemy ships and relay information.

A closure of the trail was originally slated for March, but was pushed back nearly three months due to a delay in clearance from the FAA.

DLNR officials say FAA approval of the contractors plan to airlift supplies up the ridge was the issue.

Now that the ball is rolling on the improvement project, the closure will begin on June 21 and last 60 calendar days.

During the closure, crews will be repair cracked concrete on the structures, replace rusted supports and apply sealant to prevent future wear and tear.

The contract was awarded to Tokunaga Masonry Inc. at a cost of a little more than $248,000.

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