Tourists React To Kuhio Beach Closure - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tourists React To Kuhio Beach Closure

Bernadette Krause Bernadette Krause
Wako Nakai Wako Nakai
Rolf Tedefalk Rolf Tedefalk

By: Leland Kim

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Construction is a familiar sight in Waikiki. But it's now creeping up onto the beach. For vacationers, seeing bulldozers on the beach isn't quite what they bargained for.

"It's not very pleasant to discover that when you come on vacation," said Bernadette Krause, a tourist visiting from France.

"It doesn't bother me too much, but compared to Japan, there is less room to swim in the ocean because of the construction," said Aoi Nakai, a visitor from Japan, speaking through a translator.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said several events delayed this project.

The Ala Wai sewage spill last spring elevated bacterial level, not only in the canal, but also in the ocean where the sand is being picked up.

And unseasonal south swells last month put the project on hold.

But some suggest it should be planned on a more regular basis in the future.

"I hope that whoever makes the decision allocating money would consider doing a segment each year, like five segments or they come back every five years, rather than waiting 30 years and saying, 'Oops! We need it!'" said Rolf Tedefalk, a vacationer from the mainland.

Despite the inconvenience, some say it's worth it.

"I think it's essential for visitors to have attractive beach areas. We have been coming here for 20 years and there has been tremendous expansion of good, available beaches," said Tedefalk.

Hawaii's world-famous beaches: one of the reasons people come here, and the reason officials are moving forward with this project.

If weather conditions allow the crew to work every day, officials hope the project is finished and the beach re-opened to the public by Christmas.

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