By Leland Kim
WAIMANALO (KHNL) -- The windward community supports a city plan to build a sidewalk along a busy road in Waimanalo. It will be in front of the Waimanalo District Park. Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann (D-Honolulu) calls this a "need-to-have" project.
It was a busy day: parents, kids, and sports teams all enjoying their weekend at the park. Many of them thought the sidewalk was a good idea, despite a hefty price tag.
"All right. Here we go. Practice," said Kevin Akiona, a coach with the Windward Volleyball League.
He and his volleyball players get warmed up before a big match. He says safety always comes first.
"My main concern is to keep the kids safe, health-wise or even having a safe place to practice and play," said Akiona.
Their match is at Waimanalo District Park, where traffic along Hihimanu Street can be fast and furious, especially since pedestrians don't have sidewalks.
But that's going to change soon. Starting Monday, the City and County of Honolulu will start building one from Kakaina to Ahiki streets.
"I think that's a good idea because it's safe for people to walk," said Tiare Libarios-Moses, a volleyball player.
"It keeps people safe from cars, and other people, and bikes, and many other things like that," said Carli Akiona, another volleyball player.
But building a 3,000-foot sidewalk carries a hefty price tag: just over $1 million. For just a foot of sidewalk, it'll cost about $350. Folks here say it is money well spent because this is a high traffic area.
"I think any improvements in the area would be a great benefit both to the community and the people who use the park here," said Kevin Akiona.
The project is funded completely by federal money, so nothing comes out of the city budget.
Once the sidewalk is finished, these volleyball players can focus more on their game instead of avoiding traffic.
"It's a lot but I think it's worth it for the safety of others around us," said Carli Akiona.
Safety for windward families who use the park.