Popular visitor attraction opens

Renee Kohr
Renee Kohr
Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Eugene Lee
Eugene Lee

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HALONA BLOW HOLE (KHNL) -- Some say it's one of the most popular tourist stops on Oahu's Southshore. But for about four months, people have not been able to get up close and personal to this beautiful sight, until Wednesday.

"Absolutely beautiful, it's an amazing experience," Chicago visitor Renee Kohr said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced the opening of the viewing area and parking lot of the famous Halona Blowhole.

"We just really want to urge residents and our visitors to please take special precautions when they come here," he said. "Obviously, we're looking to put up more signs, but at the end of the day, it is upon them to be very, very careful here."

The little more than $800,000 project started in April after numerous safety concerns.

Some of the upgrades included making the area accessible to disabled people, changing the layout of the parking lot, along with re-constructing the upper visitors viewing platform. Crews also restored much of the area and demolished the lower platform.

"The whole viewing area had become unsafe because it was literally falling apart, we actually shutdown the lookout in 1997," City Design and Construction director Eugene Lee said. "So realizing how this is a popular tourist area, there was a decided need to rebuild."

The Kohr's are on their honeymoon touring Oahu by motorcycle. A stop at the Halona Blowhole made their day.

"It's beautiful and it looks very, very safe, we felt very comfortable stopping," Renee Kohr said.

They're cranking up another memory as a much anticipated tourist attraction opens up.

Officials say the viewing area was built in the 1950s on very unstable soil.

Crews involved in the renovations say it was important to complete the project before the whale watching season begins which is usually around late November.