$13M project to restore Waikiki Beach draws concern (and a little head scratching)

$13M project to restore Waikiki Beach draws concern (and a little head scratching)
A project set to kick off later this year will restore portions of Waikiki Beach. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state recently announced a plan to spend $13 million to restore Waikiki Beach, Hawaii’s most visited shoreline.

But visitors to the beach Tuesday wondered where that money would go, while others expressed concern that the project would cause significant disruptions.

”It looks perfect. It doesn’t look like it’s crumbling,” said Samuel Stowers, a first-time visitor to Hawaii.

Timothy David Persons, meanwhile, has been to Oahu 30 times.

He was shocked to hear about the restoration plan.

”I love Waikiki. This beach in particular because of the warm, shallow breakwater, and the kids can have a good time too,” Persons said.

He added that he thinks part of the money should go toward addressing homelessness, instead.

The project will address several areas of Waikiki Beach, including spots where there’s almost no sand at high tide. Work could kick off in late summer or early fall.

Marc Litchfield, a beach boy for Dive Oahu and Surf, said he’s happy to see some work planned to restore the beach but said the process should have been ongoing.

“It’s great that it’s happening now, but it’s something that should be happening on a more regular basis,” Litchfield said.

Litchfield said his job is helping visitors “see the better side of the beach.”

“Having all this construction when there’s going to be an influx of visitors coming in the next couple months is going to be an issue,” Litchfield said.

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