HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The only paved access to Diamond Head Beach Park is finally open after the city closed it six months ago for a capital improvement project.
The project aimed to provide protection against rock slides and cliff erosion.
However, the new path to the beach leaves very little “wiggle room” — especially for surfers lugging their boards.
"Literally, you can’t stand next to another person on the way down so it’s kind of one-way traffic if someone is coming up, you kind of gotta do a little shimmy to make space for the other person,” surfer Mike McChrystal said.
McChrystal said the walkway was a lot wider prior to the project.
“You could definitely get two people walking next to each other on the way down if someone was coming,” McChrystal said.
The total cost of the project: $2.08 million.
“If they were going to spend money, I don’t know if this was the thing that needed it the most,” surfer Daniel Murty said. “Seems like there’s a lot of erosion going on at the bottom, so I don’t know if that’s getting fixed.”
Aside from unmitigated erosion hot spots along the crumbling cliff, there are a growing number of homeless camps.
Roarke Shanni says the trash should be the city’s biggest concern, but he took it upon himself to clean it up.
“It’s really pulling on people’s hearts and I can see it. So, I’m like OK, one person has to make a difference,” Shanni said. “This is my fourth bag now.”
Others are still upset that the city took away a water source for the surfers up the road at Kuilei Cliffs.
The city said it was attracting homeless people.
Later, the city built a new shower which was even closer to the homeless encampments.
Some surfers said the new narrow path just adds to the sense that city officials aren’t listening to the people who regularly use the beach.
The city’s park director is scheduled to speak at the Waialae Kahala Neighborhood Board meeting on Thursday.