Crumbling concrete on walkway poses danger to Waikiki beachgoers

Published: Apr. 14, 2014 at 9:21 AM HST
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WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Waikiki is known for its sun, sand and surf. But crumbling concrete along a walkway of famed Kuhio Beach has some local residents concerned.

The walkway is the one behind the statue of Prince Kuhio, and divides the two enclosed swimming areas at Kuhio Beach, which draws thousands of visitors every day.

Makiki resident Joe Wong and his wife, Terri, come here two or three times a week. Wong pointed out areas where the concrete has been crumbling. He said the problem has gotten a lot worse in the past few weeks. Recently, part of the concrete broke off when he stepped on it.

"The main concern here is the rebar," he said. "Because if you get a cut on that, you're pretty much done for."

Wong pointed to a spot where a lot of rusty reinforcing bars were exposed. HNN spotted a sharp piece, which came right off when pulled.

"That could do some damage," said Wong of the four-inch-long piece.

Wong and others said the hundreds who walk over the area to get from one side of the beach to the other are at risk of being injured.

"There's a little boy wanted to get from this beach to that beach, and he climbed right over where the rusty rebar was, and we're like, 'oh my gosh,'" said Wong's wife, Terri.

Area beach boys said work crews put up barricades and yellow tape in an attempt to block the walkway, but those turned out to be more of a nuisance than anything.

"I see people going through the barricade, and the thing falling down, especially the yellow ribbon," said Tereise Tereise of Hawaiian Ocean Waikiki, which rents out boards and other beach equipment. "People crawl underneath. No matter if they barricade, people gonna go through anyway."

"We should at least have some signs up, because it is looking a lot more dangerous than I remember it," said state Rep. Tom Brower (D-Waikiki, Ala Moana).

Who would be responsible for repairs? "Because it is so near to the shore, it'll probably involve the state with the assistance of the city," said Brower.

While Brower and HNN inspected the exposed rebar, an even larger sharp piece -- about 20 inches long -- was pulled out.

"This is supposed to be a safe area for families and children," said Joe Wong.

"This is not safe at all."

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