New barrier appears overnight at Laniakea Beach

Published: Sep. 4, 2014 at 4:18 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 4, 2014 at 9:37 PM HST
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NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After the state installed concrete barriers at Laniakea Beach last December, a new wooden barrier has appeared literally overnight along the beach. But both the city and the state said they have nothing to do with it.

A white picket fence at the Kahuku side of turtle beach now runs along a private road next to the beach, separating it from Kamehameha Highway. Some residents believe the fence is illegally cutting off the public's access to the beach.

"I think people are really dismayed that we're allowing something like this to happen -- the incremental loss of public access to one of the most beautiful and enjoyed places on these islands," said Blake McElheny of Pupukea.

"Are we saying that beaches are off limits? That beaches are only for those who live on the beach?"

McElheny believes the fence may have been put there by landowners tired of the traffic congestion created by gawking tourists.

But state and city officials say they will have to sort out who owns the land before taking any enforcement action.

"This has been an area where people for decades have access the ocean," said McElheny.

"This is actually the safest footpath people have. All other routes you encounter sharp rocks"

But some beach goers said don't think the fence is a big problem.

"I literally just have to walk a few more feet down ... than I normally would," said Alysia Tengan of Moiliili.

"I think it made it easier to find now because after they blocked off the parking ,it took an extra moment to register where to go."

Tengan is referring to the controversial concrete barriers the state put up to prohibit beach goers from parking across from the beach on the mauka side of the highway. Those barriers were put there last December and were supposed to be just a month.

The state isn't saying when and if those barriers will come down due to a lawsuit filed by residents seeking to remove them.

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