State plans to fix deteriorating Lanikai pillboxes

Published: Mar. 24, 2016 at 10:45 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 24, 2016 at 11:13 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

LANIKAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every day, hundreds of hikers trek up Lanikai pillboxes trail to take in one of East Oahu's most magnificent views.

But is it safe?

The historical structures are deteriorating and they have been for some time now.

That's why there was some speculation that the state would shut down the trail, formally known as Kaiwa Ridge Hike. But the state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it's decided to fix the corroded structures so people can continue to enjoy one of the island's most popular hikes.

State Rep. Chris Lee, whose district includes Kailua and Waimanalo, supports the decision.

"I've been hiking these things my whole life and for a long time, these things have been deteriorating on the outside because of the salt air and corrosion," he said. "But internal to the structure, these things are resilient, they're strong, according to the best engineers that we have."

The state says the concrete structures are well-designed, but have weathered with time.

"As bad as it looks, it's still safe. But in the future we want to make sure that there's not actual corrosion internal to the structure that could cause problems in the future," Lee said.

The pillboxes are practically in Lois Crozer's backyard. She says sometimes hikers leave their trash along the roadways and make loud noises throughout the night.

But, she says, homeowners realize the trail and view is for everyone.

"I look up there in the morning and there must be 40 to 50 people up there in the morning and I think, 'Ah they're all looking over my property.' But actually it's OK because it's just so beautiful," Crozer said.

The state says there is no specific timeframe yet for when work will begin. But hikers and homeowners agree it should be done soon.

"It would be nice if people just would be considerate and respectful when they're up there. We don't have a problem with it as long as their well-behaved."

The project will cost about $200,000 for construction, permits, and related costs. The state says the trail will not be shut down during construction but there may be restrictions.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.