A bill expected to be heard Wednesday at the Hawaii State Capitol calls for $1.5 million to restore part of Waikiki Beach.
The money, for the next fiscal year, would go to the planning and design of a beach and infrastructure between the Royal Hawaiian groin and the Fort DeRussy storm drain groin, “including a multi-use pedestrian and bicycle path that allows public access throughout the length of the shoreline connecting Kaimana beach with Ala Moana beach park.”
The bill states:
The legislature finds that Waikiki beach is a key asset to the State’s visitor industry. Preserving this beach and maintaining public access along the beach are vital to the strength of the industry.
The long-overdue restoration of a continuous beach along the Waikiki waterfront is a priority for Hawaii’s largest economic industry.Steps toward restoration should start immediately, since the environmental reviews and construction process will take time.
A portion of the beach fronting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel has disappeared due to erosion.
Courtesy Waikiki Improvement Association
The bill says that private interests will provide funding for 25 percent of the costs to restore and maintain Waikiki beach “and associated amenities.”
House Bill 2563 is backed by Democratic Reps. Chris Lee, Tom Brower and Jarrett Keohokalole.
Last May, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed two bills creating a special improvement district in Waikiki to require commercial property owners to subsidize the restoration of the eroded beach.
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