An extensive reconstruction project at Honolulu’s Magic Island parking lot will kick off on Monday.

The 470-stall Aina Moana parking lot will be completely repaved and re-striped and will have a new drop-off zone. Workers will also improve tree planters, remove tree roots causing pavement damage and install new trash cans, benches and park road gates, the city said in a press release on Thursday.

Tree roots have popped up through the pavement at the Magic Island parking lot. Courtesy: Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation

The footprint of the parking lot will remain the same, according to the city. Road Builders Corp. will complete the $2.5 million project which is expected to be finished by the end of the year. The parking lot will be closed for the duration because of the “significant excavation and subterranean work” required, the city said.

For now, all city parks are closed to the public, although people are allowed to pass through to access the ocean or a public bathroom. The pedestrian walkway bordering the parking lot on the Diamond Head side is expected to remain open during construction, the city said.

When parks reopen, the People’s Open Market that is usually held in the parking lot will be relocated to the Canoe Hale parking lot between Aina Moana and Atkinson Drive.

The city said the parking lot improvements are part of a multimillion-dollar effort to revitalize what is, under normal circumstances, Hawaii’s most popular park. Efforts include renovating restrooms, planting approximately 220 trees, LED light upgrades, irrigation improvements, the installation of exercise equipment, repaving walking paths and the roadway, improvements to McCoy Pavilion and the installation of the city’s first off-beach sand volleyball courts.

Construction work is considered essential by the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Kirk Caldwell has said he wants to continue to allow contractors to earn a paycheck during this economic downturn.

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