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DLNR begins improvements at Hapuna Beach


Starting Monday, May 9, the Department of Land and Natural Resources will begin construction on park improvements at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area in the makai beach areas and the mauka rental cabin section.

At the same time, the irrigation system for the mauka cabin section will also be replaced.

The improvements include the replacement of the central walkway from the parking area to the beach areas, roofing replacement for the North and South pavilions and comfort stations, new barbecue pits, interior comfort station improvements, mauka cabin roofing replacement, cabin exterior and support improvements, mauka pathway improvements and repainting of mauka and makai facilities.

Mauka irrigation improvements have already started. Other park improvements will include parking repaving, interim surplus parking and fixture replacement as funding will allow.

“Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area is a popular destination for visitors and kamaaina, as it provides ocean, picnic and lodging opportunities in West Hawaii. The improvements will improve our facilities to ensure the health and safety of our park users and improve park amenities,” said Dan Quinn, State Parks Administrator.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority provided funding for the improvements through its Natural Resource Assessment grants.

“These long-awaited improvements can finally occur with support from HTA. We appreciate their continued support to improve our park facilities and maintain our natural and recreational resources,” Quinn said.

The project is expected to be completed in August 2011. Other park improvements such as the parking improvements and other improvements may continue after this date.

The park will remain open but there will be some inconvenience to park users during construction. The rental cabins will be closed during work in that section. The central pathway will be closed which will require park users to use either north or south alternate paths to get to the makai areas.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of our park users during these improvements and the contractor will utilize appropriate safety barriers and practices to accommodate park users during the construction period,” Quinn said.

Work will begin in the park’s mauka section first, then in the makai sections during the later part of May into early June.

HTA provided funding of $1,000,000 for the mauka-makai improvements, the mauka irrigation improvements, and other park improvements. In addition, the National Park Service through the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has provided $100,000 of federal funds for this project.

The contractor for the makai and mauka improvements is Bolton Inc.; the contractor for the mauka irrigation improvements is Island Construction and Demolition; and DLNR staff will contract out the other park improvements.

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area is a landscaped beach park on 61.8 acres, with swimming during calm seas, bodysurfing during periods of shore breaks, sunbathing and other beach-related activities, and lifeguard services. There is hiking along the Ala Kahakai coastal trail, picnicking and shelter lodging opportunities.

The park has restrooms, picnic pavilions, picnic tables, lodging, trash cans, drinking water, and payphone. It is located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Highway 19), 2.3 miles south of Kawaihae. It is open daily during daylight hours.

For more information call the State Parks Hilo office at 974-6200 or the State Parks Honolulu office at 587-0300.

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