(BIVN) – Hawaii County announced this week that there will be partial closures at Richardson Beach Park in the Keaukaha area of Hlo, as construction begins next week.
From a Hawaii County press release:
The Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the start of construction at Richardson Ocean Park on Monday, June 6, with completion expected in February 2023.
“We understand that the timing of this work, at the start of the summer and after more than two years of impacts of COVID-19 on our community, may seem like poor judgment,” said parks director Maurice Messina. “However, honoring the county’s and our community’s obligation to provide ADA access to this premier beach park is long overdue. The time required to implement the works in this sensitive coastal environment and repair such an important historic building meant that the project would impact summer use this year or next.
According to the director of Messina, once completed, all users of the park will appreciate the improvements made to the park for years to come. “Our Hilo beach parks are so used year-round that there’s never a good time to do construction. However, our aging waterfront facilities are in particular need of major repairs and upgrades, and we ask the public to support us and carry out the necessary work here.
Effective Monday, June 6, the parking lot will be closed for public parking and part of the site, from the parking lot extending to an area under the comfort station, will be closed for the first phase of construction work. However, pedestrian access through part of the parking lot and around both sides (ocean and pond) of the Richardson Ocean Center will remain open. In addition, the existing toilets and showers will remain available to the public.
Beginning Tuesday, July 5, the construction zone will expand to encompass the entire parking lot and perimeter of the Richardson Ocean Center. Access to the park’s waterfront areas will be maintained throughout the project, while access to the sandy beach will be provided only through the makai side of the building. In addition, existing public showers and toilets will be closed for construction works; portable toilets and hand washing stations and a new shower area will be made available to the public for the remainder of the project.
Hawaii Fire Department Water Safety Officers will continue their regular monitoring of ocean recreation activities in the park undisturbed by the Project.
Please note that there may be temporary and short-term closures of larger areas of the park when construction operations require. Likewise, there may be temporary interruptions in water service that will affect the availability of showers. Every effort will be made to inform the public as soon as possible.
The project is required for the county’s compliance with its transition plan, mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The primary goal of this project is to establish safe and equal access to public facilities, amenities and programs at this very popular beach park in Keaukaha. In addition, the project will provide a significantly improved access route to the famous sandy areas of the park, major renovations to the historic Richardson Ocean Center, as well as accessibility improvements and needed repairs to public restrooms, showers and parking. .
Site Engineering, Inc., the general contractor, is responsible for all construction activities for this $2,901,000 project.
The Ministère thanks park users for their understanding and patience during this closure for work.