Waikiki jetty reconstruction expected to be finished in July

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii state official says reconstruction of a jetty protecting the Waikiki shoreline is expected to be completed by the end of July.

Work began in May on the $1.5 million reconstruction of the structure, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

The rock-and-concrete jetty fronting Waikiki and curving toward Diamond Head has protected the area from 93 years of seasonal waves, currents, tides, and storms.

Beyond stabilizing the beach, the new jetty is expected to mitigate the effects of sea level rise.

The state Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, part of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, is overseeing the project and splitting the construction cost with the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association.

The association is funded by a special tax based on the property values of the businesses within the district.

Sam Lemmo, administrator of the Conservation and Coastal Lands office, said the construction was planned for the fall but rescheduled after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic Gov. David Ige’s 14-day quarantine order and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s ban on sitting on the beach left the area open for work, Lemmo said.

“We knew the beaches would be cleared and decided to push the pedal on construction because it would would be very difficult to accomplish with the beach full of tourists,” Lemmo said.

The new jetty being built around the previous structure is about 160 feet long (49 meters) and will have two layers of rock on both sides and a new concrete top. A ridge down the middle will raise the jetty's elevation by a foot to 1.5 feet (30-46 centimeters), Lemmo said.

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