HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s being called an eye sore.
Representative Lisa Marten said, “These are cherished, cherished views.”
Mark Dunner said, “It’s visual pollution to everybody.”
The 4.5-mile-long fence is being constructed along the Marine Corps Training Area Bellows property line.
A portion of that runs along the ridgeline overlooking Keolu Hills in Kailua.
A spokesperson for the military told KHON2 that the fence will be seven feet tall with another foot of barbed wire on top.
Not quite what residents in this Keolu Hills neighborhood are used to seeing when they look out their windows.
The military said the fence is a federal requirement. They started planning it back in 2009 due to an uptick in criminal activity, trespassing and safety concerns regarding people wandering into the area during live training exercises.
Lt. Mark McDonough, MCBH Public Affairs said, “It’s dangerous.”
Lt. McDonough added, “We have been entrusted by the American people and the people of Hawaii to maintain and protect and preserve this training area and we will be able to do all those things better with this fence as a physical barrier.”
Many said they understand the need for the fence, but many have been asking the military to move it off the ridge.
Marten said, “It would be one thing if it was necessary but it’s not necessary it could have been over the ridge line as originally planned and as we were told it would be.”
McDonough said in some areas it simply isn’t possible.
Lt. McDonough said, “The reality is that engineering wise if you bring that fence off the ridge in many places erosion takes over and it takes it down and so that means it’s no longer effective.”
Contractors have already moved the fence in some areas but changes and weather delays are quickly adding up.
The 8.5 million dollar project has already surpassed the nine million dollar mark.
McDonough said they are and will continue to work with the community as much as possible, but they still have a job to do.
Lt. McDonough said, “What we’re balancing the defense of its security wise and also our ability to have maneuvering space within the training area to train and do our job.”
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The fence is scheduled for completion in April 2023.