Leeward residents still waiting for sand replenishment at Makaha Beach Park

Local News

Folks in Leeward Oahu say erosion is creating a safety concern for visitors at a local beach.

A video taken at Makaha Beach Park shows how waves have washed away mounds of sand, with the erosion getting dangerously close to the road.

It’s been an ongoing problem at this beach and residents who live in the area say they’re worried the upcoming winter swells will make the problem even worse.

We spoke with State Senator Maile Shimabukuro and she says she’s been in contact with state and city officials who have been working to restore the sand for visitors at Makaha Beach Park.

The erosion is nothing new. “Makaha Beach has stayed the same since February,” says resident Bunky Bakutis. “It’s totally eroded.”

Bakutis says the problem seems to have gotten significantly worse over the last few months. Crews usually replenish the sand during the summer, but Bakutis says that hasn’t happened yet.

“They try to do it in summertime. Now, it’s already winter, and the erosion is happening again. If they don’t come and do something, then the road is gonna get totally wiped out.”

The erosion has gotten so bad, it’s created a big drop-off very close to where cars are parked and concrete pillars are now exposed.

“Kids playing around on pilings that have jagged edges and rebars sticking out — it’s a real concern,” says Shimabukuro. “We’d like to see it put up there as number-one priority for the safety of our people down here.”

Shimabukuro says she reached out earlier and contacted the state Dept. of Land and Natural Resources and the city Parks and Recreation Dept., and they agreed to come in June and met up with Bakutis and others from the community to assess the situation. In September, the DLNR gave the city permission to conduct the sand replenishment.

She says, however, there was an unexpected setback. “They were aiming for September, but they did state their bulldozer was in the shop for repairs.”

Shimabukuro says she’ll be checking in with city and state officials on the progress, but until then, she’s asking her constituents to be patient.

“The city and state do hear you and they’re working together as fast as they can to address the problem,” she says. “I hope that that can be developed — some kind of plan between city and state — so that there’s an annual sand pushing that just happens.”

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