Kailua Beach sand replenishment begins

Kailua Boat Ramp, parking lot closed during the project

 UPDATED 6:26 PM HST Apr 01, 2013
KAILUA, Hawaii -

Bulldozers and dump trucks -- two things you usually don't see along one of Oahu's most popular beaches.

But, these big machines are a sign of hope for some sunbathers and beach goers.

"It definitely needs something because the erosion is so severe, especially on that end," said Windward Oahu resident Tracy Connor.

The sand erosion from the winter swells have been so bad the majority of the pristine coastline near the Kailua Boat Ramp is gone.

Erosion threatened the ramp and the nearby parking lot.  That is why the city Parks and Recreation Department filed an emergency permit with the U.S. Corps of Engineers to start restoring sand at Kailua Beach on Monday.

"In order to prevent the foundation from being washed out, we want to replace what sand was lost here from the sand that has been dredged by Kaelepulu Stream as well," said Jessie Paahana with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The city will dump about 3,000 cubic yards of sand along Kailua Beach.  That equals out to 428 truck loads of sand.

The Kailua Boat Ramp and the nearby parking lot will be closed as crews work under a tight schedule set partly by Mother Nature.  Officials hope to complete the project in two weeks.

"They are trying to work within the tide levels.  This week they are in extreme low tide and they want to get as much sand as they can out there now as opposed to next week when the high tides are expected," said Paahana.

City Project Manager Jerome Fukuda says the big overhaul will bring the beach back to what it looked like before this past winter.

"I think it's good the city is paying attention to these things, but I think we lack a systemic look at the whole problem," said Windward Oahu resident Ted Ralston.

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