Waikiki sand replenishment project behind schedule

South swells delayed efforts; work scheduled to finish in early May

 UPDATED 11:33 PM HST Apr 16, 2012

The state's $2.2 million project to replenish sand on Waikiki beach is running behind schedule and crews are racing to finish it before the summer, according to state officials.

The project started in late January.  The state said early south swells stalled replenishment efforts.

Beach closures are set through Thursday between 7 a.m. and noon.

Work is now expected to be finished in early May.

Earlier this year, crews pumped offshore sand to fill in the shoreline that will grow by as much as 37 feet.

Longtime Waikiki Beachboy Aki Akiyama said he appreciates the hard work crews are putting in, but pumping loosened pieces of coral that are now washing up on shore is causing injuries.

The state said after the project is complete, crews will spend a couple of months cleaning the beach of coral and rock.

"We believe that this project will have long-lasting effect at least for 10 years, and the beach will be nice and wide and beautiful for everybody," said Sam Lemmo, the administrator for the state's Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands.

Click on this link for updates on closures along Waikiki's Kuhio Beach.

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