(BIVN) – The County of Hawaiʻi announced this week that there will be partial closures at Richardson Beach Park in the Keaukaha-area of Hlo, as construction work begins next week.
From a Hawaiʻi County news release:
Hawaiʻi County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the start of construction work at Richardson Ocean Park on Monday, June 6, with completion projected for February 2023.
“We understand the timing of this work, at the start of summer and following more than two years of COVID-19 impacts on our community may seem in poor judgment,” said Parks Director Maurice Messina. “However, honoring the County’s and our community’s obligation to provide ADA access at this top-rated beach park is long overdue. The timeframe required to implement the work in this sensitive coastal environment and repair such a significant, historic building meant the project would impact summertime use either this year or next.”
Per Director Messina, once completed, all park users will appreciate the improvements to the park for years to come. “Our Hilo beach parks are used so heavily year-round that there’s never a good time to do construction work. However, our aging shoreline facilities especially require significant repairs and upgrades, and we ask that the public bear with us and accommodate the needed work here.”
Beginning Monday, June 6, the parking lot will be closed for public parking, and a portion of the site, from the parking lot extending to an area below the comfort station, will be coned off for the first phase of construction activity. However, pedestrian access through a portion of the parking lot and around both (ocean and pond) sides of the Richardson Ocean Center will remain open. In addition, the existing restrooms and showers will remain available for public use.
As early as Tuesday, July 5, the construction zone will be expanded to encompass the entire parking lot and perimeter of the Richardson Ocean Center. Access to the shoreline areas of the park will be maintained throughout the project, while access to the sandy beach area will be provided only via the makai side of the building. In addition, the existing showers and public restrooms will be closed for construction work; portable toilet units and handwash stations and a new shower area will be provided for public use for the remainder of the project.
Water Safety Officers of the Hawaiʻi Fire Department will maintain their regular oversight of ocean recreation activities at the park undisrupted by the project.
Please be aware that there may be temporary, short-duration closures of more significant areas of the park when construction operations require such. Likewise, there may be temporary disruptions in water service that will affect the availability of showers. Every effort will be made to provide the public with as much advanced notice as possible.
The project is required for the County’s compliance with its Transition Plan, mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The primary goal of this project is to establish safe and equal access to the public facilities, amenities, and programs at this very popular beach park in Keaukaha. In addition, the project will deliver a significantly improved access route to the famous sandy areas of the park, major renovations to the historic Richardson Ocean Center, and accessibility improvements and needed repairs to the public restrooms, showers, and parking lot.
Site Engineering, Inc., the general contractor, is responsible for all construction activities on this $2,901,000 project.
The Department thanks park users for their understanding and patience during this closure for construction.