Hapuna to remain closed through early November
A popular South Kohala beach park and its cabins are closed through at least early November.
The closure of the two sites at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area follows a waterline break on Oct. 8 that left no water source for restrooms, showers and other facilities at the beach park and A-frame cabins. Without water, the state said it has no means to manage human waste, requiring the closure.
“State Parks apologizes for the inconvenience and is working as fast as the procurement process allows given the challenges with supply chains and available contractors,” the division said in an emailed response to questions. “In the interim, State Parks is evaluating the ability to temporarily bring in portable toilets, so that the park can reopen, but just not with rinsing shower of comfort stations and no cabin use. There is too much use and long stays by the public to not have a method to manage human waste.”
The division said the length of the closure is due to the state initially having trouble finding a contractor that was both capable of doing the work and obtaining the required materials. Work includes replacing 80 feet of 4-inch diameter high-density polyethylene piping, installing coupling with electric fusing and associated soil and asphalt work.
The cost of the repair work is anticipated to be around $10,000.
The park has been plagued by numerous waterline breaks over the past few years, the state said, admitting that the previous waterline material used was “not as durable as anticipated.”
However, that could be a thing of the past as a full overhaul is planned in the coming year, the division said. Work includes full waterline replacement. Earlier this year, Gov. David Ige released $3.2 million for plans, design and construction for replacement of the water systems serving the park.
“The release of the CIP awarded by the Legislature is also on the horizon, and that will allow for a complete overhaul of the water system with more durable materials and provide a consistent water supply,” the division said.
Hapuna Beach was named the No. 1 beach in the U.S. in 2021 by Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, a professor at Miami’s Florida International University. He’s produced the Top 10 list since 1991 using 50 criteria to evaluate beaches, including water and sand quality as well as safety and management.
The South Kohala site did not make the 2022 list.