Lots of repair work planned on state land

As disclosed on the front page of The Garden Island last week, state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials will be making repairs to various facilities around the island which will preclude camping in certain Division of Forestry and Wildlife camping facilities at Koke‘e.

This weekend, DLNR officials outlined the various improvements planned.

State DLNR officials beginning next month will begin working on improvements to the Koke‘e hunter check-in station and forestry picnic areas, including, Lapa, Alaka‘i Vista and Sugi Grove, they said in a press release.

The forest reserve will remain open for day use, but due to the extensive construction, camping facilities at Kawaikoi and Sugi Grove will need to be closed, starting in early May and lasting until mid-August 2006.

In addition to the hunter check-in station and picnic area projects, DLNR is carrying out additional improvement projects this summer at Keahua Arboretum, located within the Lihu‘e-Koloa state forest reserves; and at the DLNR Forestry and Wildlife base yard in Lihu‘e.

“These improvements are part of the Lingle-Aiona administration’s multi-year, multi-million- dollar, capital-improvement program to upgrade our state park and recreational areas,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.

“It represents the first major reconstruction of facilities in the past 40 years,” he said.

“They are designed to ensure the safety and comfort of all residents and visitors who use them. We will provide portable toilets and an alternative access to the trails,” Young said.

In the beginning of May, BCP Construction of Hawaii will begin renovation work at the Koke‘e hunter check-in station and at the Kawaikoi, Lapa, Alaka‘i Vista, and Sugi Grove picnic areas, at a cost of $147,448.

Completion is expected by mid-August 2006.

As reported earlier, much of the improvements are to bring the areas into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Site Engineering this month is making trail repairs, renovating the existing composting toilets, and installing an accessible parking stall at the Keahua Arboretum, at a cost of $109,100. Completion is expected by the end of July.

The arboretum is located down the road from the Wailua Reservoir. This site is home to monkeypod, mango, and fragrant eucalyptus trees.

Picnic tables and pavilions are scattered throughout the areas.

Several streams and freshwater pools that feed into the Wailua River flow nearby, and provide a cool, relaxing area to swim and frolic, Young said.

Numerous trails start or pass by here, such as the Kuilau Ridge Trail and Powerline Trail, as well as the trail through the arboretum.

Towering Mount Wai‘ale‘ale can be seen from here.

At the same time, Pacific Blue Construction is renovating DLNR’s Forestry and Wildlife baseyard facilities, which consists of repairing the picnic shelter, building new concrete walkways, railing work, parking- stall striping and signs, and restroom renovations, at a total cost of $115,647.

Completion is expected by mid-August.

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