KEKAHA – The county will begin the process of relocating the Kekaha lifeguard tower this week.
The tower will be moved approximately 164 yards west of its current location and is expected to take no more than four weeks. Officials estimate the project will be completed by mid-September.
“This is a move that the community has been aware of for several months now,” says Fire Chief Robert Westerman. “Despite several attempts by the County and State to seek a waiver from the requirement, the County determined that it was most prudent to move the tower. However, I would like to be clear that the relocation of the tower will not affect the lifeguards’ ability to protect the health and safety of our beachgoers.”
The permanent move was ordered by the State Department of Transportation, which was notified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last year that the current location of the tower is in violation of the rules governing federal assistance for the Kekaha Beach Road Shore Protection Project. Failure to maintain the project in accordance with these federal requirements could result in the loss of future assistance for shore protection work in this area.
Last week, heavy erosion along the shoreline forced county officials to move the structure back roughly 15 feet, in order to secure the structure. Crews will now work to prepare the area around the new, permanent location.
State crews will be on site this week to survey and clear the area of foliage. Once that is complete, county officials will have a contractor pour the cement foundation and work to relocate the structure with access to fresh water.