Lead cleanup planned for beach parks on Big Island

HILO, Hawaii — Officials say two beach parks on the Big Island could reopen this summer after closing in 2017 because of contamination.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports lead was found at Hakalau and Kolekole beach parks, which are located in gulches under state Highway 19 north of Hilo.

Officials say lead paint flaked off spans of highway bridges.

Don Smith, district engineer for the state Department of Transportation, says cleanup could be completed in May or June for Kolekole and July or August for Hakalau.

Cleanup should begin after boring is conducted at Kolekole to determine the contamination depth. Officials also need additional assessments at Hakalau to find the exact extent of the contaminated area.

Smith says cleanup could be as simple as removing the top soil.

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