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Lanikai Pillbox trail reopens on Monday


    The World War II coastal fortifications known as the Lanikai Pillboxes, top right, provide a spectacular view of the Mokulua islands just offshore.

The Lanikai Pillbox trail is set to reopen Monday after a 60-day closure for repairs to the two observation stations, more commonly referred to as the “pillboxes,” state officials announced this evening.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources asked that hikers stay off the trail on Ka‘iwa Ridge while final work is completed this holiday weekend.

Work began June 21, and consisted of concrete spall repair at the “pillboxes.” The contractor, Tokunaga Masonry Inc., also installed new, steel flange roof supports, and applied roof sealant to the World War II-era observation structures to protect them from further weathering.

The project, at a cost of about $248,000, was originally planned for March, but delayed pending Federal Aviation Administration approval of the contractor’s flight plan to transport materials and equipment.

Known for its scenic vistas and iconic structures, the trail has become a popular bucket list destination due to social media and online outlets, according to the state. It is popular among both residents and visitors alike.

To address concerns about trail capacity, visitor safety and comfort, the state, along with planning consultant firm, PBR Hawaii, is developing a master plan for the trail. PBR Hawaii held a public meeting in January, and conducted an online survey, which closed in June.

Future work at the trail will include debris removal by helicopter in September, according to DLNR, which will require another one-day closure. The state is also surveying the trail alignment and developing a strategy for graffiti removal.

Survey findings and updates on the master plan will be posted at this link.

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