The state Department of Transportation plans to remove concrete barriers that have been stored along Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea from today through Friday “to allow for future safety improvements.”
DOT officials said the barriers need to be removed to allow for a shoreline certification that will determine whether DOT must follow the city’s Special Management Area permitting processes or the Conservation District Use Application permitting processes.
DOT maintains that 1,000 feet of concrete barriers installed in December 2013 on the mauka side of Kamehameha Highway prevented people from parking and jaywalking to get to Laniakea Beach — sometimes referred to as Turtle Beach, a popular spot to watch sea turtles.
But the barriers had to come down in 2015 after a successful lawsuit by the Save Laniakea Coalition and five other plaintiffs.
Then on Aug. 1 a 10-year-old boy from San Jose, Calif. was hit by a vehicle while crossing Kamehameha Highway with his family.
DOT said in a news release “that restricting parking on the mauka side of Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea is the most immediate option for improving safety and congestion in the area” and that it will continue to work with city officials on “expedited safety solutions.”
DOT cited a Circuit Court order that says:
The barriers “shall not be reinstalled, in whole or in part, by DOT in the Park Area unless and until
“(1) DOT has complied with all requirements of the law in order to install such barriers, or
“(2) the city lawfully directs the installation of traffic barriers on the Park Area as part of the city’s determination of the permitted and duly authorized usage of its own park land or
“(3) until further order of the court.”
For the long term, DOT said it is pursuing “environmental clearances to move Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea mauka within the highway right-of-way to allow for beach access on the makai side of the road. This measure is estimated to cost between $6-8 million and would take approximately 2-years to obtain the necessary environmental clearances.”