City officials said construction for new playgrounds at five Oahu parks is underway, with work expected to begin next week at Waimanalo Beach Park.
Foundational work, which includes the removal of old playground equipment, grading, the pouring of a new concrete pad, along with improvements to walkways, ramps and landscaping has already been done at Wailupe Community Park and Aina Koa Neighborhood Park in East Honolulu.
The Department of Parks and Recreation said work at Waimanalo Beach Park, which may be home to culturally sensitive sites, will be done with an archaeologist from Pacific Legacy Inc. on hand to monitor the project. The archaeologists will closely examine the soil as excavation occurs, and if any cultural artifacts are found, excavation will be halted, and the State Historic Preservation Office will be consulted.
After Waimanalo, workers will begin construction at Lanakila District Park in Kalihi and Geiger Community Park in Ewa Beach.
A contract of more than $935,000 was awarded to Hawai‘i Works, Inc. for this foundational work, which is scheduled to be done near the end of 2021, barring unforeseen circumstances, officials said.
A separate $1 million contract to install the new playgrounds on the foundations at the same parks has been awarded to Goto Construction Inc.
The timeline for playground installations will be determined later, depending on when foundational work is done, and the delivery schedule of the equipment.
Funds for the new playgrounds were made possible by more than $1.5 million in federal funding to support improvements to city and state parks, as announced by U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono on Wednesday. Of that total, $653,036 was awarded to the City and County of Honolulu, which will be used for these playgrounds.
The department said new playground installations are also ongoing at Hahaione Neighborhood Park and Ahuimanu Community Park through separate projects.