Nimitz Highway Landscaping Could Wrap Up Ahead of APEC

Landscaping along Nimitz highway that was scheduled to be completed before the beginning of the upcoming APEC conferences might finish ahead of schedule. The project will make the trip from the Honolulu Airport to the Waikiki area much more scenic, adding a more Hawaiian feel to the drive as dignitaries and leaders from all over the APEC member nations arrive in Honolulu for the week long conferences. More than a mile of coconut palm and Fiji fan palm trees and two acres of St. Augustine grass will become the new face lift for the Kalihi area and the stretch of Nimitz highway. Originally estimated at costing about 1.3 million dollars to complete, overtime pay to finish up before the APEC conferences start will likely push the projects over their expected budget as the state transportation department is now working a seven-day-a-week schedule to ensure the project is completed by November 6. Not only did crews have to landscape the narrow median along Nimitz highway, but they also had to dig ditches and install irrigation systems for all of those tropical plants.  The upgrades to the street are a major improvement, and will far outlast the APEC conferences; they will become the new welcome to Hawaii. When visitors leave the airport now they will be greeted by the picturesque beauty of the palm trees and green grass, which will now welcome visitors to Hawaii instead of the unoriginal, anywhere-in-the-world look the street portrayed before.Getting off the ground because of the APEC conferences to be held in Honolulu, this project will offer a much better first impression for the visitors, dignitaries, and representatives of APEC; after the conference is over the new landscaping will remain a constant more “Hawaiian” welcome to visitors and tourists for years to come.

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