Sand Island Upgrades Are In The Works
The Department of Land and Natural Resources has announced its plans to upgrade the area around Sand Island in the Kalihi-kapalama area. Conceptual plans call for the development of a new marina as well as improvements to the existing park on the west side of Sand Island. The project calls for a private developer to put up approximately $30 million for the renovations. It includes expansion of the existing boat launch ramp facility (to include new canoe pavilions), a boat storage and repair facility, an ocean activity center, marina offices and stores, concessions/café plans, a DLNR office, maintenance facilities, restrooms, the marina (to include 500-600 slips), shoreline access trail to the State Park, canoe and kayak center, and a public access pier. According to the division of Boating and Ocean Recreation the desire is to develop the 80 acres of sheltered water area, which was originally developed as a sea plane runway, to support and enhance ocean recreation. Another 30 acres of undeveloped state-owned lands on the south-west side of the island will be developed to enhance and complement the existing Sand Island State Recreation Area Park. Public and private marina and support facilities are being developed to generate revenue for the department which would be used to maintain the ocean recreation area and possibly other park areas. The proposed improvements and marina all lie within a sheltered water area and is protected by offshore coral reefs, this protects it from ocean waves and provides boats and recreationalists direct access to the open ocean. Meetings are being held this week, and the public has been asked to voice their opinions on the proposed additions and upgrades, but when should residents and users of the recreation area expect to see the work to begin? There are several things that must be completed before work can begin, such as environmental impact statements and permits, and the project is still in early planning stages. If all is approved expect to see construction begin about 2 years from now.