The internationally famous Mākaha Surfing Beach and its facilities must be preserved and protected. Any new bridge or roadwork on Farrington Highway at or near the beach should incorporate the community's preferred mauka route to the north and northwest of Mākaha Beach Park as depicted on the master plan for the Mākaha Beach Park, dated May 24, 1999. If the current bridges are rebuilt as planned at their current location, such an investment (current cost of $23 M) will jeopardize the preferred mauka reroute and the Mākaha Beach Park project until these new bridges need replacement 70-100 years from now. It is extremely unlikely that anyone would be willing to tear them down for many years from now to build the mauka route and park. The community has voiced its concerns since the mid-1980s. If the current Mākaha Bridges replacement project proceeds as planned, the placing of the PROJECT's temporary bypass road on the makai side of Farrington highway will place the Mākaha Beach ecosystem in immediate peril, especially if the "five-year flood level standard" temporary bridges are washed into the bay by inland flooding or ocean surge. If the mauka route is constructed, there will be no need to construct a temporary bypass route because the current route will be fully available.
Update 12/22: the Mākaha Bridges are being re-constructed; DOT didn’t do as planned to construct the steel bridges on the kai side of Mākaha Beach; DOT opted to construct off-site and install with minimal lane closures. But the facts still stand, the Master Plan is a much safer and smarter choice as it will take the bridges out of the flood zone and keep us safe from high surf, climate change, natural disasters, and the natural effects of beach erosion. It will also take away this straightaway route known for speeding and a lot of drunk driving and showcase the beauty of Mākaha with a more scenic route.
Why is this important?
Update 12/22: Being that the newly constructed bridges are still in a FEMA “flood zone,” the community is still concerned about climate change and beach erosion that we see happening today. We need to be proactive about these safety measures, considering there's only one way in and out; no alternative means the community would be stranded in a disaster, no way to receive emergency services, food supplies, etc. Is there an emergency plan of action for a case like this?
There is also a desire to restore ancient marshlands (muliwai), a culturally significant area where Ohana's (families) are meant to come malama and gather, it'll be an outdoor classroom for all; if the water is restored, we could raise fish to conserve the environment and reintroduce some endemic to this area which is O'opu, 'Ōpae, Anae, HawaiianDamselfly and other natural resources that are impacted by Kili Drive and the two bridges currently standing. The Master Plan is a much safer and smarter choice as it will take the bridges out of the flood zone and keep us safe from high surf, climate change, natural disasters, and the natural effects of beach erosion. It will also take away this straightaway route that is known for speeding, drunk driving, and fatalities, and it'll also showcase the beauty of Mākaha with a more scenic route.
How it will be delivered
I emailed and hand-delivered signatures to all these decision-makers last year; we are still pursuing this re-route, please consider signing and sharing.