State begins work on road to Mahaiula Monday


The Department of Land and Natural Resources is beginning a $188,000 project to repair the entry road to the Mahaiula section of Kekaha Kai State Park Monday.

The work, which should take three to four weeks, will require weekday closures of the park, officials said. The park will be closed from Monday through May 3, but will be open on Saturdays and Sundays during that period.

In May, the contractor will begin working on the Maniniowali, or Kua Bay, section of the park. Contractor George M. Oye Inc. will build a new outdoor rinsing shower and make waterline improvements. The park will remain open, but there will be construction near the parking lot and beach pathway. The project is expected to be finished by July.

Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast) State Park is located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, 2.6 miles north of Kona International Airport. Separate 1.5-mile access roads from the highway lead to the Mahaiula (unpaved) and Maniniowali (paved) sections of the park. The Mahaiula section has a sandy beach and dune with opportunities for swimming and beach-related activities. A picnic area with tables is available. A 4.5-mile hike north through this wilderness park on the historic coastal trail, Ala Kahakai, leads to the Kua Bay section at the north end of park and beach-related activities. Midway, a hike to the summit of Puu Kuili, a 342-foot high cinder cone, offers an excellent view of the coastline. The park can be dry and hot, and is equipped with restrooms, picnic tables and trash cans, but no drinking water. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.