Hawaii & Alaska
The Royal Hawaiian groin at Waikīkī Beach.

HI - Construction to begin on Waikiki groin replacement project

HONOLULU — Construction crews are slated to start work earlier than scheduled on a replacement groin in Waikiki since fewer people are on the beach amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Construction is scheduled to start Monday on the new 160-foot-long groin in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and is expected to take two months to complete.

The $1.5 million project was originally scheduled for the fall, but was moved up because of restrictions on beach activity after Gov. David Ige imposed a statewide stay-at-home order to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The existing groin connected to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel seawall was installed in 1927 to protect the Waikiki beach, but structural engineers have said it is at risk of failing with more than 50% submerged and broken.

Engineers have discovered multiple signs of deterioration including leaking sand, large voids, cracks and the lack of internal reinforcement.

If it fails, erosion could eat away more than 1,700 feet of sandy shoreline on the east side of the groin, where millions of people visit annually.

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