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HONOLULU (AP) — A portion of the sidewalks along Kalakaua Avenue will soon get an overhaul.

The overhaul is the first major Waikiki sidewalk project since the city readied the tourism district to host the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering, the Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

The city said the project will begin May 1 and continue until January. The project includes repairing existing Kalakaua Avenue sidewalks with quartzite rock pavers, modifying or adding landscape strips, drainage improvements, irrigation systems and more.

In addition to sprucing up the sidewalks, city and private interests are increasingly looking for ways to implement landscaping and sidewalk designs that are designed to make loitering and sleeping on the sidewalk more difficult.

“We are definitely trying to remove attractive nuisances,” said Rick Egged, Waikiki Improvement Association president. “We are trying to clean up the urban landscape.”

Waikiki resident Dave Moskowitz said this week’s removal of a bench in front of the Coco Cove convenience store is an example of how public and private interests can work together to address long-standing neighborhood concerns.

“That was getting to be a very seedy area,” Moskowitz said. “People were hanging out there sleeping, loitering and selling drugs. There were fights and other problems with crime. I’d like to see more of these areas addressed to create more open, safe space.”

Robert Finley, Waikiki Neighborhood Board chairman, said the work will be welcome in Waikiki despite the disruptions.

“There will be a good deal of construction, which will disrupt things a little, but this is needed for safety reasons,” Finley said. “It’s the omelet-and-the-egg thing. You have to break the egg to make the omelet. In the end it will be beautiful.”


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser,