Canoe paddlers cross Maunalua Bay at Sunset
Canoe paddlers cross Maunalua Bay at Sunset
Canoe paddlers cross Maunalua Bay at Sunset

HONOLULU How many years does it take to repair a public restroom? At least one case – at Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai – it took the City & County of Honolulu about four years to repair the public restroom facilities.

In 2010, the city boarded up restrooms at Maunalua Bay, one of the state’s most popular parks. The city pledged the facilities would be reopen as soon as the sewer pipes could be installed to bring the bathroom up to federal code.

Four years – and three mayors – later, the City & County of Honolulu announced the restrooms will reopen on Saturday, April 19.

Maunalua Bay, which fronts the Hawaii Kai community on the pristine south east coast of Oahu, is a gathering place for stand up paddlers, canoe paddlers, kayakers, fisherman and families who want to enjoy the bay’s beauty.

The bay, which hosts a city canoe halau for Hui Nalu canoe club and other canoe clubs, has a rare commodity on the island – room for boaters to park or launch their boats or organize their canoes.

Firefighters also perform drills there. Tourists often stop to snap photos of spectacular sunsets.

During the holiday season, more than 20,000 runners in the Honolulu Marathon pass by, and throughout the rest of the year, many people gather at the Bay for official water sport racing or holiday events.

The restrooms closed after the City was mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health to close down all large capacity cesspools.

Because there was no City sewer system to connect to in the highly populated area, the City pursued connecting to a private sewer system operated by Hawaii American Water. The connection was approximately 1,200 feet away across Kalanianaole Highway down Keahole Street.

The project had to be approved by the state, Hawaii American Waters, and Bishop Estate as well meet regulatory requirements such as NPDES, SMA and Shoreline Setback.

The project was scheduled to be completed in early 2013 at a cost of $350,000 but was not completed until about a year and a half past the scheduled date of completion.