09/16/14 – State Begins Phase 2 Construction Of Diamond Head-Fort Ruger PathwayPosted on Sep 16, 2014 in News Releases, State Parks
DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
WILLIAM J. AILA JR,
For Immediate News Release September 16, 2014
STATE BEGINS PHASE 2 CONSTRUCTION
OF DIAMOND HEAD-FORT RUGER PATHWAY
Groundbreaking continues beautification of park exterior
HONOLULU –The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has begun work to complete the Fort Ruger Pathway on the exterior slopes of Diamond Head State Monument.
A groundbreaking ceremony for phase two of the pathway improvements was held today at the park, led by Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson William Aila, Jr., and attended by legislators and representatives of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), Kapiolani Community College, Diamond Head Citizens Advisory Committee, and the state Department of Defense (which shares management and jurisdiction of Diamond Head State Monument).
The Fort Ruger Pathway next to Diamond Head/Monsarrat Drive, provides residents and visitors an accessible multi-use path along the exterior slopes of the monument for cyclists and pedestrians –many of whom walk from Waikiki-area hotels to visit the park and its historic summit hike.
This phase will complete the final section of the pathway (to its terminus near Diamond Head Road and 22nd Avenue) and install irrigation and landscaping using appropriate native plant species. Work is expected to be completed by March 2015.
“We are pleased to be carrying out the second phase of the Fort Ruger Pathway on the slopes where Fort Ruger once stood,”Aila said. “This day is made possible thanks to the support of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the Legislature, and community partners who helped us formulate the vision for Diamond Head that is laid out in the 2003 Diamond Head State Monument Master Plan Update.
The project is funded with Hawaii Tourism Authority funds and additional Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds. Total project cost for phase 2 is $1.15 million
Phase 1 of the Fort Ruger Pathway, completed in August 2013, improved the pathway from near the intersection of Diamond Head Road and Wauke Street (near the old Cannon Club site) to near Diamond Head Road and across from the American Red Cross building. Phase 1 work cost $1.37 million.
Aila continued: “The completed pathway and surrounding areas will encompass 12 acres that will beautify the natural landscape and provide recreational opportunities for walkers and bicyclists. There will also be interpretive signs to share the history of the former Fort Ruger Military Reservation.
“In the future, we are hopeful that we will be able to accomplish the other elements of the Diamond Head master plan that will help us better share this significant cultural, geological and historical site as a leading destination in Hawaii.”
Diamond Head (or Leahi), along with Waikiki Beach and Punchbowl, is one of the most iconic locations by which Hawaii is known to the world. Each year, thousands of visitors arrive by foot, car, bus or trolley to experience the interior of a volcanic crater, and climb its historic summit trail to enjoy the brisk ocean breeze and panorama of south Oahu’s coastline, Waikiki and the Koolau and Waianae mountains.”
Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater. It receives more than 900,000 visitors annually and ranks among one of the top visitor destinations according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
# # #
Images are available on Google at https://plus.google.com/u/0/101613020396360217549/posts
Public Information Specialist