More time needed for Kuawa ball fields

  • TOM CALLIS/Tribune-Herald
    New ball fields along Kamehameha Avenue remain closed.

A new park along Kamehameha Avenue isn’t turning into a field of dreams, at least not yet.

Heavy rains during the past few months have repeatedly created ruts or bald spots on the grass planted at the Kuawa ball fields, causing the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation to push back opening dates.

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“There are now more holes than we originally started out with,” Director Roxcie Waltjen said Wednesday.

In November, she projected that an opening ceremony would take place early this month.

Waltjen said there are no new opening dates yet.

“We’ll have no new date until we know the field is flat and that people can run on it without breaking their legs,” she said. “We’ve been replacing, filling potholes and leveling it off.”

The grass needs time to grow and become firmly rooted before the fields can be used, Waltjen said. As of Thursday, weeds were crowding home plate on the unused baseball diamond.

She said she doesn’t expect the erosion to be a continuing problem after the park opens.

The $3.36 million project started in May 2016 and initially was scheduled to be complete the following October. A fuel line discovered underneath the site also caused some delays.

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The park, located at the corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Manono Street, includes a baseball field, as well as soccer and football fields.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.