Vehicles were removed and boulders installed Tuesday at the Wailua Beach parking lot by the bridge to prohibit vehicular access to Wailua River. Photo courtesy of KPD

The Kaua‘i Police Department is continuing its efforts to help restore a greater sense of safety to public spaces around the island. The most recent endeavor included the parking lot of Wailua Beach, adjacent to the bridge, according to a County of Kaua‘i news release.

On Tuesday around 7 a.m., Kaua‘i police helped community members vacate the area beside the Wailua Bridge where people have been driving and illegally parking their vehicles for more than a year.

Approximately two weeks prior to Tuesday, Līhu‘e District Commander Lt. Scott Brede and Hanalei District Commander Acting Lt. Darren Rose organized routine visits to the area to provide an advanced warning to the owners of the vehicles that they needed to vacate the premises.

All vehicles were successfully removed on Tuesday and with the help of representatives from the County of Kaua‘i’s Parks and Recreation Department, a new set of boulders was installed to prevent vehicle owners from continuing to illegally drive and park at the Wailua River mouth.

“We are responding to numerous public complaints regarding this specific area,” Detective Barry DeBlake said. “In keeping with Chief Todd Raybuck’s Crime Reduction Goals, KPD has initiated a project that will be completed in phases. The result will be to take back this part of the Wailua Bridge and make it safer for the public to use once again.”

Photo of Wailua Beach by the bridge taken prior to vehicle removals. Photo courtesy of KPD

The removal of the vehicles and installation of the boulders completes Phase I of this KPD project.

Phase II is slated for March and will include a collaboration between KPD, the County of Kaua‘i and the state Department of Transportation.

The goal of this phase is not only to combat unsafe and criminal activity but to continue making contact with community members who are living underneath the Wailua Bridge and provide them with assistance services that offer help with shelter and employment guidance.

“I want to say a special ‘thank you’ to Det. DeBlake who has been spearheading this project. This is just the beginning of what we have in the works to make our public spaces more comfortable for the entire community to use once again,” KPD Chief Raybuck said. “I also want to thank everyone else at KPD who has been extremely proactive with these endeavors, as well as our county and state partners.”

Photo of Wailua Beach by the bridge taken prior to vehicle removals. Photo courtesy of KPD