Work to smooth pathways at banyan tree underway

The Maui News – Work began last week to remove uneven pavers and to rework sidewalks lifted by roots from the 145-year-old banyan tree in Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation said.

The park will remain open during the four weeks of work, but there will be no special events scheduled during construction, said the foundation, which is managing the $107,600 county Parks and Recreation Department project.

The goal of the project is to reduce “slip and fall” accidents due to the uneven pavers and uplifted sidewalks and to build safer walkways while mitigating the impacts to the roots of the tree, the foundation said.

Arborist Steve Nimtz developed the plans to remove pavers close to the roots and to create new pathways farther away from tree trunks where roots have lifted up sidewalks, the foundation said.

“The health of the tree, the safety of the pedestrians, and the beautification of this park in the heart of the historic district are our priorities,” said Theo Morrison, executive director of Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

The main entrance to the park at the corner of Front and Hotel streets next to the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor also will be getting a face-lift, the foundation said. New planters, pavers and path will be put in.

Betsill Brothers LLC is the contractor. The foundation said it appreciates the public’s patience during the project.

For more information, contact the foundation at 661-3262.