The boardwalk and parking lot are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and will have security from Wackenhut Corp. of Kahului. Maxfield declined to comment on the boardwalk project's troubled history, saying that there was no point in dwelling on it. It has taken the two federal agencies and its private contractors at least $2.6 million and 15 years to build the 2,200-foot-long boardwalk and pocket parking lot. The 691-acre refuge is one of the last remaining natural wetlands in the Hawaiian archipelago. The boardwalk runs through the bird sanctuary and parallel to Sugar Beach between Kihei and Ma‘alaea
The Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge boardwalk is now open to the public.
Photo: Debra Lordan