HANA PIER TO BE REMOVED FOLLOWING PUBLIC OPPOSITION TO IMPROVEMENT PLAN
News Release from State DoE, January 6, 2016
KAHULUI – Based on feedback and input received from the Hana community the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) will not proceed with the Hana Pier rehabilitation project. HDOT reviewed various options for rebuilding the pier and discussed the plans with the community. Given the opposition to the improvements HDOT will remove the Pier.
The estimated cost of the removal is $3.5 million. The additional $16.5 million assigned to the project will be returned to the Harbors Division for use in other improvement projects within the state.
“Due to the safety concerns with the aging facility the improvements to the pier are a necessity. Leaving the pier in its current condition is not an option,” said Ford Fuchigami, HDOT Director. “However, we have listened to the residents and heard their opposition to commercial use of the facility and will now remove the pier.”
Excluding commercial use does not align with the mission of HDOT Harbors Division which is to manage commercial harbors for loading, off-loading, and handling of cargo, passengers, and vessels.
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be conducted on the pier’s removal. The EIS is anticipated to take a year to complete. The public is allowed to make additional comments to be included in the EIS.
“We put forward our best effort to provide the Hana community with a new and useful pier,” said State Senator J. Kalani English, whose District 7 includes Hana. The Senator had pushed for the improvements for years and had secured funding for the project in order to provide the community access in times of emergency. “Options were presented to residents and after a review of the feedback, this is the overwhelming response from the community, so we will abide by their choice.”
In order to gauge the sentiment of the Hana community, a survey was sent to each household in the Hana zip code. In addition, multiple community meetings were held in Hana regarding the project.
The Hana Pier was built in the early 1920’s originally as a commercial harbor under the jurisdiction of HDOT. The facility was transferred to the Department of Land & Natural Resources Boating Division in the early 2000’s, then conveyed back to HDOT in 2010. Shortly after the transfer, investigations of the facility determined it was unsafe and the pier was condemned and closed.