Hāna Pier to Be Removed Following Opposition to Improvement Plan

January 6, 2016, 11:22 AM HST · Updated January 6, 11:22 AM
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Hāna pier, file photo 2011 by Wendy Osher.

Hāna pier, file photo 2011 by Wendy Osher.

Based on feedback and input received from the Hāna community, the state Department of Transportation will not proceed with the Hāna Pier rehabilitation project.

HDOT reviewed options for rebuilding the pier and discussed the plans with the community.

Given the opposition to proposed 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 other improvement projects within the state.

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“Due to the safety concerns with the aging facility the improvements to the pier are a necessity,”said HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami. “Leaving the pier in its current condition is not an option. 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—to manage commercial harbors for loading, off-loading, and handling of cargo, passengers and vessels.

An Environmental Impact Statement 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 Hāna community with a new and useful pier,” said state Sen. J. Kalani English, whose District 7 includes Hāna.

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,” said Sen. English.

In order to gauge the sentiment of the Hāna community, a survey was sent to each household in the Hāna zip code. In addition, multiple community meetings were held in Hāna regarding the project.

Hāna Pier was built in the early 1920s, 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 2000s, 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.

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