Maui Business

Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company wins grand award at Build Hawaiʻi ceremony

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General Contractors Association Executive Director Cheryl Walthall. PC: General Contractors Association of Hawaiʻi

Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, the state’s oldest and largest full-service general contractor founded in 1902, received the grand award for its work on Kō‘ula at Ward Village.

The project is a 41-story mixed-use development readily identifiable by its tower’s sculpted 400-foot-tall exterior columns known as “wallumns.”

The company received the prestigious recognition at the General Contractors Association of Hawaiʻi’s 20th annual Build Hawaiʻi Awards ceremony at the Sheraton Waikīkī on Sept. 9.

The General Contractors Association of Hawaiʻi presented its 2023 Construction Industry Partnership Award to Todd Barnes, retired chief of the engineering and construction division at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. PC: General Contractors Association of Hawaiʻi

The General Contractors Association is the state’s largest construction association, representing more than 500 general contractors, subcontractors and construction-related firms. This is the 20th anniversary of the Build Hawaiʻi Awards, the association’s annual signature awards program that showcases outstanding construction projects completed in the previous year. 

This year, there were more than 30 entries submitted for the annual awards program in 17 different categories. All of the projects were completed in 2022, with projects of different sizes, both public works projects and private sector projects, and renovation projects to new construction projects. The entries were judged on eight criteria:

  • Meeting the challenge of a difficult job
  • Excellence in project management
  • Contractor’s innovation in construction techniques, materials and value engineering
  • Quality
  • Contractor’s sensitivity to the environment and surroundings
  • Excellence in client service
  • Contractor’s contributions to the community
  • Safety

An award of excellence is presented to the top project in each category, based on a scoring system. The best of the best, voted by the judges from among all the award of excellence recipients in all of the categories, receives the coveted Build Hawaiʻi grand award.


In addition to the grand award, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company’s Kō‘ula entry received an award of excellence in the category of building construction for projects $25 million and above. Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company also received an award of excellence in the category of industrial projects, the company was recognized for its renovation of three cooling towers of the Hamakua Energy Cooling Tower in Honoka‘a on Hawaiʻi Island, which supplies more than 20% of the island’s electrical generating capacity.

Other awards of excellence recipients:

  •  Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc. in the design-build/design-assist construction category for Hale Kalele/Hale Hilinai, a mixed-use development featuring an affordable rental tower, juvenile services center and shelter, and six-story parking garage, jointly developed through a public-private partnership between the State of Hawaiʻi Judiciary and the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation. 
  • Dorvin D. Leis, Co for its design-build mechanical services for Maui Wound Care Clinic, the Valley Isle’s first wound care center, in the category of subcontractors of $250,000 to under $1 million.
  • Healy Tibbitts Builders received two awards of excellence. In the municipal and utilities construction category, the company was recognized for its work on the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant ocean outfall shoreline revetment. In the category of specialty construction of $3 million and above, Healy Tibbits Builders was recognized for its successful completion of the Honolulu Harbor maintenance dredging project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore the vital entrance and inner harbor navigation channels to their designed depths.
  • Hensel Phelps Construction Company for its renovation of the Grand Wailea Botero Lounge and Grand Dining in the category of renovation/remodeling.
  • Kaikor Construction Group for its work to make temporary and permanent repairs to the Waimea Swinging Bridge, a 245-foot long cable and wood suspension bridge in category of specialty construction under $1 million.
  • Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. received two awards of excellence: one in the infrastructure category for its work on the Rotary Wing Parking Apron at Wheeler Army Airfield and another in the highway construction category for making Kolekole bridge repairs on Māmalahoa Highway in Honomū on Hawaiʻi Island to restore access for the community. 
  • Koga Engineering and Construction for its work on the final phase of the Command And Control Facility Complex Phase 3 at Fort Shafter, which included foundations and infrastructure for three buildings on more than 13 acres. This was for the category of subcontractors of $1 million and above.
  •  Moss & Associates, LLC for its construction of Mililani I Solar’s photovoltaic field with battery storage system to provide power to more than 15,500 Oʻahu homes. This was for the environment category.
  • Nordic PCL Construction for the construction of 28-story Līlia Waikīkī, the first high-rise rental condominium built in Waikīkī in decades, in the category of residential projects of $5 million and above.
  • Ralph S. Inouye Co for its construction of the Bank of Hawaiʻi-Kahala Branch to replace the 54-year-old branch with “Branch of Tomorrow” – combining technological convenience, excellent customer service and a sense of place. This was for the category of building construction, from $10 million to under $25 million.
  • Sea Engineering, Inc. for its work to replace the Arizona Memorial shoreside dock and mooring system in the category of specialty construction of $1 million to under $3 million.
  • StarCom Builders, Inc for its classroom renovations at Central Middle School. This was a collaborative effort among the Department of Education, Ke‘elikolani Middle School, Gordian, Bowers + Kubota, and StarCom Builders, Inc., and their subcontractors to create a positive learning environment for AtPromise youth. This was for the category, building construction under $1 million.
  • Swinerton for the construction of Waikīkī Market by Food Pantry, Ltd., a new two-story, 32,000-square-foot dining and shopping destination on the first and second levels of the new Līlia Waikīkī tower. This was recognized in the category of building construction of $1 million to under $10 million.

In addition to the Build Hawaiʻi Awards, the General Contractors Association presented its 2023 Construction Industry Partnership Award to Todd Barnes, retired chief of the engineering and construction division at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District. 


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