Coast Guard to Temporarily Move Navigation Aids Near Hilo Harbor to Assist with Dredging of Harbor

The Coast Guard began temporarily moving aids to navigation in Hilo Harbor, Hawai’i, Sunday, to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with planned dredging operations.
Harbor BuoysAs previously released, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Essayons will conduct maintenance dredging in March and April starting in Nawiliwili last week, and then at Kalaeloa (Barbers Point), Hilo, Kahului, and Honolulu harbors. Mariners should NOT rely on the aids to navigation that are relocated.

Mariners entering or departing Hilo Harbor during this time period are encouraged to contact the Essayons to determine the location of dredging operations and coordinate passing arrangements. Mariners should transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake when in the vicinity of the dredge and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made.

All waterway users should transit with caution when in the vicinity of the dredging vessel and operate at a safe speed when the potential for hazards such as dredging components are present. During operations near Barbers Point no aids will need to be moved but mariners should exercise caution around dredging operations.

The following buoys will be temporarily relocated starting March 27, 2016 through April 11, 2016. These dates may vary due to unforeseen on-site conditions, weather and other factors. See attached graphic.

Hilo Harbor Buoy 6 (LLNR 28080) relocated in approximate position 19-43-51.80N/ 155- 03-51.00W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Buoy 7 (LLNR 28085) relocated in approximate position 19-44-06.62N/ 155- 03-40.04W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Lighted Buoy 9 (LLNR 28105) relocated in approximate position 19-44- 05.10N/ 155-03-28.00W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Lighted Buoy 10 (LLNR 28110) relocated in approximate position 19-43- 44.95N/ 155-03-29.77W in 10ft of water.

Again, the relocated buoys may be in shoal water and should NOT be used for navigation.

General safety information regarding operating in the vicinity of dredging vessels can be found in Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 14-15. This safety alert and other information about the 2016 Maintenance Dredge Project can be found on the Sector Honolulu homeport website under the Waterways Management page and Hawaii Commercial Harbor 2016 Maintenance Dredging tab.

Hawaii is a maritime state over 2,400 miles from the mainland and far more dependent on its harbors than most of the United States. The Hawaii state DOT claims that over 80 percent of all consumer goods – food, clothing, autos, building supplies, machinery, paper, and allied products, medical supplies, and agricultural materials – are imported into the state. Of that 80 percent, approximately 98 percent enters Hawaii though commercial harbors on the major islands.

To ensure that these vital goods continue to arrive safely in Hawaii, the Essayons crew will dredge approximately 290,000 cubic yards from the five key harbors. The dredge-material will be safely disposed of at EPA-designated ocean disposal sites.

For questions about the dredging operations specifically please contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District Public Affairs office at or 808-835-4004.

NAVY Ship USS Chung-Hoon Denied Entry to Hilo Harbor

The US Navy Ship USS Chung-Hoon was spotted this morning off the Big Island of Hawaii this morning as it was expected to arrive in Hilo for the Merrie Monarch festivities.
Chung Hoon Refuel

Unfortunately the ship had to turn around once it got to the Big Island because the water in Hilo Harbor was not deep enough for the ship to port.

The NAVY has released the following statement:

In an abundance of caution and as advised by the embarked State Dept. of Transportation Harbor Pilot,  the Commanding Officer of USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93)  felt it was prudent to not proceed with entering Hilo Harbor this morning due to the shallow depth of the harbor.

Sharing the Navy with the people of Hilo is important. We certainly value the opportunity to showcase our Navy to the American people. Our partnership with the Hilo Council is an outstanding example where a community and the military join together to create an environment of mutual support and broad benefit and the Navy looks forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come, and we deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused to our friends and neighbors in Hilo.

Capt. Mark Manfredi, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii will still attend tonight’s Merrie Monarch Festivities and the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will be flown over here to  march and perform in the Merrie Monarch Parade tomorrow morning.

Hilo Harbor Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project Begins Work

A blessing ceremony was held this morning by the state Department for Transportation (DOT) for the Hilo Harbor Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project.

State and project officials took part in a blessing ceremony at Hilo Harbor to launch the $3.4 million Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project. From left to right, Kahu Brian Welsh, Haili Congregational Church; Glenn Okimoto, Director, State DOT; Nami Wong, State Project Manager, Harbors Division; Creighton Chang, Senior Project Manager, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co.; Neal Fukumoto, Senior Engineer, Wesley R. Segawa & Assoc.; Jeff Hood, Harbors District Manager, Harbors Division; and Bill Wilson, Kamaaina Nissan.

State and project officials took part in a blessing ceremony at Hilo Harbor to launch the $3.4 million Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project. From left to right, Kahu Brian Welsh, Haili Congregational Church; Glenn Okimoto, Director, State DOT; Nami Wong, State Project Manager, Harbors Division; Creighton Chang, Senior Project Manager, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co.; Neal Fukumoto, Senior Engineer, Wesley R. Segawa & Assoc.; Jeff Hood, Harbors District Manager, Harbors Division; and Bill Wilson, Kamaaina Nissan.

The $3.4 million project will widen Kumau Street from two lanes to four lanes and modify the intersection of Kumau Street and Kalanianaole Street to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion.  Road improvements include new asphaltic concrete pavement, concrete sidewalks, curbs, gutters, drainage systems, water mains and additional street lighting at the intersection of Kumau and Kalanianaole Streets.

“Hilo Harbor is a vital facility for the Big Island’s east side and these improvements will benefit the entire island,” said Glenn Okimoto, DOT Director.  “The on-going projects to improve and expand harbor operations will serve these communities for generations to come.”

The Kumau Street Entrance Improvements will provide an alternate entry and exit point for commercial cargo traffic when cruise ships are in port. Currently, during cruise ship dockings at Pier 1, cargo operations and cruise ship passenger traffic can overload roadway capacity at the Kuhio Street entrance, leading to traffic and pedestrian congestion.  The new improvements will help to separate the passenger traffic from cargo operations to improve safety and overall efficiency.

Completion of the Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project is anticipated in late January 2015.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $14.3 Million for Big Island Harbors, State Highways

Continuing to invest in capital improvement projects (CIP) that further strengthen Hawaii’s economy, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $14.3 million to advance harbor improvements to two Hawaii Island harbors and various highways across the state.

“These priority investments in state infrastructure add further stimulus and jobs to the economy in order to build upon our state’s $1.1 billion turnaround,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “These CIPs will realize significant and in some cases long-awaited improvements, such as those in Hilo and Kawaihae Harbors on the Big Island. Others heighten safety, mitigate erosion, and address other needed structural enhancements along our state’s highways.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:


$6,000,000 – Hilo Harbor, Pier 1 Shed Modifications, Phase II, Hawaii Island – Pier improvements and modifications, including construction of a new end wall, repaving and associated utility adjustments; 40 percent of the footprint will subsequently be used for container cargo operations, which require open yard space, while the remaining 60 percent of Pier 1 will continue to serve as covered shelter for storage, administrative and passenger operations

Hilo Harbor

Hilo Harbor

$80,500 (in addition to $241,500 of federal funds) – Kawaihae Commercial Harbor, Hawaii Island – Construction for enhanced physical security measures and critical infrastructure, including security fencing; this will delineate the secured area of Kawaihae Commercial Harbor and allow recreational users greater access to the small boat harbor.


$3,055,000 (in addition to $10,200,000 in federal funds) – Farrington Highway Intersection Improvements at Nanakuli Avenue and Haleakala Avenue, Oahu – Additional design and construction for left-turn lanes in the Honolulu-bound direction at the intersections of Farrington Highway and Nanakuli Avenue as well as Farrington Highway and Haleakala Avenue; additional funds are needed due to additional design requirements resulting from environmental impact and historical preservation permitting activities

$2,200,000 – Interstate Route H-1, Pearl City Viaduct and Waimalu Viaduct Improvements, Phase I, Oahu – Additional construction to replace the deteriorated surface of the eastbound concrete deck of the Pearl City and Waimalu Viaducts; future phase(s) will include deck repair in the westbound direction (Additional funds are needed to fund major remediation work in two separate areas caused by a collapsed drainage culvert at the Waimalu Viaduct, and to install geosynthetic reinforced soil fill and concrete under the pavement in the vicinity of Radford High School to prevent erosion and reduce settlement)

$1,500,000 – Honoapiilani Highway, Shoreline Improvements for Tsunami Damage in Ukumehame, Maui – Additional construction to restore roadway shoulders along Honoapiilani Highway damaged by the March 11, 2011, tsunami including boulder revetments and the construction of retaining structures; additional funds are necessary to complete the project due to high level erosion control measures required by the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Hawaii Department of Health Clean Water Branch

$1,500,000 – Honoapiilani Highway, Shoreline Improvements, Maui – Additional construction to restore roadway and shoulders along Honoapiilani Highway in the vicinity of Launiupoko, which have been damaged by repeated high surf and wave action; additional funds are required for a retaining structure that was redesigned to meet water quality and Army Corps of Engineers concerns

$11,000 – Farrington Highway Drainage Improvements, Oahu – Land and design for drainage improvements along Farrington Highway in the vicinity of Olohio Street to reduce flooding fronting the makai side of the highway

Farrington Hwy Nanakuli Ave Intersection

Farrington Hwy Nanakuli Ave Intersection

$4,000 (in addition to $16,000 in federal funds) – Guardrail and Shoulder Improvements at Various Locations, Kauai – Design to construct guardrail and shoulder improvements on Kuhio Highway, Route 560, at Milepost 6.25 and at Route 56 near Milepost 3.70, as part of the DOT Highways Division Guardrail and Shoulder Improvement Program; both areas have steep drop-offs that would benefit from guardrails to keep vehicles from leaving the roadway and going down the steep slopes.