Media release from Department of Land and Natural Resources:

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII — Honokohau Small Boat Harbor will soon be getting a much needed facelift following the release of funds by Governor Neil Abercrombie to get the capital improvement project underway. Earlier this week, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) began work on the project.

“The Governor listened to residents of Kona who expressed the need for the harbor improvements and he is responding by initiating work now,” said DLNR Chairperson William Aila. “The Governor’s budget this year has an additional $500,000 to expand the Honokohau Harbor Phase II improvements, including more paved parking areas and relocating and improving the boat wash down area.”

Phase I improvements at Honokohau started on December 5, 2011, which includes the installation of a new 8-inch water line and fire hydrants along the access road to the North side of the harbor. The concrete loading dock at the public boat launch ramp, which failed last year and was replaced with a temporary floating dock, is being replaced with a wider, marine grade concrete loading dock. The existing lighting fixtures along the roadways and piers will also be replaced. Total cost of this project is $591,450 and the contractor is Global Specialty Contractors, Inc.

The Department is charged with managing a statewide recreational boating program and has sizable, ongoing projects at the Ke‘ehi Small Boat Harbor, Ma‘alaea Small Boat Harbor in additional to Honokohau.

“We are grateful to the Governor and the Legislature for recognizing the need for DLNR to reinvest in its boating facilities and replace our aging, failing infrastructure,” said Aila. “In time, with continued support of our elected officials and the community and employing modern technology, we can achieve our shared vision of the Governor’s New Day vision of making Hawai‘i the jewel of the Pacific for sailing and boating.”

Phase II improvements, now in the design stage, will consist of the paving of the access road and parking areas; installing green lighting; relocating and improving the wash down area; repairing the comfort station; and constructing drainage improvements for the North side of the harbor. Project consultant is Engineering Partners. An initial amount of $120,000 for the Phase I and Phase II design was approved by the Legislature and an additional $150,000 has been requested of the legislature to complete the Phase II design phase and to provide construction services.

Funding of $1,000,000 for Phase II construction has been approved in the Hawai‘i State Fiscal Year 2013 budget and an additional $500,000 funding request was submitted to the State Legislature.

Work is also currently being performed by Willocks Construction to reconstruct approximately 1,100 feet of the Honokohau Harbor access road, from the harbor office to the vessel wash down area on the North side of the harbor. Completion is expected by the close of 2011. This project is funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

Honokohau Small Boat Harbor is the primary boating facility in West Hawai‘i, and is used by recreational boaters, charter and fishing boats. It is located at 74-380 Kealakehe Parkway in Kailua-Kona. The harbor consists of a dredged channel that leads to two basins. There are 262 moorings (piers A-H), three vessel launch ramps (two 30’ wide, one double-wide), two T-piers, outer basin, vessel wash down, fuel facility, harbor office and two comfort stations.

DOBOR operates and manages harbors, ramps, vessel moorings and berths and piers across the state. The division works in close partnership with DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) and the U.S. Coast Guard to make nearshore waters safe. The division is also responsible for registering all vessels in Hawai‘i which are not documented by the U.S. Coast Guard and for regulating and permitting surf meets, canoe and yachting regattas, ocean swimming events and other ocean events with the concurrence of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Phase I improvements at Honokohau started on December 5, 2011, which includes the installation of a new 8-inch water line and fire hydrants along the access road to the North side of the harbor. Photo by DOBOR.