(BIVN) – The National Park Service will be able to move forward with a plan to remove and replace park maintenance facilities at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, now that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been published.
According to a NPS news release:
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park plans to remove the existing maintenance and resource management structures to restore the landscape, avoid sensitive archeological sites, and move away from the tidal and coastal zones. The existing facilities do not meet the needs of the park and the location is in an area known to contain both historic and archaeological resources. The National Park Service (NPS) plans to construct new contemporary, consolidated facilities that will be more functional and efficient.
As the EA states, the Alternative A – Makai Site option includes:
- Demolition of existing fleet vehicle maintenance and storage facilities at site about 2,000 feet northeast/inland of the existing maintenance facilities (i.e., “Site 1”)
- Reconstruction/widening of existing access roads to Site 1 to accommodate emergency and Park fleet vehicles
- Construction of resource management, maintenance, maintenance storage and recycling, covered fleet vehicle parking, fleet vehicle wash, and employee parking facilities at Site 1
- Construction or installation of utility improvements (e.g., fire protection water, wastewater collection, electrical service/distribution lines, telecommunications infrastructure)
- Demolition/deconstruction and removal of existing maintenance and resource management facilities located near the coastline, along with removal of temporary equipment (e.g., canopy tents) and above-ground utilities
This rationale for the selected alternative was stated in the document:
Alternative A – Makai Site was selected because it meets the project purpose and need and better serves the Park’s maintenance and resource management’s operational needs when compared with the second action alternative evaluated in the EA (i.e., Alternative B – Mauka Site) and with the No Action Alternative. Alternative A would construct the new resource management and maintenance facilities in much closer proximity to the main Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park grounds (accessed via a paved road adjacent to the Park entrance vs. three miles inland in Alternative B), with much shorter travel times for staff and fleet vehicles. Consequently, the selected alternative results in operational efficiencies of shorter staff travel times, deliveries of equipment and materials to job sites, and lower fossil fuel emissions when compared with Alternative B. The comparative operational inefficiencies of Alternative B were noted in public and stakeholder comments received during the EA scoping and public review periods (see Appendix A for EA Public Comment Analysis Report). Commenters also raised concerns about adverse impacts on staff presence and visibility in the Park and greater traffic volumes along public roadways used to travel from Site 2 to the main Park resulting from Alternative B. Alternative A would result in fewer impacts on these conditions than Alternative B. When compared with the No Action Alternative, Alternative A will meet the project’s purpose and need by providing safe, modern, and functional facilities for Park maintenance and resource management operations in a suitable location. It will also reduce impacts to cultural resources and the visitor experience by removing buildings that were constructed as temporary facilities from the cultural landscape. Relocating Park maintenance and resource management operations inland will also reduce the exposure of these assets and operations to coastal hazards posed by their current location near the shoreline.
The project is being planned for construction starting in 2025, officials say.