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Honolulu Harbor Dredged After 17 Years

Posted on April 28, 2016

By Catherine Cruz, KITV4abc

At midday on Tuesday, the Essayons was dockside in Honolulu Harbor– it’s final stop before heading back to the Pacific Northwest.

The dredging ship — a workhorse for the US Army Corp of Engineers– has been clearing our harbors of sand and silt.

The last time the harbors were dredged was back in 1999.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz’s report.

“We are so thankful we have the support of the US Army Corp of Engineers to dredge our harbors. They have done Nawilliwilli, Hilo, Kalaeloa, Kahului and now Honolulu Harbor. For us it’s key that we have the right sounding and depths for all the ships that come to call on us.”

The ship’s mission is to keep federal waterways in commercial harbors cleared of debris.

The ship sucks up sand and silt from the harbor floor which is being disposed of at an EPA approved site offshore. Clogged harbors and commerce don’t mix.

Close to 80 percent of all consumer goods–everything from food and clothing, to medical, agricultural and construction supplies— comes in through our harbors. Not to mention the cruise ships that pull into port bringing tourists to town.

The harbor dredging comes at a time when the state is moving to modernize our ports. The Kapalama basin is on the list. The harbors plan is to modernize and dredge this area starting in January of next year.

A $400 million upgrade is well underway. The plan will have Pasha relocate its shipping operations to the Kapalama area so Matson can expand its facility dockside.

“This is sorely needed, as you can tell with the amount of construction that is occurring and the amount of goods we consume at the big box stores that this is well overdue,” said Young.

Materials needed for the Kakaako building boom are flowing through the harbor and so are things like the steel and the trains for Honolulu’s rail project.

But the modernization plan harbor users say is key to the state’s resiliency. In the event of a natural disaster, or an emergency that could threaten the Sand Island bridge the flow of goods into consumers hands could be impacted.

Access on the shore and to the docks– both lifelines vital to keep Hawaii’s economy humming.


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