Monday, January 28, 2008

HI Superferry: Regarding the Kahului Harbor Draft EIS

Today is the deadline to get in written comments. Here are mine:

First, generally speaking, the scope of alternatives in this Draft EIS seems dated, undeveloped, and too narrow.

In the Kahului Harbor Draft EIS, DOT/Belt Collins have proposed breakwaters for Kahului Harbor that would be inadequate. I have used figures from that Draft EIS and the applicable US Army Corp of Engineers document to propose better breakwaters. DOT/Belt Collins did not make adequate use of resources at the CHL of USACoE to test multiple new breakwater senerios. One senerio that I can think of I have drawn in green over figures taken from the two docs.

In addition to the proposed new East Breakwater extending due north outside of the harbor, I believe the East Breakwater should be extended due south into the harbor equal to about 3/4 of the extension due north. This addition I am proposing would be to effectively cut off wave/swell surge into Piers 1, 2, 3, and 4. Also, regarding the extension of the West Breakwater into the harbor to cut off surge into Pier 5, if it is determined that the efficacy of that outweighs the cultural impacts, then I believe that the West Breakwater Extension into the harbor should follow more of a due south path (and not angle so closely toward Pier 5) to more effectively cut off the wave/swell surge into the Pier 5 area. These breakwater extension proposals will still funnel a surfable wave/swell surge toward the shoreline at the southeast end of Kahului Beach Road and the west end of Hoaloha Beach.

Regarding Alternative A:
The proposed fill-in area to the southwest of Pier 2 takes too much space away from the canoe clubs. Also, DOT has been advised by the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers that extending Pier 2 in any manner, without an adequate breakwater solution, would likely be impractical at the end of the pier. Even though the state appears to favor Alt. A, too much of the funding for this alternative would be to establish solely the TRANSIENT cruise ships and Superferry on the West side of the harbor.

Regarding Alternative B:
Again, Pier 2 extension requires an East Breakwater solution to make this workable for the cruise ships and Superferry at Pier 2. This alternative is better in that all of the significant investment to improve the West side of the harbor under this alternative would be for the NEED of long-term cargo tenants.

The more than a third of a billion dollars in expense for these harbor improvements are mostly to the breakwater extensions and to develop the West side of the harbor. The cruise ships have already taken one of the three ships out of Hawaii recently and will take another one out soon. The Superferry cannot even cover its fuel costs. Neither of them can be expected to be long-term tenants.

Whatever harbor improvements are made on the West side of the harbor, esp. at the dollar figures contemplated should be easily adaptable for tenants expected to be long-term...namely cargo. Bond financing should only be used for long-term, necessary improvements as for cargo tenants and facilities.

See also:

Aloha, Brad

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