Funds to aid relocation of harbors district office, maximize efficiency

The relocation of the Harbors Maui District Office from the waterfront at Kahului Harbor to the historic Old Kahului Railroad Building along Kaahumanu Avenue has received $600,000 in funding.

The governor released the money for the project last week as part of $113 million for various capital improvement projects at airports and harbors statewide.

The harbors office currently sits dockside adjacent to Pier 3.

“As cargo volume continues to increase, it is critical that the waterfront area is used with maximum efficiency for maritime activities,” said Caroline Sluyter, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, noting that the relocation is part of the larger Kahului Harbor Development Plan.

The money is being used to renovate the interior of the structure and for the demolition of the old waterfront building, she said. The Old Kahului Railroad Building’s exterior will be maintained to preserve the historic nature of the structure, which was built in 1923.

The harbor office will occupy two buildings in the complex. The third building will be available for rent, Sluyter said.

Work on the move is tentatively set for February 2014, with the project expected to take about a year to complete, Sluyter said.

Once the harbor office is moved, the vacated space may be used to relocate Hawaiian Cement’s silo that is currently in the middle of the interisland container facility, she said.

The development plan said that the current location of the silo “constricts” Young Brothers as it unloads its barges.

“This represents a significant constraint to operations and safety at Pier 2,” the report said.

The preferred silo site is the current waterfront harbor office, which has the same 9,000-square-foot footprint as the current silo site, the report said.