Kaunakakai Harbor’s ferry terminal improvements done

The $9.1 million Kaunakakai Harbor ferry terminal improvement project that expanded the passenger waiting area, upgraded the restrooms and increased the parking lot size has been completed, the state Departments of Transportation and Land and Natural Resources said.

The project will increase the comfort of passengers using the ferry between the Kaunakakai and Lahaina harbors, the news release said.

“The Kaunakakai Harbor facility is now more comfortable for ferry passengers and also safer due to the installation of a modern fire suppression system,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Besides the waiting room, restroom and parking lot improvements, the project included a new and more reliable fire protection system and an upgraded sewage system that replaces the old septic tank. More space has been created between ferry and commercial barge operations for safety and efficiency, the news release said.

“The upgrades made to Kaunakakai Harbor will provide both visitors and residents traveling between Maui and Molokai with a new and improved experience,” said state Sen. J. Kalani English, whose district includes Molokai and is chairman of the Senate Transportation and International Affairs Committee. “My colleagues and I . . . understand how important it is to invest in our harbors, airports, highways and roads. We will continue to identify and appropriate funding for key transportation infrastructure projects such as this one that will improve the quality of life for everyone.”

The project was paid for 80 percent with Federal Transit Administration funds and 20 percent with state funds, the news release said.