Long-awaited Kihei Boat Ramp dredging to begin July 1

The Kihei Boat Ramp will have maintenance dredging beginning July 1. Boaters have complained about damage to their vessels and the difficulty of getting them out of the water because of the sand buildup. -- Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources photo

Long-awaited maintenance dredging at Kihei Boat Ramp will begin July 1 and is expected to be completed by Nov. 4, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

There will be no closures during the dredging, with the contractor opening and closing the silt curtains whenever operators enter and depart the boat ramp. Goodfellow Bros. has been awarded the $680,000 contract.

In February, boaters, including commercial operators and private citizens, said they were incurring thousands of dollars in damage and needed more manpower and vehicles to pull their vessels out of the water because of the sand buildup fronting the ramp. Boaters appealed to the state to dredge the ramp, saying the it was being neglected and that other ramps were regularly dredged.

The Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation said at the time that it was waiting on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for the work. The division said the federal government shutdown from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25 set back many of the its permits.

The Kihei Boat Ramp turning basin and a portion of the entrance channel will be dredged to a depth of 6 feet below the mean lower low water level, according to a news release. The mean lower low water level is the average height of the lowest tide recorded at a tide station each day during a 19-year recording period, known as the National Tidal Datum Epoch.

The estimated total quantity of material to be dredged is 4,500 cubic yards. The material will be stockpiled at the gravel parking area above the trailer parking lot. Dredged beach quality sand will be used for future beach nourishment at a location to be determined later, the news release said.