Kahului judged too busy for Superferry
KAHULUI » Kahului Harbor can't meet all the future demand of cargo ships, cruise ships, the interisland Superferry and other users, said Maui Planning Director Mike Foley.
The harbor is already too crowded, and there won't be enough room to accommodate increased traffic brought by barges, ferries, recreation vessels, small boats, fuel imports and storage, he said.
Foley and other officials discussed the stresses on Kahului Harbor at a public meeting last week on the 2030 master plan environmental impact study. About two dozen people attended.
Harbormaster Steve Pfister did not speak, but he has said it will be difficult to find berths for all the vessels that need to arrive at the harbor.
Currently three piers are available -- one for ocean-going ships, one for fuel barges and one for interisland barges and the Superferry.
The harbor is so busy at times that low-priority vessels have to move out of the harbor to make way for a more important load.
Foley said some other port would have to be found for commercial marine traffic. He mentioned Mala, Lahaina, Olowalu, Maalaea and Kihei -- proposals that have been rejected for environmental reasons or because of opposition by area residents.
Residents at the meeting suggested creating an offshore station for landing fuel at Maalaea, and more offshore anchorage at Lahaina for cruise ships
Jim Takayesu, a paddler, said he worried that Young Brothers, the largest interisland cargo service, would suffer from the lack of harbor space. But he also said the state's planning should not delay harbor improvements.
Another public meeting will probably be held early in 2007.