Superferry is a long shot to return to island waters


POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

QUESTION: Any chance of bringing back the two Hawaii Superferries now sitting at the dock in Norfolk, Va.? Think of all the loss of income, lure for tourists and interstate produce, goods and services that are now not producing potential income. What a waste.

ANSWER: With Hawaii Superferry Inc. bankrupt and its vessels in possession of the U.S. Maritime Administration, it's doubtful they'll ever set sail in Hawaii again.

Still, there is a glimmer of hope.

The company owed the Maritime Administration, its main creditor, $136.8 million in loans when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last May, “;abandoning”; the vessels in bankruptcy court.

The Alakai and Huakai arrived in Norfolk in July and have been awaiting their next calling since then.

An official with the Maritime Administration in Washington, D.C., told Kokua Line yesterday that a decision has not yet been made.

“;We have possession but not full ownership of the vessels,”; she said. However, the administration “;will soon begin foreclosure proceedings”; and after that will decide what to do with the ships.

Is there any chance the Superferry will return to Hawaii waters?

“;We recognize the value that the ferries can provide Hawaii and are willing to work with transportation planners, providers and officials to advance proposals to use them in regular service”; in Hawaii, the Maritime Administration official said.

QUESTION: The city just resurfaced a lot of streets in Kailua. At the main intersection where Kuulei Road, Oneawa Street and Kailua Road meet, they put up a new signal light sign. Normally, when you're coming down from Kuulei Road, you have one left turn lane there, and now there are two. It doesn't make sense. There's one lane for turning left; but the second left turn, can you also go straight? It's really confusing.

ANSWER: After checking the situation and reviewing the traffic signal plans, both the city Department of Transportation's Traffic Engineering Division and Traffic Signal and Technology Division agreed the current situation is confusing.

They've decided to restore the configuration of the mauka-bound approach to the Kuulei Road/Kailua Road/Oneawa Street intersection to include an exclusive left-turn lane, a shared left-through lane, a through lane and an exclusive right-turn lane, said Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka.

Got that?

Yoshioka further explained that this will result in the following actions:

» The pavement arrows on the mauka-bound Kuulei Road approach will be modified to be consistent with the lane usage configuration described above.

» The traffic signal green light lens for the shared left-through movement will be changed from a green arrow to a green ball.

Yoshioka said these changes will take place within a month.



To the workers who helped my son get to the emergency room. He was riding his bike on the Pearl Harbor bike path on Nov. 16 when he was mugged. These people called 911 and made sure he got medical assistance. Thank you so much for being there. He will recover and never forget your kindness. With so much adversity and negativity in the world, it's comforting to know that there are still guardian angels out there. — A Grateful Mom


Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).