Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Hearings detail Navy’s
plans for Ford Island

By Gregg K. Kakesako

The Navy will hold two hearings this week on plans to upgrade Ford Island with as many as 420 new housing units in the next 12 to 14 years.

The first hearing on its Ford Island environmental impact statement will begin at 7 tonight at Aliamanu Middle School cafeteria. The second one will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Washington Middle School cafeteria.

The environmental report notes that traffic will be the biggest problem, especially at Ford Island Boulevard and Kamehameha Highway near Aloha Stadium. The highest volume of traffic is projected at 4,400 cars an hour, according to the Navy's plans.

A high-density housing development of Ford Island also would result in increased sewer demand.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has placed Ford Island on its endangered list to put pressure on Congress and the private sector to come up with funds to save several pre-World War II structures. Almost all of the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex, including Ford Island, is listed on the register as a National Historic Landmark.

The Navy hopes to retain about 47 of the pre-World War II bungalows but will probably demolish five smaller single-family units that do not meet current building codes.

Also high on the list of retention is Luke Field -- once an active Navy runway -- and the air tower and hangars.

In the high- and medium-density proposals, as much as 75 of the 450 acres on Ford Island could be leased to private developers. Past proposals for the $500 million project have included restaurants, a Navy museum and similar tourist-related activities.

These include:

>> Leasing 6.6 acres at Halawa Landing, between the USS Bowfin Museum and the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, to support visitor operations and shuttle bus and boat services.

>> Leasing 322 acres at Iroquois Point and Puuloa near the entrance to Pearl Harbor where 1,469 single-family and duplex housing units are now used by Navy personnel.

>> Selling 515 acres at the Naval Magazine at Waikele, where the Navy used to store ammunition. Only 52 acres are considered to be developable.

>> Selling 675 acres at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station, which includes 548 housing units and commercial, industrial and recreational facilities but does not include the popular golf course.

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