Happened To...

An update on past news

The Mog, bought in 1991 to clean the Ala Wai Canal, could not be used as planned because the water there is too deep.

Stored $219,000 Mog could
help clean Salt Lake canals

Question: What ever happened to the Mog that the state purchased to clean up the Ala Wai Canal?

Answer: The Mog -- a hybrid machine with a name as unusual as its appearance -- may come out of storage to help clean the canals that drain water from Salt Lake.

The state purchased the Mog in 1991 to remove debris from the Ala Wai Canal. But the $219,000 machine has sat mostly idle because the water in many areas of the Ala Wai is too deep for the Mog's stabilizing arms to touch bottom and because the Mog is too big to fit under the McCully and Ala Moana bridges except in low tide.

There was also a dispute about the correct job classification for the Mog's operator, which kept the boat/excavator in storage for several years.

The state Department of Land & Natural Resources says the Mog more than paid for itself when it was used in the cleanup of Keehi Lagoon during the early and mid-1990s.

The Mog has been used on a few occasions to assist in Ala Wai cleanups and was most recently used in the "Get the Drift and Bag It" shoreline cleanup campaign at Keehi Lagoon in 2001.

The state considered using the Mog for the Salvinia molesta cleanup of Lake Wilson in Wahiawa but determined the city's amphibious crane would do a better job. There was also the factor of the cost of trucking the Mog to Wahiawa and lifting it off a flatbed and into the water.

City officials recently met with state small-boat harbors Oahu District Manager Stephen Thompson to see if the Mog could be used to help clean weeds and other organic debris from the Salt Lake canals.

Gerald Takayesu, the city's storm water quality branch head, said the canals are only about 4 feet deep, shallow enough for the Mog to put down its stabilizing arms.

The city is planning to put out a contract by the end of the year to clean the canal.

The cost estimate for the cleanup is about $800,000, but Takayesu said if the contractor is able to use the Mog, it would save money.

Thompson said the only cost in using it would be in transporting it to Salt Lake.

State Rep. Glenn Wakai said he learned about the Mog sitting in storage and put the state and city together in what he thinks is a win-win situation.

"The dimensions of the Salt Lake waterway are perfect for the utilization of the Mog," Wakai said.

"It's been sitting there, waiting for us to use it."

This update was written by Craig Gima.

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